History of the Castle of Santa Florentina

The Castle of Santa Florentina is built on an ancient Roman villa (“Domus”), which was an urban center and wine area.

In the eleventh century the building became a fortified farmhouse to combat the pirate raids of the time, currently incorporated into the architectural ensemble of the Castell de Santa Florentina.

Documentary sources provide news of the feudal lords Guadamir Canet (1024) and Gilabert de Canet (1041), but it was not until the XIV century, under the patronage of Ferrer Canet-great-grandson of Gilabert – when the Domus will achieve its maximum splendor.

Ferrer de Canet, noble knight and ambassador of Alfonso the Benign to the papal court of Avignon, obtains permission to fortify the house with the two towers of the medieval portal in Barbican, one of which served to house some relics of Saint Florentina that Pope Benedict XII, from Avignon, gave him.

At the end of the sixteenth century, the Montaner lineage was incorporated into the Casa Fuerte through Felip Dimas de Montaner, counselor and honored citizen of Barcelona, for several centuries.

It will be at the end of the XIX century when Ramon de Montaner i Vila, an important Barcelona businessman and co-owner of the Montaner i Simón publishing house (today headquarters of the Antoni Tàpies Foundation), recovers the Casa Forta and entrusts his nephew Lluís Domènech i Montaner with its restoration and expansion.

Lluís Domènech i Montaner was one of the greatest exponents of Catalan modernism, who, together with his team of artists – the best craftsmen of the time -, introduces stained glass windows of varied designs, large marble pieces with mosaics on the floors, wood carving and padding on the ceilings, ceramics, wrought iron and sculptures that harmonize spaces totally balanced and full of color, light, shapes and volumes.

The final project is defined as a residential summer palace with medieval and romantic touches, merged in full harmony, with an aesthetic and creative modernist language.
This reform inspired by medieval, modernist and neo-Gothic elements gave the Castell a great reputation.

The denomination of Castell de Santa Florentina brings together the inheritance of the relics and the memory of the wife of Ramon de Montaner, Florentina Malató y Surinyach, who died suddenly before the end of its extension.

In the year 1908, the King of Spain Alfonso XIII accepts the invitation of Ramon de Montaner to visit the Castell and spend a few days with his court and other personalities of the time.

Two years later, in 1910, the king granted the title of I Count of the Canet Valley to Ramon de Montaner, in recognition of his industrial and cultural task.

In 1921 Ramon de Montaner died and left this splendid legacy to his descendants.