Mataplana Castle

Nowadays we can only see the chapel and the remains of the castle but next to it and hidden among the soil and vegetation there is a whole neighbourhood waiting for a full excavation.

The main role of the castle was to be used as a residence as it was not built on high land and in the documents it was frequently called “Country house”. It was inhabited by Mataplana barony. Outstanding members of this family are Hug V of Mataplana, a poet who become a protector of poets like Guillem of Berguedà and Ramon Vidal of Besalú .In the XIV century it became the residence of Count Artau of Pallars who was wrongly identified with the mythic character of Count Arnau. The truth seems to be that Count Arnau didn’t exist historically but it was a mythical character who had great influence in the area : He is said to have deprived his workmen from their wages , to have had love affairs with nuns and to have dealt with devil . Because of that he was sentenced to wander around the area riding his burning horse.
At first the castle consisted of a circular tower which must have been knocked down. In the XII century a rectangular building was added and some years later it was surrounded by a walled courtyard around which different rooms were added. From the door we can see the rectangular tower in the background, on the left the stable and the bedrooms and on the right the bakery the barn and the store room.
In front of the castle there is the Chapel of St. Joan of Mataplana. It is worth mentioning the apse which is narrower than the nave. Inside it goes beyond the semicircular shape and becomes a horseshoe ground plan chapel.


  • Unnamed Rd, 17531 Gombrèn, Girona
See on google maps