The fortified gates

Vinça, ”the royal city of Vinça“, was a royal city from 1172 to 1356, then again from 1586 until the end  of the French Revolution. In1245, James the first the Conqueror, Count of Barcelona and King of Aragon, granted to the inhabitants of Vinça exemption from the seigniorial taxes (exorquia, cugucia, intestia) on the condition that the outer walls were built. In order to cover this expense the members of the Labour Relations Boards of that time were permitted to levy a tithe on crops, produce harvested, wool, meat, grapes, oil and other good.

In 1361 Peter the Ceremonious authorised the collection of tolls (“barras”) at the gates of the city to finance the repair of the walls. These outer walls, 500 meters long, enclosed the core that remains of the old village.

At that time four gates led to the surrounding villages:

  • to the south, the gate of Joch. It no longer exists.
  • to the west, the gate of the “Puig“ which gave onto the modern road to Prades, of which part of the arch only remains.
  • to the north, the well preserved gate of “Barri del Prat“ opened up to the road to Perpignan.
  • to the east, the gate of “Marcevol”which is still intact, led to the route to Marcevol.

These two latter gates have statues of the Virgin, hence the name given to our village “Vinça the Pious“.

Today 80 meters of the outer wall testify to what these constructions were like; they mostly date back to the second half of the XIVth century.