- Castles & History

Rich in history, Collioure has been a settlement since before Roman times.

Château Royal

The Knights Templar built the original castle, which was further developed during the thirteenth and fourteenth  centuries. This magnificent mediaeval castle, the Château Royal,  was also was used by the Kings of Majorca as a Summer Palace.  Later it was occupied by the Spanish until 1642 when it fell into French hands. Vauban had the outer city wall built and razed part of the old town to form a glacis (now the car park) in the later part of the seventeenth century.  By 1922 it had been declared a historical monument and was completely restored.  In 1951 it was sold to the General Council of the P.O. department.

It still dominates the bay,  looming over the seafront in the heart of the town. Not only does it make for a fascinating visit, but it is also the venue for a varied series of concerts and other entertainments during the year.

Fort St Elme

Fort St Elme

Armour in St Elme

Dating back to the ninth century, the Fort and its predecessors have guarded the neighbouring lands , whilst in French, Spanish, Catalonian and German hands. Now open to the public, it hosts events as varying as musical evenings, theatre and mediaeval reconstructions.  Full history and calendar of current events at http://www.fortsaintelme.com

 

Eglise Notre Dame des Anges

Church with feet in the sea

 

The belltower, built in the middle ages, was used as a beacon for Collioure’s port, signalling with smoke by day and fire by night. Then it became a prison.  The adjoining church,  surrounded on three sides by sea, and in the southern gothic style, was built in 1684. In 1693 the tower was connected to the church, becoming its steeple.  It was only in  1810 that the dome was added, giving it its distinctive appearance. The church has a rich and exceptional interior design with nine altars of gilded wood.  The alterpiece of the main altar is particularly impressive.

 

                                                                                                        Chapel of St Vincent

st vinc arty

Chapel of St Vincent

 

Reputed to be where St Vincent suffered martyrdom in 303, the rock on which the chapel is built was originally an island.  In 1701 the chapel was built to house some newly found relics.

 

Couvent de l’Hermitage Notre Dame de Consolation

churh at the Convent de Consolation

Inside the church of Notre Dame de Consolation

 

 

Our Lady of Consolation is the patron saint of fishermen. When husbands were fishing wives climbed up here to pray. Inside are some interesting ex-votos; ship models and paintings which were offered over centuries by sailors to thank the Virgin for allowing them to live out a storm, or accident, or asking for her protection.

 

 

Cloître du Couvent des Dominicains XIV

Built in the 14 century, backing onto the church of the Dominicans (now the cave co-operative) sadly it was plundered.  In 1992,  the stonework was rediscovered and bought back by the commune of Collioure.  11 arches were rebuilt and repositioned in the Garden of the parc pams in 1997.  Although not open to the public you can see them through a grid on the footpath up to the Mussee.  There is now a restaurant in the old Dominican convent which retains some original features.

The Windmill

View from the windmill to the Chateau Royal

 

 

This dates back to the mid 14th century. In the 19th century it began to fall into a state of disrepair. Eventually it was taken over by the town and restored in 2001.  It now presses olives for the production of Collioure olive oil.

 

 

 

Madeloc Tower

Madeloc tower

Madeloc Tower

 

652 metres above sea level, it offers breathtaking views over the plain and coast of Roussillon.  An ancient signalling tower (like the tour de la Massane at 812 metres)  it was used to monitor the sea and Spain to guard against possible attacks. Now it is a TV relay station.