The Neothic village in Ca n'Isach

The only Neolithic village (4.600 BC) which has been recovered and can be visited in the whole of Catalunya can be found in Palau-saverdera. The site is formed by a rebuilt hut and by the remains of five original huts. There are also tanks, silos and hearths, which give an idea of the changes which took place between the Palaeolithic and Neolithic ages, of the nomadic to sedentary life, from fishing and hunting to the storing of natural resources. The village was found in 1987 when the first roads were opened in the urbanization of Mas Isach. Here ceramic pieces have been found, tools made from polished stone and flint utensils. The village is situated in carrer Bèlgica, very close the boundary with Pau. If you wish to visit it, contact the Townhall.

The hermitage of Sant Onofre

The hermitage of Sant Onofre, cited in 1362, is situated some 400 metres up and is visible from the whole Empordan plain. It was raised by parishioners in the XIV century into a place of devotion and pilgrimage where the Palauencs went to beg for good times to save the crops. There is a legend of a shepherd who found an image of Saint Onofre in a cave close to this place, which he brought down to the church in the village and, the next day, the image was once again in the cave. Admired by prodigy, the parishioners built a chapel here to their dedication. Every year, on the second Passover, Palauencs make a pilgrimage to this hermitage, accompanied by a public lunch and dancing of the Sardanas. If you are visiting, do not miss the excursion on foot from Palau to Sant Onofre.

The clock tower

This was old defence tower which was built to protect the first castle of Palau, which was situated in the Plaça Major, between the Sant Pare irrigation channel, the road of the Plaça and the road Rall. It was an isolated tower, which was joined to the second castle of the village at the end of the XIV century, popularly known as the castle of Can Mèssio, already located below the Plaça Major. In 1855, the tower was reformed in order for a clock to be fitted which gives it it’s name. In 1970 it was plastered and white washed and, at the end of the 80’s, the visible stone was recuperated on the facade. For some years, this tower was used as a point for selling fish. It is actually municipally owned and its clock continues to chime the hours in the upper part of the village.

The Rural Museum of Can Caussa

If you want to enjoy an impressive collection of antique objects, you must contact Mr. Francisco Caussa (tel. 972 53 02 81) so that he can open the doors to his house in carrer de l’Església number 3. A whole life dedicated to collecting allows you to see, amongst other things: pitchers, jars, urinals, various ceramics, glass objects, cornets, microscopes, pruning shears, scissors, rakes, machines to harvest olives ... amongst the more curious objects there are: a ¨maridet” (a ceramic brazier which maintained the heat underneath women’s skirts), an electric machine to make clogs, six legged chairs, a glove for striping cobs off corn and a meteorite.

The Plaça Mirador: the balcony of Empordà

This square is a tribute to the 21 Palauencs who died during the Civil War and this is why there is a monument by Bonaventura Ansón, on which the names of all the citizens from the village who died during the war between 36 and 39 are engraved. The square is also a fantastic viewing area from where you can enjoy a splendid synthesis of the Empordan countryside: the sea, firstly with the bay of Roses; the plain, with a clear dominance of Aiguamolls de l’Empordà, and the mountains, practically totally within the Cap de Creus natural park.

The castle of Vilamarí

This castle was built between the XIV and XV centuries on the orders of the Lords of Vilamari.The fortress was added to what we today know as the Torre del Rellotge (the clock tower), which was a defensive structure from a previous castle. The Vilamari sold the castle to the Vilarig (1548) and they carved their coat of arms in a stone which is still visible today. It passed over into the hands of the Lanuza and the counts of Plasència, but the castle lost its strategical importance. In the XVIII century it was already leased to farmers who exploited it as a rural heritage and this meant the first structural changes. In the XX century the castle was purchased by private individuals. In the 60’s, a block of flats were built on top of what was the courtyard. The Torre del Rellotge (Clock Tower) and two round towers integrated into a private property are the only testimony to the old fortress.

The Romanesque church of Sant Joan

It is a basilica floor church with three parallel naves and three semicircular apses in the Lombard Romanesque style. The church was built between 1022 and 1070 on an old roman villa and it has undergone important transformations. In 1899 a porch was added under the bell and the primitive side access door was bricked up. A major renovation in 1981 demolished this porch and the access via the old side door was re-instated. The church is dedicated to Saint John the Baptist (Sant Joan Baptista) and this is why the village celebrates the Festa Major in the summer every 29th August, when the beheading of this saint is commemorated. If you wish to visit the inside of this church, contact the Townhall and they will accompany you.

The Vilamarí hall, at the Community Centre

At the Community Centre, in carrer Nou 49, you can find the Vilamarí hall, an area dedicated to the history of the village and very particularly, to the exploits of the Vilamarí family, lords of Palau-saverdera during the Middle Ages. Here you will find an imposing reproduction of Bernad II of Vilamarí’s (1448-1516) sarcophagus, Commander in Chief of the Navy of the Catalan/Aragon Crown. He lived in the village castle and is a key character in understanding the Catalan expansion in the Mediterranean. He fought Turkish ships, chased pirates, took part in the Catalan Civil War with a siege of the Port of Barcelona and fought in North Africa on the orders of the Cardinal Cisneros. His grandfather, Bernat I of Vilamarí (1403-1463) was responsible for the conquest of the Greek island of Castellroig, 100 kilometres from the island of Rhodes, which marked the eastern limit of the Catalan expansion in the Mediterranean.

The Cooperative

The Agricultural Cooperative in Palau-saverdera was set up in 1933 and was initially structured in three sections, one dedicated to oil; the other to cereals and the third to wine. In 1955, one year before the great freeze which killed a large part of the olive trees, half of the Palauenc farmers were affiliated to the Cooperative and this year 122.419 litres of oil were produced. Today the Cooperative is only specialized in the production of oil and has forty associates. The production varies between 50.000 litres in 2011 and 22.000 litres in 2012. In the Cooperative shop you can buy oil, wine and all types of local products. In the winter it is open from Monday to Saturdays from 9.00 to 13.00 and 15.00 to 19.00 and on Sundays and bank holidays from 9.30 to 13.30. In the summer it is open from 9.00 to 21.00.

The fountain of Dalt, coveted water

The water at the fountain of Dalt (font de Dalt) is a prime attraction for many people who come from outside, fill up bottles and take it home. It is chilled water with a natural taste that suits all palates, although it has no health guarantee. The water flows from a nearby spring and arrives at the fountain through an artificial buried pipe. The fountain already existed in 1771 because this date is engraved into a rock near to the sewer, but its origins are lost in history. Until the public network was introduced which supplies water to the houses, the fountain of Dalt, together with the fountain Mallola, were the normal water supplies for many Palauencs. In this area there are a trough and a public laundry, which receive the excess water from the fountain.

The Town hall, at the old schools

Palau-saverdera’s town hall is a building by the architect Francesc de Paula Nebot, which was opened on the 13th May 1920 and was used as a school, with some interruption, from the year of its opening until 1999. In 1994 works started to convert the building into the Town Hall (Casa de la Vila) and the school was moved, temporarily, to the Centre Civic. On the 5th February 2005 the new council was opened, with the building completely adapted to its new needs. The opening times to the public are Monday to Friday from 8.00 until 14.00. You can contact it by telephone 972 55 23 37 or by e-mail at ajuntament@palau-saverdera.cat

Municipal swimming pool

Palau-saverdera’s municipal swimming pool is situated in the avinguda del Mas Oriol, between the school and the football pitch. The installations are open from the beginning of June until September. There is a bar and restaurant service and it is a place where most people come in the summer to have a good time. Usually St.John’s eve is celebrated there as well as a majority of the activities at the summer Festa Major (29th August). It has one pool with a length of 25 metres and another, less deep and long, for children. At these installations you can find both shady and sunny areas, whatever your preference, changing rooms and some splendid views of the plain.

Sant Salvador i el salt de la reina