Romanesque cloister and la Vila Museum

The heritage of Peralada is reflected in its collection of monuments. One of its most important historical elements is the XII century Romanesque cloister of Saint Domènec.

The heretage of Peralada is reflected in its collection of monuments.

This XII century Romanesque monument is the only remaining evidence of an ancient Augustinian monastery founded in the second half of the XI century. After the primitive community had died out it was aquired by the order of Saint Domenic in 1578, who gave it its current name. Its columns and capitals date back to the primitive romanesque cloister, but the main structure is from the XVI century.  The capitals have rich, diverse motifs combining plant-like and geometrical forms with zooligical figures; Six notable illustrated tales are: the hunting scene, Atlantis, Adam and Eve, the harpies, the seven deadly sins and  the banquet.

In 1835 it was handed over to the local council as a result of the ecclesiastical confiscations of Mendizábal, and since then has had many different uses: hospital, courts of law, barracks and even a cinema. The building that surrounds the cloister, a great stronghold that was reconstructed during the XVIII century, was demolished during the 1960s. It is currently the most important archtitectural site open to the public at Peralada. In 2001 the local council purchased an adjoining annexe and opened the town's cultural tourist office.