The small Spanish town of Castellfollit de la Roca is not the ideal travel destination for those who are claustrophobic or afraid of heights. Castellfollit de la Roca is located atop a frightfully narrow cliff with a 160-foot drop. Throughout most of the town, a single slim walkway separates rows of multistory dwellings. The town’s compact buildings appear so precarious that it looks as though the slightest rockslide could plunge much of the town into the Fluvia or Toronell Rivers which converge at the base of the basalt cliff where Castellfollit de la Roca is located.
In medieval times, Castellfollit de la Roca’s lofty perch atop a cliff made of volcanic rock was viewed as a strategic advantage. It was impossible for hostile invaders to take the residents of Castellfollit de la Roca by surprise. The rampart walls that protected Castellfollit de la Roca in previous centuries still stand. Castellfollit de la Roca’s condensed layout didn’t seem cramped to the town’s earliest residents. Before automobile traffic, it was quite convenient to have virtually every person in town a stone’s throw away.
For those who can tolerate heights, Castellfollit de la Roca offers some stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Virtually every building in Castellfollit de la Roca was constructed with the same basalt rock on which the town is situated. The old church of Sant Salvador stands at the apex of Castellfollit de la Roca. The 13th century church of Sant Salvador has been destroyed by fire and other disasters only to be rebuilt several times. The old church of Sant Salvador seemingly erupting from a steep basalt cliff has steadily become one of Spain’s most widely photographed landmarks. If you’re brave enough to ascend 160 feet, Castellfollit de la Roca’s medieval beauty is sure to take your breath away.