Peratallada castle has always had a reputation for being impregnable. The spongy land around it, prone to flooding, has acted as a natural defence for the fortress, as enemies, not knowing the terrain, would often end up bogged down in some marsh. The castle itself, on the other hand, was built on rock so hard that the men who excavated into it to make the foundations of the building tell that the blows of their picks would shower sparks that burnt their skin.
The legend has it that the castle had many underground passages that led out into a nearby wood, so that its inhabitants could escape if siege was laid to the castle.
One day a local peasant who was going through the wood came across a slab with a great ring set into it. He pulled on the ring and, after a great effort, managed to raise the slab. He then went down into the passageways, where he discovered a great shipment of broad beans stored inside. As those were years of misfortune and hunger, the peasant took as many as he could carry, but as he was filling his pockets the castle guards discovered him. The man fled as fast as he could and emerged from the hole, and then ran as fast as his legs would carry him, gradually losing all his hoard of beans along the way. When he arrived home, sad at having lost the beans, he took off his clothes and as he did so heard something fall tinkling to the ground. When he bent down to see what it was, he saw that it was a gold broad bean. Excited, the man returned to the wood to find the entrance to the passage, but was unable to find it.
The peasant searched and searched, but was never again able to find the slab with the ring that concealed that great secret.
Taken from La màgia del Baix Empordà,
by Montserrat Vayreda.