The story of the Mackintoshs' discovery of the local culture and heritage of different parts of the Pyrénées Orientales is told in three episodes at three separate Interpretation Centres in the Roussilon area.

Episode 1:

'The Arrival in France and the life before'

Episode 2:
Port Vendres

'Life on the Côte Vermeille'

Episode 3: Villefranche de Conflent

'Life in the Hinterland'

Episode 1: Palalda'The Arrival in France and the life before'

The magnificent reredos in the church trace the life of St Martin.

"Carved and gilded wood - wood that is not carved but cut showing every mark of the tool, not gilded but clothed in gold leaf (thick) – the first brought from America to Spain. Very rococo but very beautiful."

At Amélie-les-Bains-Palalda, the Mackintosh Interpretation Centre is part of the museum complex in the château of Palalda. 

A combination of architectural drawings, paintings, models, stained glass, ironwork, textiles, videos and period photographs, tells the story of the Mackintosh's life and career before coming to France and of their first months in Roussillon.

The Palalda museum incorporates the old church of Saint Martin. Consecrated in 933 it was the castle chapel.

Palalda opening times

Closed mid December to mid February and on Sundays.

Rest of the year open daily but times variable according to the season.

Check with the Office du Tourisme in Amélie les Bains on 04 68 39 01 98
or the Museum 04 68 39 34 90


More information at

Episode 2: Port Vendres – 'Life on the Côte Vermeille'

More information at
Cote Vermeille

The exhibition in Port Vendres tells of the Mackintoshes on the coast – their first summer in Collioure and the winters of 1925 and 1926 in Port Vendres.

The centre is in the garden of the Dôme and includes archival videos from the 1920's, supplemented by still photographs from the period and a display of reproductions of Mackintosh watercolours.


Port Vendres opening times

Entry 2€

15th Feb - 15th April : Fridays from 15h to 17h
16th April - 31 May : Tuesdays and Fridays from 15h to 17h
June, July, Aug, Sept: Tues, Weds and Fri from 16h to 18h 1st
Oct to 15th Nov : Fridays from 15h to 17h
16th Nov - 14th Feb : Closed

Episode 3: Villefranche de Conflent 'Life in the Hinterland'

The third and final centre is in the UNESCO world heritage site at Fort Liberia. at Villefranche de Conflent. Housed in the NCO's barracks, this is the biggest of the three exhibitions.

Room 1 presents a 9 minute film on Mackintosh before his arrival in France. A French and English language version run alternately.

Room 2 focuses on Mackintosh as a designer and architect with examples of furniture, textiles, glass, ironwork and some of Mackintosh's unbuilt designs.

Room 3 tells of the winter of 1924 spent at Ille-sur-Tet and of the Mackintosh's subsequent discovery of the Upper Têt valley and the area around Mont Louis in the summers of 1925, 1926 and 1927.

The final section explores some of the influences on Mackintosh and some of Mackintosh's influences on others.

Fort Liberia opening times:

Low Season:
Open by prior arrangement.
Telephone: Joel Mené - 06 11 30 57 01

There is a regular minibus landrover shuttle from Villefranche up to the Fort departing from the square just inside la Porte de France (southern end of the town) or you can walk up the road or go through the underground tunnel with the longest staircase in Europe (1000 steps).


Entry to Fort and interpretation centre

  • with minibus shuttle € 7
  • without minibus shuttle €10


More information about Fort Liberia at