The town of La Ràpita is located in the municipality of Vallfogona de Balaguer (Lérida), whose Arab origins are called rabbita (a kind of military fort). In addition to the castle, in this Lleida town you can visit a church dedicated to the Sagrada Familia and a hermitage dedicated to Santa Margarita, protector of the town.
About 200 meters from the town center is the castle of la Ràpita, currently a magnificent, well-preserved stately mansion. It is believed that the place was already inhabited during the Bronze Age, as indicated by the remains found in the vicinity of the castle. Some ceramic remains dating from the castle walls and in the hermitage next to it date from the Iberian era, as well as a guard tower eleven meters high.
The remains of a Roman arch and the abundant ceramic material that remains, testify to the Roman culture present, also, in the area. However, it is the vestiges of the Arab era that proliferate the most, since the enclave was turned into a place of rest and prayer, taking advantage of the construction of the Iberian tower.
The first documented news about the castle dates from the beginning of the 12th century, when the Barons of Urgel donated it to Count Ramón Berenguer III of Barcelona. In the donation document there are indications that in the place there was already a fortified position, in times of Arab domination. In the 16th century, the castle became the property of the city of Balaguer, when it was sold by its owners.
As a trace of the old fortification, the left tower of the façade is conserved, with a rectangular plan and cyclopean walls. The medieval fortification was built around this angular nucleus, and next to the primitive tower the main door opens, ending in a semicircular arch.
CASTLE & BECKETT - 7X15 Il rapimento di Kate (March 2021)