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Max Abroad : The Best of Spain

Quite simply writing about the best things Spain has to offer and anything that might crop up along the way. Spain is a lot more than just sun, sand and sea...

A town on the edge of the abyss
18 February 2021 @ 19:08

CASTELLFOLLIT DE LA ROCA looks like a town that was once normal in shape but has been stretched and squeezed along a narrow basalt formation for almost a kilometre jutting out into a stunning valley. This is the result of the superposition of two lava flows which solidified and created this extremely hard and unusual rock formation. The first flow has been dated back 217,000 years. It comes from Batet de la Serra, in Olot. And the second, which is 192,000 years old is the result of the eruption of the San Juan Les Fonts volcanoes. The houses are pushed precariously close to the edge of a 50m vertical drop, and wind along the cliff looking over the countryside and rivers that flank the town below.



Inhabited for over 1000 years, the town’s narrow streets still carry the characteristics of its medieval origin, and the city centre features ramparts that fortified the town during the civil war. The narrow streets of the town converge on the old church of San Salvador, located at one end of the cliff. Here there is also a viewpoint with breathtaking views and one can clearly see and understand the strategic situation of the town. The church dates from the 13th century, although the current building has undergone several renovations. It was built in a late Renaissance style. It has a square bell tower and has openings on each side. The bell tower is crowned by a cupola decorated with small pilasters. It still preserves various reused basalt ashlars and a late Romanesque window. As for the interior of the church of San Salvador, it should be noted that it is currently used as a cultural centre in which temporary exhibitions are presented.


Many houses and streets in the city centre are also built of the dark, volcanic rock that serves as a pedestal for the town. The main street of Castellfollit winds through the entire town narrowly pressed between houses on both sides, straining to remain on the cliff face.



In Castellfollit de la Roca it is also possible to visit the Sausage Museum (Museo del Embutido), inaugurated in 1993. There is a permanent exhibition that explains the history of meat conservation. In this way, the museum exhibits tools used to make meat through different historical periods, as well as old photographs, old machines, explanations of the slaughter process etc. Entrance to the museum is free and with it you can enjoy a tasting of some of the most typical products of the area.

On both sides of the cliff, the rivers Fluvià and Toronell amble by the rock face of the town through the volcanic zone of Garrotxa. To add to the drama of the landscape, the cliffs are illuminated from sunset until midnight for six months out of the year.



Like 5


VillaSol said:
19 February 2021 @ 12:21

Fantastic! Never heard of this before. Anxious to go there!!
Thank you for this post.

anthomo16 said:
20 February 2021 @ 10:25


David H said:
20 February 2021 @ 18:52

I've seen it from the road but thought it was a village built right up to a ridge! Fascinating that it actually occupies the width of the ridge.

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