Accommodation in l'Escala
Former capital of Empúries County
The medieval village of Sant Martí d’Empúries, former capital of Empúries County, is today completely restored and welcomes visitors who wish to enjoy a quiet peaceful time beside the sea.
It is hard to imagine that the county capital was this small Mediterranean hamlet in 9th to 11th centuries, before being transferred to the greater security of Castelló d’Empúries. Today the restored medieval centre makes Sant Martí d’Empúries a pleasant place to visit and a “must” if you are interested in history and find yourself in the area around L’Escala. It was here that the first Greek settlers arrived in 6th century BC, before they moved to the site where we now find the Empúries Ruins.
If you are driving, leave your car in the parking lot beside the road. Only by walking around the village will you be able to appreciate the old stone walls and the constricted, intimate criss-cross of narrow streets leading up and opening out onto a little square dominated by the church, with the Mediterranean Sea ever-present in the background.
The Parish Church of Sant Martí d’Empúries, with its impressive façade, was first documented in 834 and has since undergone three different restorations. If you decide to go in, pay special attention to the early Christian white marble altar, a 10th-century main altar decorated with horseshoe motifs and a 12th-century baptismal font.
Façade of the Parish Church.
Go over to the other side of the square to see the Mediterranean Sea. To get back to the road, skirt around the village along a wide path that leads down towards the lookout point and on along the coast. If the weather is good, remember to take your swimsuit and towel to enjoy the beauty of the nearby beaches. If you feel like a longer visit, walk over to the Empúries Ruins
along the new coast path, constructed on the occasion of the arrival of the Olympic flame for the 1992 Games.