The Fortress of Sant Ferran (in Catalan) or San Fernando (Spanish) is an amazing place that most visitors to Figueres do miss. It's the biggest fortress of Catalonia, and one of the biggest of Europe. It was build to defend the place from the French invasions, with impressive walls and buildings, and an amazing underground system of tunnels and cisterns. It could house 6,000 men and 500 horses!!
The building works began in 1753, and the construction work continued into the early 19th century. OK... that's enough for now.... if you're interested, follow the link below, were you'll find much more about its history and current activities there.
There are guided visits, including a boat minitrip around part of the underground huge labyrinth of cisterns! We had a really interesting and fun morning.
If you're interested, you must contact them first to reserve your tour. Otherwise, most times the guided tours are full, and in this case you can only visit a small part of the place by yourselves.
To reach it, once you arrive to the Dali's Museum (you cannot not miss it), just follow a street named "Pujada del Castell" (it means castle's hill, so it's pretty obvious). You will not see the castle until you're quite close by. It's just about 15 min walking from the museum, and about 30-40 min from the train station.
CASTILLO DE SAN FERNANDO
17600 Figueres (Girona)
T. +34 972 51 45 85
F. +34 972 51 45 86
Visits (Information and Reservation)
Visit Magre street and Placa de la Llana. This is one of the oldest parts of the city and is the former Jewish quarter. The Jews arrived in the city in the second half of the 13th century, following a call for them to do so from Crown Prince Peter, in accordance with which any Jews setting up in the city would be exempt for five years from the payment of taxes and would be given a grant of small plots of land free of charge in which to cultivate food. Thus was formed the Jewish quarter, which had a butcher and bakeries of its own. At night the district would be closed off in order to prevent disturbances. The quarter thus remained in marked isolation from the rest of the city, to the point that the houses which faced on to the church had no doors or windows.
about 30 minuts from Figuera on the way back to Barcelona there is Girona a really pretty small town worth a visist even longer than the short one we had.
Infact there is a really nice cathedral and lot of interesting and yummy food shops.
Take a walk around the city. If it were not for Salvador Dali this would be a city like many others. I like it.
If you have time you can visit the Toy Museum of Catalonia which was opened in 1982. The Museum’s exhibits include over 4,000 items.
Do not forget to visit the church near the Dali Theatre – Museum. The church has Romanic architecture elements.
The main PASEO in Barcelona is fantasticly riddled with tourists, performance artists and drunken fools EVERY weekend.
I highly recommend hanging out here at least EVERY weekend.