CASTLES OF THE WORLD - PERALADAID92930062
€14.00 (Taxes not incl.)
The Fábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre presents a new series of collector coins dedicated to the "Castles of the World". It has been difficult to make the selection, taking into account that in Spain alone there are more than 10,000 castles registered, so we have had the collaboration of the Spanish Association of Friends of the Castles for an appropriate choice of castles to represent.
The collection is made up of sixteen coins, which can be purchased individually, as a complete collection and in sets of four coins each.
The obverse shows a coloured image of the castle of Peralada, in the province of Gerona. The castle of Peralada, mentioned as early as the 9th century under the name of Tolón Castle, was the centre of the County of Perelada. The dynasty of the Viscounts of Peralada began with Berenguer, son of Count Ponce I of Ampurias, who became Lord of Peralada on the death of his father.
On the reverse (common to all the coins), within a central circular area, the value of the coin 1.5 EURO appears; to its right, the mint mark; at the bottom, the legend CASTLES OF THE WORLD. An allegory of the structure of the castles surrounds the legends in the central area.
|Series||Castles Of The World|
|Face Value (Euro)||1.5|
|Maximum Mintage (units)||5,000|
The location of the present-day Peralada Castle is different from that of the original castle, originally in the northern part of the town of Perelada, near the main church. This earlier castle, whose lord was Dalmau de Rocabertí, Viscount of Perelada, was destroyed in the 13th century during the invasion of Empordà by the French under Philip III, the Bold, in the account given by the famous chronicler of the time, Ramon Muntaner, a native of this municipality in the province of Girona.
Not only was the castle destroyed, set on fire by its lord as he fled to prevent such an important bastion from being conquered by the French, but also a large part of the town. The new, much larger castle was rebuilt in a different location in the 14th century, outside the town’s walls on the banks of the River Llobregat d’Empordà, now surrounded by a beautiful six-hectare garden.
The foundations of this fortified palace are more characteristic of a stately residence than of a castle intended for military defence, as exemplified by its Gothic cloister, which is more in keeping with an aristocratic residence, and its Renaissance façade, designed by the architect Grant, is more in the style of a French château. The fortified palace of Peralada was of little military importance in later centuries.
The Perelada line of the Rocabertí family died out at the turn of the 20th century, and the castle’s decline was halted when it was purchased in 1923 by the politician, businessman and patron of the arts Miquel Mateu i Pla (later mayor of Barcelona), who enriched the building even more. He added new treasures to its collections of art and historical artefacts (paintings– by José Ribera, Jacomart, Luca Giordano and Guido Reni – ceramics, sculpture, an extraordinary library of more than 25,000 volumes, tapestries and a magnificent glass collection), an extensive garden with rose gardens and a lake. All these artistic treasures can be admired in the Perelada Castle Museum, housed in an adjoining building, next to the Convent of El Carme.
The Mateu family are still the owners of the castle, so it is not possible to visit it in its entirety, as part of it operates as a winery and another part as a casino, which opened in 1979. The magnificent gardens surrounding this beautiful and stately building, located in the municipality of the same name in the district of Alt Empordà, in Catalonia, remain open in the summer months for Castell de Peralada International Music Festival, which has been held there since 1987.