Sant Joan Castle

The Castle of Sant Joan, also known as Forcadell Castle, is located in the village of Blanes, in the south of the Costa Brava. It’s on top of the  Sant Joan mountain, and stands on 173 meters above sea level. On really clear days you can even make out the silhouette of Montjuïc mountain, in Barcelona.

El Castillo de Sant Joan, en la montaña, dominando Blanes

Sant Joan Castle, top of the mountain in Blanes, South Costa Brava, Spain

Just for that beautiful scenic view, which covers 360 degrees, worths the climb up the castle, easily accessible by car. From the old castle, documented in 1002, is preserved the defense tower, about 15 meters high by 8 meters outside diameter, and a fragment of the wall.

Vistas de Blanes desde la Torre de Sant Joan, con la punta de Sa Palomera en la playa

Views of Blanes from Sant Joan Castle. Sa Palomera rocks in front of the beach

Like many other castles on the coast at the time, the building was originally built as a defense, especially against attacks from the sea, and more specifically of the pirates. Already in the XIVth century also formed part of the set of castles and fortifications, built with the aim of defending Barcelona to the north, in order that they could communicate (by sound or smoke signals) to reach the city. This group of castles was called the Tordera line (referring to the river which crosses Blanes).

La Torre de Sant Joan, en Blanes, testimonio de la antigua defensa costera contra la piratería

Sant Joan Tower, i Blanes, ancient witness against coastal piracy in the past

The tower has undergone many stories during its history. Before being rehabilitated in 1958, had served as military optical telegraph station during the XIXth century and even as a refuge in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). Today, however, the castle shows itself in good condition for visitors.

Vistas desde el arco del Castillo de Sant Joan

View from the Castle of Sant Joan archs

The tower is visible from practically any point in Blanes, and road access also allows the beautiful views of the village, its beaches and the sea at our feet. The mountain itself is also home to the Sant Joan Hermitage, which for lack of space was built outside the fortifications, probably in the XIIIth century.

La ermita de Sant Joan, originaria del s. XIII, fue construida fuera del recinto por falta de espacio

Sant Joan Hermitage, original from the XIIIth century, was built outside of the castle, due to lack of space

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This post was written by Alex Rigola who has written 60 posts on Costa Brava Blog.

Alex Rigola is Costa Brava's editor and an ampurdan passionated who enjoys sailing his little boat through the Costa Brava coast. He currently lives in Pals and if you use to ride along cycling routes in the area, it's very likely that you encounter him at some point. When asked about his favorite spot on the Costa Brava he never hesitates for a moment: Cala Montjoi.

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