· DO YOU KNOW THE ORIGIN OF THE NAME CASTELLFOLLIT DE
Etymologically speaking there are two versions
to choose from regarding the origin of the name Castellfollit
de la Roca.
One has it that the name is related to the existence of a castle
in the area, and justifies the claim citing that in 1096 the
name "Kastro Fullit" and later the names "Castello-follito"
and "Castro-follito" also appear in documents. Regarding
the word "follit", it would seem to come from the
fact that the construction of houses is laminated, that is,
made of slate. Bearing in mind that slate is not found locally,
it is believed that the name was given because it is similar
to basalt with its blocks of hexagonal columns.
The alternative version has it that the name does not come from
a military building on top of the cliff, but from the silhouette
formed by the basalt crag itself, as it looks like a large fortress.
With regard to the second part of the word -"follit"-,
the basalt formations are said to look like elongated leaves
or "fulles" in Catalan, and from this the name "castell
del fullatge" or "the castle of foliage".
The addition of "de la roca" or "of the rock"
is a recent addition to avoid confusing the town with the two
other towns of the same name in Catalonia.
· DO YOU KNOW THE STORY OF THE BROKEN
The broken bridge which lies next to the main
road has a long history of misfortune. The bridge dates back
to 1908, but soon after its construction several abutments cracked
open as they had been built on unstable ground, and the bridge
had to be re-built.
Later, at the end of the Civil War, the retreating Republican
forces blew up the bridge to prevent the Nationalist army from
advancing on. A few months after it had been restored back to
use, the Great Storm of 1940 knocked down two arches. This was
the final stroke of bad luck, the bridge was not rebuilt again,
and another bridge, that of the present day was built in its
· DID YOU KNOW THAT THE CLOCK OF CASTELLFOLLIT IS THE
RESULT OF A PROMISE?
The clock in the Square of Sant Roc is the
result of a promise made by a monarchist of the Garrotxa who
presented himself for election as a representative to the courts
in 1919-20. He promised the town a clock if they voted for him.
He was true to his word, and in 1924 the application was made
for construction to begin, and the clock was finished in 1925.
The cost came to a grand total of 4.884 pesetas (29,35 euros).
· DO YOU KNOW THAT THE PAINTER
JOSEP BERGA I BOIX BEGAN HIS ARTISTIC CAREER IN CASTELLFOLLIT?
While studying to be a chaplain he made use
of his summer holidays to earn money, and around 1885-86, the
rector of the town engaged him to paint the sides of the chapel
of Sant Isidre of the church, and decorate them, as Berga himself
describes in his book "L'estudiant de la Garrotxa" ("The Student
of the Garrotxa"), with "figured green panels, black and white
stripes, combined with a notable boldness". Later, thanks to
the positive response provoked by his first work, he painted
the "Capella Fonda", the small church dedicated to the Virgin
of Roser. Unfortunately, the fire in the church during the Civil
War destroyed these paintings.
Castellfollit has had its two giants, Roc
and Barbara since 1996. They are made from carton pierre (a
species of papier-mâché) with a supporting wooden
frame. Barbara is 3.62 metres tall, and weighs 33 kg, while
Roc is 3.80 metres tall and weighs 35 kg.
DO YOU KNOW WHO WALTER KAHLER-LANG WAS?
The plaque on the old church is a homage
to the President of Honour of the Friends of the High Garrotxa.
Born in Detmold (Germany) in 1900, in 1923 his adventurous
spirit came to the fore, and he left his job as a chemist
to dedicate himself to the world of adventure. He travelled
around the world many times, and often made brief stays in
the town where he helped working in restoration projects involving
the Romanesque churches in the region. This illustrious globetrotter
felt himself at home among the people of the Garrotxa.
· DID YOU KNOW THAT THE TOWN OF
CASTELLFOLLIT WAS ONE OF THE FIRST TO HAVE TELEPHONES INSTALLED?
In 1904 the mayors of Castellfollit, Olot
and Begudà combined their efforts to set up a telephone
system between the three towns. In 1906 the idea was approved,
and in 1907 the network was up and working. By 1913 the telephone
network extended throughout the Gerona's region, and the whole
· HAVE YOU MET OUR GIANTS?
Local initiative has led to the recent introduction of four
lively characters Mushu, Pauleta, Pinet, Gaspar and Perot
to the town's
These new additions are not however the first troupe of town
figures, in 1913 the town had its first pair of giants, although,
unfortunately, they lasted for only a short time. Later, in
1979, during the town's celebrations, 9 "cap grossos"
or "big-heads" appeared, their features were inspired
by real townspeople. However, these later additions suffered
the same misfortune as their larger predecessors, and also disappeared.
DO YOU KNOW THE MUSEUM OF VIETNAM OF CASTELLFOLLIT?
In Castellfollit de la Roca, you will find a war history
museum dedicated to the
Vietnam War that is unique in Europe.
Address: Sant Josep, 1