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Historic Centre

The town area of Cardona is known as the historic centre, which is in fact the ancient walled town that dates back to the Middle Ages. The town’s origins go back to the 10th and 11th centuries, to the marketplace that was developed at the foot of the castle and its mountain, an area which would become densely inhabited despite the small area it covers. The main public streets were Fira Street and Escasany Street, which are still being used today. Two main focal points were Santa Eulàlia Square and Mercat Square, which were located along the East-West axis, positions that were determined in relation to the entrance to the castle.

By the mid 13th century, the original town centre was overwhelmed by increased urbanisation in sectors now known as Soldevila, la Serra, Capdevila, la Fira-Cambres and Graells-Nou-Comabella. This growth reflected the development in the Catalan economy and an increase in the population that took place during the reigns of kings Jaume 1 (1213-1276) and that of Pere II (1276-1285). To give you a clear idea of the rate of growth, half way through the 12th century 87 families lived in Cardona and by 1281 there were 247 families, which stands for a growth rate of over 250%. From the original group of 350 to 400 townspeople who occupied an area of no more than 2 hectares, the town’s population reached 1,000 inhabitants who settled over an area of 11.848 hectares. By the mid 14th century, the town had 1,120 inhabitants.
Later on, the walled area dating from Gothic times (1370 to 1420) was closed off and underwent construction to become the town of Cardona, as it would be until the beginning of the 20th century. During that time the town did not undergo any major transformations. However, the discovery of potash salts wrought upheaval to the demographic, economic and political structures in this town with its secular town planning.

The historic centre of Cardona has been declared a sight of cultural interest in the category of Historic Settings in an official document by the autonomous Catalan government. (DOG 7 February 1992).

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