Cradled by its privileged natural environment, La Roca del Vallès is blessed with numerous iconic buildings such as Can Sol and Can Torrents and architectural sites and locations packed with history that have marked the character and evolution of the territory and the town over the centuries. Enclaves which transport visitors to prehistory, to the time of the Iberians and Romans, to the medieval age and to the modern age in a fascinating journey through the origins and history of the municipality, from La Roca Castle, the Chapels of Sant Bartomeu and Santa Maria de Malanyanes, the Dolmens of Can Gol and Can Planes, la Pedra de les Orenetes (the Stone of Swallows) or Turó Gros (Big Hill).



In the northern part of town, on a small hill, you can see La Roca castle. It is located where the Praetorium -or fortification station- was located on the Roman road, linking Granollers (Sempronia) and Mataró (Iluro). It is documented that in the year 936, the French King Louis IV d’Outremer made a donation to the Monastery of Sant Cugat del Vallès, which owned the castle until 1243. When publishing the Sant Cugat Cartulary, Mons. Josep Rius considers that it was Louis V, the successor of Lothair, and the date was 986. Whatever the case, we have documentary evidence from the end of the 10th century.

It seems that the Count of Barcelona entrusted the castle to Arnau Mir de Santmartí, a descendant of Gombau de Besora. The castle was later given, along with other assets and territories, to Guillem de Muntanyola o de Vacarisses, first Lord of Montcada. Upon his death, it passed to his children Renard Guillem and Bernat de Sarroca, from 1040.

Through the marriage of Sansa, the lady of La Roca, to Pere Bertran de Bell-lloc, the Lordship of the castle passed to his descendants, the Bell-lloc family. Guillem de Montclús, who was married to Guillema de Bell-lloc, was the owner and Lord of everyone who depended on the castle between 1243 and 1276. From that year, it was no longer in the possession of the Bell-lloc family. It passed to the Lleïr de Vilanova family until 1283 (the Berenguer i Bertran brothers). The next owner, Ramon de Cabrera, sold it in 1287 to the royal notary Pere Marquès.

According to Pasqual Ferrer, the Cabrera family were the owners for 56 years, until 1343 when they sold it to Pere Arnau Marquès, who was the owner for 42 years. After passing from one owner to the next for a time, Pere Arnau Marquès sold it to the King in 1385 for 30,000 sous.

The jurisdiction of the castle and the district of La Roca belonged to the King, but during certain periods in the fourteenth century, the property changed hands back and forth between the monarchy and the nobility.

In 1405, it was purchased by Ramon de Torrelles and was the centre of the barony of La Roca from 1468. That year, the title of Baron of La Roca was granted to Martí Joan de Torrelles i de Sentmenat.

With the arrival of the Torrelles family, it seems that the census of the population grew greatly, up to 880 inhabitants, since the count obtained royal permission to hold a market on Wednesdays and two annual fairs, that of Sant Jaume and of Santa Magdalena. For this reason, people of various trades settled and three inns were opened in La Roca, with cadres for the horses. It was then that it was agreed to demolish the old Romanesque church in order to build the current structure, which was inaugurated on 28 November 1558, with Fr. Gaspar Desfonts celebrating the mass.

In 1418, Granollers paid 10,000 florins to King Alfonso IV of Catalonia and V of Aragon to obtain the dismemberment of the county of La Roca and to declare itself independent. From then on, and with the decline of the Torrelles, Granollers prospered while La Roca became a small town where the inhabitants barely subsisted.

During the war against Joan II (John II, 1462-1472), the castle was besieged and taken by Government forces.

At the beginning of January 1463, the Count of La Roca received a communiqué from the Government recommending that the inhabitants barricade the castle, because the forces of Joana Enríquez (Juana Enríquez) and the Count of Foix, captained by Pere de Bell-lloc and Bernat de Guimerà, had taken the castle of Montcada and were heading towards La Roca. Despite the resistance, the castle had to surrender to the enemy forces on 19 April, due to the lack of ammunition, food and water. The King’s army seized the castle and imprisoned Martí Benet de Torrelles, Lord of La Roca.

In 1465, it was rebuilt by the Torrelles, with the help of the people and the Government, until they went to ruin and left La Roca in 1480, giving rise to a period of theft and destruction. From 1664, it became the property of the Santa María del Mar Community of Presbyters.

In the early 18th century it passed from the Torrelles to the Sentmenat. Pere de Torrelles-Sentmenat, a knight of Sant Joan and Governor of Catalonia, was the last of the family to own the castle.

The confiscations of the liberal Minister Mendizábal ordered the expropriation of all ecclesiastical assets in 1836.

In 1880, Joaquim Alomar i Font acquired the castle, the Mas Soler Farm, lands and forests. This property is documented in the tenth century, as the Castle of La Roca. Just as Pedro Català i Roca believes that Maurins Castle or “Morino” castle corresponds to Mas Soler, for Francesc Carreras Candi it is simply the nickname of La Roca Castle. From 1880, both properties passed to Joaquim Alomar, until the castle estate was broken up in November 1949. Antonio Rivière then bought the castle in 1952 to restore it and turn it into his private stately residence.


Another castle in the district, Bell-lloc castle, dates back to the 10th century. The current Chapel of Sant Pau was then the old keep, with a circular floor plan, 7 metres in diameter and 6 meters high. In 1073, when it was documented, the Lord was Geribert Guitard, who gave it to the monastery of Sant Pau del Camp in Barcelona in 1117, being recovered again by the Bell-lloc family in 1314. With the War of the Remences (1460), it was destroyed until the count rebuilt the keep in 1704 and turned it into the Chapel of Sant Pau. The construction again suffered the devastating consequences of the French War. In 1941, the chapel was restored again, and until 1944 it remained in the hands of the family for a further 20 years.


The Castle or “Quadra de Vilalba” was also fortified and feudalised during the 10th century, although its origin goes back some time, since remains from the Bronze, Iberian and Roman Ages have all been identified. From the 10th century, when it was documented for the first time, until the end of the 15th century, when it passed to the Monastery of Montserrat, it was the seat of the Lords of Vilalba. With the confiscation of 1836, it was acquired by a private individual who turned it into the present manor house, inside of which the remnants of the tower with arrow slits are preserved.


At the Tower of Sant Miquel, located along the Mataró – Granollers highway, we find the remnants of the walls of a defensive or control tower, where it is believed that the neck of the Parpers Roman Road passed by. Inside the enclosure there is an underground chamber with walls of medieval appearance. This structure is documented to the castle of La Roca del Vallès, from the monograph of Francesch Carreras i Candi, of 1895.

The great ecclesiastical domains are configured from the 10th century, a time of many endowments and consecrations.


The Church of Sant Sadurní brings the ancient core of La Roca together. It was consecrated in 932 by Teodoric, bishop of Barcelona, ​​at the request of Emma, ​​abbess of Sant Joan de les Abadesses. Renovated and enlarged between 1557 and 1558 by the master builder Bartomeu Roig, it highlights the valuable Late Renaissance altarpiece of the main altar, dedicated to Sant Sadurní, the work of the sculptor Antoni Comes, in the years 1615-1616, and the painter Antoni Rovira, in the years 1626 to 1630. Some of the corbels, from 1558, are of great historic value.

The Church of Sant Sadurní is a building with a single nave, with a polygonal apse and two side chapels at each side (two originals and two added in the 17th century). The façade dates back to the late Gothic period (16th century) and the buttresses, topped with gargoyles, flank the nave and the apse on the outside. Among the preserved artistic treasures, the altarpiece of the Holy Christ stands out, with a background of Calvary painted on a panel (18th century) and a Renaissance holy water font from 1568.

The altarpiece bears the date 1630 on the image of Sant Sadurní, which corresponds to the year in which the gilding and painting was finished. On 23 July 1936, all the images of the altarpiece were destroyed and burned; only the high reliefs and stone plinth were left. In the summer of 1938, the wooden part of the altarpiece (except the doors of St. Pere i St. Pau on the plinth) was requisitioned and transferred to the Granollers Museum. The pieces were returned in 1939, but in 1992, Belén Cobo identified two high reliefs that had remained in the Museum labelled of unknown origin. Since 2010, these high reliefs have once again been exhibited in their original place. The current installation of the remains of the altarpiece dates back to 1967. In 2011, a restoration of the altarpiece was performed.