La Porte d’Espagne (Gateway to Spain)
During the reign of the Kings of Majorca, Céret built a protective barrier of fortified walls around the town, known as ramparts. Two entrances were put in place to enable the inhabitants to come and go for commercial or personal purposes, one in the direction of Spain and the other towards France. Thus the names ‘Porte de France’ and ‘Porte d’Espagne’ evolved.
Dating from the 13th century, this doorway formed the entrance through the fortified walls in the direction of Spain. This entrance was also named ‘Portail des Maures’ (The Moorish Gate’). Rebuilt several times following numerous attacks over the years, it was finally and definitively opened up under the rule of Napoleon.
During the restoration of the rampart walkway ‘les arcades’, a number of stone balls dating from the Louis XI period were discovered. These can still be seen today.
The old tower now houses the Musée du Patrimoine/Archeological Museum Françoise Claustre.
Historic Monument inscription