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Most famous former guest: Orson Welles. Parador de Cardona is a towering, 9th-century-era, hilltop fortress near Barcelona now converted into a beautifully atmospheric, modern luxury hotel. It is seen as the most important medieval fortress in Catalonia and one of the most important in Spain, the strategic setting allowing for jaw-dropping views and the castle itself still retaining a strong historical ambience. THE ACCOMMODATION: They have a choice of rooms: doubles, twins and triples, and some large double suites. The rooms are spacious, clean, comfortable, and generally furnished in a modern, minimalist style. The building as a whole is incredibly impressive and steeped in Catalan history, and though the rooms are of a high standard and have some historical details here and there, they generally lack the medieval ambience of much of the rest of the castle. A wander around the grounds of Parador de Cardona as the sun sets is the best way to soak up some of that lovely ambience, you can admire its sturdy ancient walls and towers, the romanesque Church of Sant Vicenç de Cardona, and the 11th century Torre de la Minyona for example with the views from the top of the Minyona Tower being READ MORE