Since ancient times, there have been various structures and buildings that embrace human civilization till date. There are numerous structures that represent different human civilizations and time to date. Today, most of them have been through restoration or are in a phase to get into one. Castel de la Tossa is one of them. The ancient stonework Castel de la Trossa, which is 620 meters (2,034 feet) above sea level and the castle overlooks the region of Montbui, goes back to the 12th century. 

A11339-Restoration of Castell de la Tossa by Meritxell Inaraja

Looking at the history, following the fall of the Roman Empire, the Visigoths controlled the area that is now Montbui until the Muslims conquered the peninsula in 711. However, the Franks recaptured some of the Muslim-occupied lands, leaving the modern Montbui in the center of a border region known as the Spanish March. The massif and the peak of La Tossa both continued to be a major population centre despite all the shifts in dominance.

Throughout the first millennium, several shifts in the population were strongly related to periods of peace and prosperity or strife. Therefore, during times of peace, the settlers sought the land’s fertility, and during times of war, they moved to the safety provided by the peak.

Restoration of Castell de la Tossa by Meritxell Inaraja - Sheet2
©Elevation of Castle de la Trossa

The Viscounts of Cardona, who first served as the castle’s feudatories and then as proprietors until the start of the 18th century, are associated with the name of the castle from the 12th to the 14th centuries. Throughout the 19th century, the castle changed hands multiple times before being purchased in 1956 by the rector of Santa Margarida de Montbui. It was abandoned for a long time and severely deteriorated. Since 1967, many interior reform and restoration interventions have been carried out by the Association of Friends of Tossa and the Mountain Board (Asociación de Amigos de la Tossa y el Patronato de la Montaa).

The Ancient Castle

Castle de la Trossa is an uneven structure composed of local calcareous stone with lime mortar joints that is rectangular in shape and 9.50 meters wide by 14.50 meters long in a north-south direction. The walls are roughly two meters thick.

Restoration of Castell de la Tossa by Meritxell Inaraja - Sheet3
©View of Castle de la Trossa

Due to the uneven terrain, it is three meters taller on the western side than the eastern side, which has two storeys and a height of roughly 10 meters. There are two stories and a basement on the inside. It can also be deduced that the staircase of the castle was to be used inside the wall, based on studies of similar typology castles. Also, the first floor having a roof slab is also deduced from the historic study of the castle. 

The Proposal of Restoration 

These historical presumptions and the other information gathered about the tower’s original construction components have served as the foundation for the restoration concept. In order to access the highest point of the tower and regain a perspective of the surrounding area and other frontier castles, it is dedicated to consolidating the existing walls and building specific features that use historical materials as a model.

Restoration of Castell de la Tossa by Meritxell Inaraja - Sheet4
©Proposed Elevation

The Restoration 

The staircase that unifies the west wall and revives the idea of a potential original staircase inserted in the thickness of the walls, as is typical of many towers from this era, is used to access the level that corresponds to the original roof. The gradient of the stairs also enables the preservation of the incomplete appearance and, consequently, the recollection of the endured demolitions.

The construction of a small section of slab corresponding to the original level of the tower’s main floor as a balcony lookout from the opening of the northern sector, possibly the original access to the tower from the outside, uses the same concept of combining function and historical explanation.

Additionally, the ground floor spaces now have direct access from the outside, even though they were previously warehouses and cisterns accessible from inside the tower. The plan keeps the layout of this floor; the only way to reveal the historical volume of the entire structure is through an incision made in the current forging of the cistern.

To achieve chromatic and material similarities with the existing one and to obtain the structural stability needed for the building’s public usage, lime concrete is used in mass for the consolidation of the walls and the formalization of the steps.

The intervention of raw concrete into the structure is the contemporary approach to medieval architecture. The restoration of the castle is an example of how two different style can be melded together to achieve the functioning and how we retrieve our heritage for the future generation to look into their original roots. It is an example to dwell into the original roots and life of the locals. 


  1.     designboom, kat barandy I. (2020) Meritxell inaraja restores medieval ‘Castell de la Tossa’ to celebrate ancient stonework, designboom. Available at: (Accessed: 06 October 2023). 
  2. Silva, V. (2021) Restoration of castell de la tossa / meritxell inaraja, ArchDaily. Available at: (Accessed: 06 October 2023). 

Mansi, passionate about design, art and writing, focuses on research and the roots to figure out the solution. Mansi thrives for new experiences and exploration through writing and researching. Her idea and passion layed paths to explore and gave opportunities to learn and grow.