In 1079, Castelló d'Empúries became the capital of the Empúries county due to the previous capital, Sant Martí d'Empúries, being too easily sacked by pirates. 1325-1341 saw a period of large expansion of this capital town, which ultimately ceased being the capital once the county joined the Crown of Aragon and Catalonia in 1385.
The old town is somewhat dwarfed by the neighboring urbanisation of Empuriabrava, on the coastline of the Costa Brava.
Old map of the Castelló d'Empúries lake. This coastal lake no longer exists.