The Castle of Sant Ferran in Figueres was built in the eighteenth century and is considered as the largest bastion Fortress of Europe. Declared of cultural interest and listed as a Historic Artistic Monument, is well worth a visit. It is located on a hilltop at 1000 meters from the center of Figueres, 800 meters from the Dalí Theatre Museum and next to the Empordà plain. It offers panoramic views of the Albera border area between France and the Bay of Roses, and that’s the reason why it was built in this place free of visual obstacles as a bastion to fulfill the function of monitoring the border.
Many residents of Figueres run daily the walkway that borders the castle for sports. The panoramic views are outstanding and from the north in a windy day with clear and calm sky you can see some of our most striking mountains and mountain ranges: the Montgrí, the Gavarres, Montseny, Rocacorba, the Alta Garrotxa, the massif of Canigó, Salinas, the Albera, the Sierra of Rodes and to close the 360 degrees, the Bay of Roses.
As the dimensions of the Castle are exceptional, visits to the Castle of Sant Ferran are grouped into two types: inner enclosure visits and visits to the grounds and underground spaces.
Visits to the inner enclosure are made following a route signposted and last approximately 1 hour.
But if you desire to step into the underground and unknown worlds of this fortress, you can not miss the tour of the water Cathedral. We have done it and it is highly recommended, you will spend some fun and entertaining time. It is an active commented visit to the moat of the fortress (2500 m) on board of 4×4 army vehicles, quite an experience. It includes a visit to the underground countermine galleries and navigation on board by pneumatic boats inside the Fortress tanks.
As a curiosity, the tanks, which are large, retain the same water than 40 years ago, however, it is quite clear as it does not see the sun. The visit inside the tanks is spectacular and, both young and old, will make you feel like real explorers. This visit takes about an hour and 45 minutes and booking is essential. Of course, if you have claustrophobia or you do not like dark indoors this is not for you!
You have more information about the Castle and visits on the following link. As you approach its doors, the dimensions of the Castle of Sant Ferran (320,000 m2), its ramparts, the great patio or the underground galleries will leave you speechless.