Selva is the land of castles. Many, dating from the 9th and 10thcenturies, can be traced back to the fortified sites built to watch over and defend the country after the Moors were conquered. Others, built from the 11th century, are typical feudal castles. In addition to watching over and defending the territory they served as the administrative centres of the territory, collecting taxes and meting out justice; that is, the feudal concept of justice. Most of the castles in Selva belonged to the powerful Viscounts of Cabrera, one of the most important feudal families in mediaeval Catalonia, although feudal lands in Selva were also controlled by other lords, such as the Vilademany, Gurb-Sarriera, Montcada and Cruïlles families, the Bishop of Girona and the Abbot of Ripoll.
The most noteworthy feature of the castles in Selva is their variety of type and size: from one of the biggest castles in Catalonia (Montsoriu Castle) to a modest, well-preserved fortification such as Farners Castle; from a modern fortress such as Hostalric, designed to withstand sieges with artillery, to the fortified houses-castles of Brunyola or Vilobí. Today, some are used as private residences or public facilities; others, such as Torcafelló, Sant Iscle or Sant Joan, have been rescued by archaeological projects with a view to showcasing their heritage. They are all located in superb settings, offering commanding views of the county and surrounding area. Moreover, the attraction and interest of this route is further increased by the inclusion of two superb walled towns: Tossa and Hostalric.