Vila Vella Ramparts

C/ Portal · Open all year 24/7 · Free access

The emblematic walled Vila Vella or Old Town of Tossa is the sole remaining fortified medieval town on the Catalan coast and was listed as an artistic-historic monument in 1931. The original structure dates from the 13th-century.
The original perimeter walls and battlements are largely conserved, with four large towers and three machicolated cylindrical towers. The best-known towers are Joanàs Tower overlooking the bay; Clock Tower at the entrance to the parade ground, thus named because it was the only public clock in the town; and Codolar Tower (or Keep), overlooking Codolar beach.

A superb voussoired entrance gate gives access to the Vila Vella via the former parade ground.

The rectangular castle with a watchtower at the top of the Vila Vella was replaced by the present-day lighthouse.
The Vila Vella itself is a charming place with narrow cobbled streets. In the 15th-century age of splendour, the town boasted eighty houses. Most of them used the perimeter walls as their back wall. 

Inside the Vila Vella there also are the remains of the late-Gothic 15th-century church of Sant Vicenç, built ontop of the remains of an earlier Romanesque church of the 11th or the 12th century. The church had a single nave and a 3-sided polygonal chevet; the west arm of the transept was made up of the sacristy and a side chapel; the east arm probably opened out into a row of three more chapels. Today, the only remaining covered parts are the apse and the sacristy. The pointed arch of the chevet is sustained by six ribs meeting at a keystone decorated with an image of St Vincent.

In the 16th century, however, the town started to expand beyond the walls, with the first extra-mural houses built in Sa Roqueta district and along the highroad.

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