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Still Discovering Spain...

Here for over 25 years and I still discover new things every day...

One Hotel Room to Avoid this Halloween
Wednesday, October 26, 2022 @ 7:25 PM

The Castle of Cardona is arguably the most important medieval fortress in Catalonia. It is situated on a hill overlooking the river valley of the Cardener and the town of Cardona.

Wilfred the ‘Hairy’ originally constructed this fortress in 886. It is in both the Romanesque and Gothic styles. During the 14th century, the dukes of Cardona came from the most important family of the Crown of Aragon, which was second only to the royal house. Because of this, they were called “kings without crowns,” as they had extensive territories in Catalonia, Aragon, and Valencia, and dynastic ties with Castile, Portugal, Sicily, and Naples, increasing the importance of the castle.

In 1714, even after a Bourbon siege destroyed a good part of the castle's walls, the garrison was one of the last to surrender to the Bourbon troops that supported Philip V. Today, the castle's main jewel is the Torre de la Minyona (from the 11th century) a tower that measures 15 metres in height and 10 metres in diameter. Additionally, there is the Romanesque Church of San Vicente de Cardona adjacent to the fort. 


This may however be very interesting but it is not the reason why I am writing about the Cardona Castle… Nowadays it is a luxury hotel run by Paradores, a public leisure company, and happens to be home to a haunted bedroom: Room 712. People say you either have to be very brave, or not believe in ghosts, to stay in Room 712 at the Parador de Cardona. As a matter of fact, guests are only allocated this room on request as, after hearing reports and claims made by countless guests, the hotel management decided to close it to the public, unless specially requested. With Halloween around the corner this might just be the perfect place to spend the night if you want a fright!

Strange noises, open tap, disturbing dreams and even apparitions; these are just a handful of the strange occurrences reported by those who have stayed in Room 712. 

Whether you believe in paranormal phenomena or not, visiting this Parador will blow you away; not because of the legend, but because of its location in a stunning castle atop a headland.

Just 100 kilometres from Barcelona, this is one of the most impressive hotels in the entire Paradores of Spain network; a castle that, given its location and good condition, transports guests back in time to the Middle Ages in the blink of an eye. This 9th century fortified complex also features the Minyona Tower and a church, both from the 11th century. This castle's impressive location, atop a promontory, offers wonderful views of the Cardener River and the Salino valley, home to one of the world's most important potassium salt mines. Although it is currently inactive, discovering more about it on a guided tour comes highly recommended.

Even the smallest details at this castle are subject to careful consideration, including furniture, carpets and decorations, to ensure that at first glance, guests feel like they have been transported back in time 12 centuries. Even the architecture of the building is the stuff of fairytales, with long and narrow passages, austere, vaulted rooms with pointed arches, wooden beams and Gothic elements. All of this is shrouded in a silent, solemn atmosphere that takes on a mysterious aura when you reach the seventh floor or the west wing: home to Room 712.

This room always remains closed, unless a guest is brave enough to specifically request it. In recent years, customers staying in this room claim to have felt strange presences. Most say that they simply had trouble sleeping or that they had a restless sleep; others, however, assert that it was impossible to sleep on account of furniture being moved in the room above, despite it always having been empty. Even cleaning staff at the Parador have decided to enter the room in pairs so that nobody is left alone at any time. In doing so, they try to avoid being by themselves with any of the strange phenomena reported in recent years, such as finding all the furniture together in the centre of the room, hearing voices, finding open taps and hearing strange noises when there was no guest inside. Some guests even claim to have seen ghostly figures.

Legend has it that the source of these paranormal occurrences is attributable to a sad story dating back to the 11th century, when a young Christian woman, Adalés, fell in love with a Muslim and was condemned by her father to live her life locked away on the Minyona Tower, where she died of sorrow. Her sorry soul, they claim, still wanders the area and is responsible for the strange occurrences that many have witnessed in Room 712.

Whether or not the legend is true, and whether we dare stay in Room 712 or not, what cannot be missed is the opportunity to visit this impressive castle. Furthermore, staying here offers us the chance to visit the medieval village of Cardona, full of narrow alleys and corners bursting with charm.

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