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Illumination of signal towers

Every June 23 at 22 p.m., the network of Towers and Castles of the Kingdom of Majorca lights up around Canigó in Haut Vallespir, Roussillon Conflent and Conflent Canigó under the name of TORREFOCS (tower of lights).

Each year, the network of signal towers lights up. It was also one of the only events that lasted during the Covid19 pandemic because there was no need to gather at one point.

In 70 years, Anny de Pous, born in Palalda in 1908 and died in Prades in 1991, was an archaeologist and historian who devoted her life to the study of signal towers. It carries out visibility tests from Tours to Tours.
Of 1995 1997 to The Rempart association is organizing the first signal tower event which will last 3 years.
Since 2014 Each year the Haut Vallespir organizes the illumination of the signal towers on June 23rd.
In 2016, during a meeting of the College of Signal Towers in Serralongue, an event of greater magnitude is drawn.
In 2017, The Rempart association meets with the College of Signal Towers and gives the reports of its event and explains the difficulties that the association has encountered. Multiple tests are then organized day and night between the different towers of the Pyrénées Orientales. The event is publicized in the program Échappées Belles.
In 2018, During a Grand Site Occitanie meeting, the event is brought forward.
In 2019, A file is presented to the Department, but the pandemic will block the rest.
In 2020 and 2021, despite the pandemic, the primitive event persists, because it does not require regrouping at a point and is visible from afar.In 2022, the event takes on an inter-Community of Municipalities dimension with Haut Vallespir, Rousillon Conflent and Conflent Canigó under the banner of Destination Canigó País Català and coordinated by the Syndicat Mixte Canigó Grand Site.

The flame descends from the Canigó to ignite the fires of Saint John in the villages and illuminate the signal towers. It is a message of hope, peace and brotherhood transmitted by this signal and relayed from village to village.

Other the symbolic aspect, there is the dimension of protection and animation of the inheritance. Indeed, most of the players are associations and municipalities working in the general interest for the safeguarding and restoration of Catalan heritage.

Renovate to innovate

The Signal Towers college has already explored the infinite potential for exploitation that a renovated Tower carries within it, with a strong induction of attractiveness and notoriety as long as the development plans for activities for tourist purposes/ economic are approached in a spirit of globality and combined multi-disciplinarity.

The awakening of the towers or the summer towers: this network of 60 towers presents extremely rare potential for setting up an annually recurring event which marks, for example, the start of the summer season.
However, the putting into orbit of the network will be spread over 3 or 4 years, with a minimum progression as follows:
N = the 5 partner towers of Haut-Vallespir Sud Canigó, – N+1: 10 more towers. That is 15 towers in total (including, among others, the towers of the Côte Vermeille which are members of the Rencontres and those which will become so, the Conflent, for example, which can join this 2nd operational plan),

N+2: 25 turns,
N+3: 40 laps.
N+4: 60 laps

The challenge : position the event as a kick-off to the high tourist season in PO (in complementarity with the major pre-existing festive events), on the basis of modalities and configurations to be determined collectively with the public and private partners concerned.
To do this, it is essential to assume a hyper-demanding and attractive level of quality and to offer the scenographic and narrative design to competent and famous personalities (a first list is open) and technical support to partners confirmed events.
The theme of this emblematic event: the magic of the 12th and 13th centuries opens “live” to our senses and our imaginations… The towers light up and communicate with each other with, at their foot, numerous traveling audiences from sea to sea. mountain for a full summer eve engaged.
The animation of the “network”: synchronized firing of the towers by, at the same time, long-range projectors with fresnel lens (marine lighthouse type, visible from afar and in mixed weather) + firing via flame machines events. With on each site where the configuration of the land allows it, multiple high quality animations/activities offered in co-production with the municipalities and socio-professionals concerned: scripted evocations in costumes proposed by the invited regional theater troupes or any other associations highlighting implementing family and inter-generational presentation modes (fun activities for children and adolescents, highly valued special disabled access), concerts of various styles related to evocation (classical, folkloric repertoires, but also creations, etc.), mini -local markets (reserved for local producers), and, of course, sale of eco-intelligent derivative products, etc.

Cross-border multi- and transmedia support : regional, national and associative newspapers, radios and TV, then gradually international, will be mobilized via appropriate advertising campaigns and associated with the coverage of the event in the form of “live” co-productions and reports….

Audio accompaniment (3 original languages: French, Catalan, English) via FM band rentals for narration of the event.

Visual support : multi-camera filming with 4K multi-drones with live broadcast at the Palace of the Kings of Majorca and Castelnou, an integral part of the “network”, in close collaboration with the Departmental Council, even the “Summer 66” event
Potential for attractiveness and notoriety: high, with proven national and transnational impact
Overall forecast estimate for this event:
Assessments and related negotiations are ongoing, as explained above. A first estimate should be ready within a few weeks which sets out very precisely the state of needs, costs and targeted profitability.

With the help of three local radio stations (for a trilingual show in French, English and Catalan), spectators will be able to position themselves according to the turns and enjoy the show for free using a simple radio or mobile phone.
An off-track will explain the history of the towers of the Kingdom of Besalú, Mallorca and the conflict with the Kingdom of Aragon. Then the triggering of a signal will be simulated and carried by a musical tape. The towers will be illuminated in a cascade with columns of flames and smoke bombs for a “finale” ideally located at the Palace of the Kings of Majorca.

TORREFOCS 2022



The towers and castles that participated in the event this year 2022: Mir Tower (Prats-de-Mollo), Cabrenç Tower (Serralongue, Lamanère), Mollet Castle (Montferrer), Cortsaví Tower, Batera Tower (Corsavy, Saint Marsal), La Bastide Castle, Belpuig Castle, Belesta Castle, Rodes Castle, Eus Bell Tower, Castell d'Arrià (Ria-Sirach), Prats Balaguer Tower and Castle (Fontpédrouse), Corts Tower (Taurinya), Goa Tower (Sahorre, Casteil).

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