Visible long before entering Cardona, this hilltop fortress broods above the modern town. From this strategic position, centuries of noblemen have kept a watchful eye over Cardona's Muntanya de Sal (Salt Mountain), the white gold that gave Cardona its wealth. The ramparts have panoramic views of the vast Lleida plain; the loftiest vantage point is the 11th-century Torre de la Minyona. You're free to wander the castle, but sights within the complex have admission charges.
A fortress has stood on this spot since the 3rd century BC, but the castle reached its zenith under the Lords of Cardona, who arrived in the 11th century and built the palace buildings and the elegant Romanesque Colegiata de Sant Vicenç. Through 11 centuries of history, the Castell de Cardona has been never conquered.