Mediaeval History Museum of the Curia-Prison, 14th century

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Photo of Mediaeval History Museum of the Curia-Prison, 14th century in Castelló d’Empúries

The museum is a Gothic building that was constructed in around 1336 in the time of Infante Pere I (1325-1342). The building fulfilled two functions of the mediaeval town, containing both the curia (judicial headquarters of the town of Castelló d’Empúries) and the prison. This judicial and penal complex was the symbol of the power of the counts in the town, capital of the county of Empúries. The most noteworthy elements of the curia are the façade overlooking Plaça de Jaume I (formerly Plaça del Gra), with its Gothic windows (restored), and the carved corbels inside the building. Meanwhile, the prison of Castelló d'Empúries is a very unusual building in that it is one of the few ancien régime prisons to have survived in Catalonia. Between the 17th and the 19th centuries, the prisoners held in its dark and insalubrious cells left evidence of their mental state, concerns and thoughts in the form of highly creative and symbolic graffiti. The museum route ends with the room dedicated to the call (mediaeval Jewish quarter) of Castelló d'Empúries, which houses a collection of matzevot (Jewish headstones) from the town's former Jewish cemetery (one of the most important collections in Catalonia), and one of the many stones with holes, designed to hold mezuzot, originally from the town's call and later reused. The room also contains a scale model of the town as it was in the 14th century and an audio-visual production entitled 'Between the crown and the sword. The dynasty of the counts of Empúries', which explains the history of the town and of the county of Empúries.

Contact

Mediaeval History Museum of the Curia-Prison, 14th century
Pl. de Jaume I
17486 Castelló d’Empúries (L’Alt Empordà)

Telephone: (+34) 972 250 859
Fax: (+34) 972 156 062
E-mail:
Website: www.castello.cat

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