Any effort to try to understand the nature and origin of the cultural properties that are part of the Catalan military monumental heritage wouldn’t make sense if you didn’t know the technological and geopolitical process that brought about its birth. In order to achieve this purpose the Foundation relies on its own physical publications that develop the topic at length and in depth. That’s why digitally here, where clarity and conciseness are necessary, we will only develop a short summary of the history of the modern and contemporary fortifications.
But before we begin we would like to clear up a common confusion related to a generic name which most of the military monuments are known by. If we use the word “castle” for a fortification built between the 16th century and the WWII it’s incorrect; fortress and castle cannot be used as synonyms. Castles were typically built with the technologies of the Middle Ages and used for the strategic and political interests of feudal society. On the contrary, bastion fortifications, named fortresses, together with other systems that followed until more recent times were built with the technologies of the Modern and Contemporary periods. They served the political and strategic interests of modern estates, born in the 15th century.
Where does this confusion come from? There are different possible answers: respect for tradition; common use by the military institution; the similarity of uses despite the technological change; the repeated occupation of medieval structures, etc. Whatever it was, it became common to use castle for fortifications designed specifically for the modern and contemporary artillery.