In the second half of the 12th century, the Templar Order built a conventual complex on the strategic Gardeny plateau. The hill - which before the Christian era had been used as the headquarters of military attacks- was visited by brilliant strategists like Julius Cesar himself, who fought against the Pompeiian Afranius and Petreius, who settled in Ilerda in 49 B.C.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, the former medieval enclosure was enlarged and turned into a military fort, whose design would be adapted to the new defensive needs because of the advent of artillery: walls flanked by bastions and surrounded by wide areas, moats and containing walls. The current monumental complex shows the remains of what used to be an imposing fortress.
Castell de Gardeny in Lleida - together with the
ones in Miravet, Monzón, Peñíscola and Tortosa-
is part of the Templar Domus Templi itinerary. This journey back
in time unveils a large part of the Templar heritage and legacy
from the former Crown of Aragon.
The monumental complex in Gardeny is one of the most relevant examples of the Templar architecture built in Catalonia during the second half of the 12th century. Although between the 17th and 18th centuries there were deep changes that would end up altering the old medieval complex, nowadays many buildings of the sovereign enclosure are still preserved. It is an area delimited by walls and flanked by towers, within which the different buildings would be found around a central yard.
Among these buildings we can highlight, on the one hand, the Tower-Room, a solid two-storey construction that had several rooms: storerooms, living rooms or the keep; and on the other hand, the Romanesque church of Santa María de Gardeny, a singular building with a lot of worshippers at the time.