Berguedà, Central Counties, Catalonia, Spain

El Berguedà is a region of Catalonia. It has a total area of 1,184.89 km² and a population of 39,178 inhabitants (2016). It is the northernmost of the counties in the province of Barcelona (with the exception of the municipality of Gósol, attached to that of Lleida). It is located in the interior of Catalonia and participates in both the elevated reliefs of the Pre-Pyrenees and the Pyrenees and the flat reliefs of the north of the Central Depression.

In Berguedà region there are great resources: marked natural routes, paths and trails, spaces for water sports, industrial heritage of textiles, coal or cement, Romanesque hermitages, top quality cuisine, mushrooms, fairs and markets, and a long list of other events, spaces and places that you must get to know in depth to get an idea of what Berguedà is like.

The northern half of Berguedà, known as Alt Berguedà (“Upper Berguedà”), consists of the upper Llobregat Valley and the mountainous areas surrounding it. Its northern border is a veritable mountain barrier: Berguedà is separated from Cerdanya by a chain of 2,000-meter peaks. These include the mountain ranges of Cadí, Moixeró, Puig d’Alp and Puigllançada. In this area the population is centered mainly in the Llobregat Valley and the valleys of the rivers Bagà, Bastareny and Saldes. To the east are the mountain ranges of Catllaràs and Rasos de Tubau, to the west the high ranges of Pedraforca, Verd, Ensija and Rasos de Peguera.

The more populous Baix Berguedà (“Lower Berguedà”) is the southern part of the comarca. It lies along the foothills of the Pyrenees, transitioning into the plains of the Catalan Central Depression. In addition to towns of medieval origin such as Gironella, Casserres, or Puig-reig, it includes a large number of industrial colonies built along the Llobregat river after the Industrial Revolution.

Currently, industrial activity is located mainly in between Berga and Puig-reig. The opening of the Cadí Tunnel and the general improvement of the roads in recent (as of 2004) years may improve the economic potential of the Llobregat Valley and of Berguedà in general. Agriculture, cattle ranching and forestry have proven generally complementary to one another and compatible with tourism. The growth in tourism has provided some jobs and has been a key factor in reducing emigration from Alt Berguedà. Many farmhouses have been converted (in whole or in part) to tourism-related uses.

Some indications suggest the settlement of the Berguedà, in the Lower Paleolithic. They are the piece found on one of the terraces of the Llobregat, near Gironella, which corresponds to a village of hunters and gatherers of the culture of the worked pebbles. A site at the source of the Ros in Berga, discovered in 1988, provided data from the Middle and Upper Paleolithic.

From the Neolithic, the human presence is more documented with pit tombs. In these tombs, most of the human remains belong to individuals of the graceful Mediterranean race (dolichocephalic and short). They are individual tombs, in the place of the Canal dels Avellaners and in the Cista de Sant Ignasi de Sorba; and collective tombs in the Coll de l’Oreller and the Tomba del Moro, among others. At the end of the Neolithic, the culture called Veraz, has a great development; in Berguedà there are witnesses in Can Maurí, in Roca Roja and in Canal dels Avellaners.

Ancient age
The Roman historian Titus Livy speaks of the Iberian tribe of the Bergists, subdued first by Hannibal (218 BC) and later by Cato (195 BC).

Middle age
Under the Saracen occupation, Berguedà became a border territory until it became dependent on the County of Cerdanya, from which it separated to become, briefly, the County of Berga at the beginning of the 11th century. In this context it is necessary to place the greatest literary figure of these lands: the troubadour Guillem de Berguedà.

Modern age
During the following centuries, Berguedà became acquainted with the plague epidemics of the 14th and 15th centuries, the banditry of the 16th century, and the war of the reapers in the 17th century.

From the eighteenth century, after the War of the Spanish Succession, there was a period of economic and demographic growth with the development of the textile industry, to which the Berguedà contributed its own spinning machine, the Berguedana or maixerina.

During the Seven Years’ War (1833-1840), Berga was an important center of the Carlist insurrection; being the seat of the Carlist Junta of Catalonia headed by the Count of Spain, famous for his arbitrariness and cruelty, and assassinated in circumstances surrounded by a legendary halo. The Berguedà continued to be a prominent Carlist enclave in later Carlist wars.

Contemporary age
As notable events of the twentieth century, we must mention the anarchist revolt of Fígols, in 1932, which spread to other towns in the region. Anarchist groups also starred in collectivizations and violent episodes during the civil war. After the war, the situation of the region made it an ideal place for smuggling activities and also for the actions of the maquis. Mining and textiles became the key to economic activity again, until the economic crises of the 1970s led to their collapse, with the consequent economic and demographic regression.

In 1976 the construction of the La Baells reservoir was completed after being started in 1970, by order of the Spanish government and the Hydrographic Confederation of the Eastern Pyrenees following the request made in 1947 by the users of the Llobregat river. This construction followed the interests of the water supply for Barcelona and its metropolitan surroundings, regulating the flow of the river to guarantee irrigation and industrial uses of the people who live below. The reservoir meant that the villages of Miralles, La Baells and Sant Salvador, all three in the municipality of Cercs, were sunk.

In 2002, the people of Berguedà claimed their own interests in the reservoir, which led to the celebration of the River Festival that year, which was later called the La Baells Festival. The Catalan Water Agency is reforming the festival so that it will last for a weekend, from mid-June to mid-September.

Currently, the Berguedà seeks to develop through the diversification of activities and trying to enhance its landscape as a tourist attraction.

The main economic activities of Berguedà have been industry and mining, which have suffered severe crises in recent years. Currently, industrial activity is preferably located between Berga and Puig-reig. The strengthening of the Llobregat axis with the opening of the Túnel del Cadí and the general improvement of the roads that access it have also improved their prospects for economic activity. Agriculture, livestock and forestry are complementary activities. Tourism is a factor in population retention in the Alt Berguedà. Many farmhouses are being converted into rural tourism residences and restaurants have been opened. The La Baells reservoir is a tourist attraction with sporting events taking place during the summer.

Main sights
Berguedà is well known for Pedraforca Mountain (traditionally considered a meeting place for witches’ covens), for its pastoral and mountain scenery, and for its many Romanesque churches. Another oft-visited sight is the Mountain of Queralt (home to a sanctuary housing the Comarca’s patroness, Our Lady of Queralt), which is served by many hiking trails and offers views of much of Berguedà and the surrounding comarques. The comarca also boasts many medieval bridges and has preserved many old town centers, most notably those of Berga and Bagà.

Historical heritage

Romanesque rural
The Romanesque is the most widespread architectural and pictorial movement in Catalonia and in Berguedà, a fairly homogeneous current that developed in present-day western Europe from the 11th century until the late 13th. Small churches built by our craft ancestors in the most inhospitable places; churches that laid the foundations for today’s churches; an interesting monastery and churches perfectly restored and equipped to visit. You will surely find in each of your walks some memories of this splendid time when faith made the most unimaginable. A legacy that the Berguedà has managed to preserve.

There are currently eleven of the Pre-Romanesque and Romanesque churches in Berguedà, of which five (Sant Vicenç de Obiols, Sant Sadurní de Rotgers, Sant Vicenç de Rus, Sant Quirze de Pedret and the Monastery of Sant Llorenç) are open to the public. Discover some of the most important works of this current in Catalonia. Santa Maria d’Avià, Santa Maria de Lillet, Sant Martí de Puig-Reig, Sant Andreu de Sagàs and the church of Sant Jaume de Frontanyà can be visited by asking for the key in each of the places indicated by each church. In addition, Civitas Cultura organizes cultural activities in the Monastery of Sant Llorenç every weekend from spring to autumn and sporadic activities in the other four spaces that can be visited.

The Medieval Village of Bagà
As well as its natural surroundings, the small town of Bagà has interesting medieval architecture, and walking around its Historic Centre will make you relive times past. This old quarter, built under the Palace of Pinós, holds most of the appeal of the town. It is protected by the old walls, and it is the only town that preserves its medieval urban layout intact, as designed and built by Galceran de Pinós, around the 13th century. In July, Bagà holds a medieval festivity that will transport you even more to the middle ages.

In the different spaces in this old quarter, one of the most significant is, undoubtedly, the Arcaded Square or Galceran de Pinós Square, with ancient buildings and where you can feel a deep calm which will allow you to imagine yourself as a protagonist of episodes from centuries past. In this respect, we can also highlight the Palace of Pinós, the noble centre of the village, located high up and holding the Medieval and Cathar Centre as well as the Tourist Office.

The parish church of Sant Esteve, which opened on August 3rd 1339 so the peasants could have a place to go to mass, but it was not finished until a century later, being a clear example of the transition from Romanesque to Gothic style. The temple, along with the Tower of La Portella, are another two attractions in Bagà. This watchtower is, in fact, one of the symbols of the medieval village, as it is the only remaining part of the old wall that surrounded it. Located at the end of the Arcaded Square, it closes the historic quarter of the village and exiting through its arch; you can begin a walk to other emblematic places in Bagà: the Romanesque bridge and the river Bastareny. This medieval bridge has two arches and is known as the bridge of the town.

Religious heritage

Sanctuary of Paller
The Paller Sanctuary is a historic building in the municipality of Bagà that was built between 1747 and 1748. The old sanctuary was in the Paller de Dalt farmhouse, where there are still remains of the church, already mentioned in the year 1200 and had many devotees. It depended on the monastery of Bagà and the original church was still rebuilt in 1687. In 1747 construction of the current sanctuary was started according to the plan of Francesc Morató in the area of Paller de Baix, two kilometers from the town of Bagà, in a cozy, quiet and serene beauty, near of the so-called Fountain of the Bathers (hence it is also known as Santa Maria dels Banyadors), where it was customary for the devotees to bathe and to bring water considered miraculous.

Sanctuary of Queralt
Perched on a narrow balance between nature and architecture, the sanctuary of Queralt Virgin dominates the city and the region. Known as balcony of Catalonia, the place a blending of historical motivations, religion and landscape, dominates the view extension mountainous north and the plains through which the Llobregat to the south.

Church of Our Lady of the Angels
Church with three naves and chapels in the aisles, covered with a barrel vault and wide transept. The main facade, showing signs of the ripped off of the arc in the first chapel from the XIV century, next to the access door, quite simply, where there is a niche that may have an image, now lost. At the same right side we also see a square section bell tower topped with balustrade railing, a later work. There are few small openings. The church keep a baroque altar of Our Lady of the Angels, completed in 1704.

This altarpiece is a jewel built around 1704 by the saga of Sigismond Pujol, builders of most of the Baroques altarpieces of central Catalonia. The work responds to the type of baroque altarpiece of the eighteenth century, three streets, with a predominance of the central one, well-defined and heighted. Pairs of spiral columns and borders filled with garlands, flowers and fruits separate the central part and divide the altar in compartments. It’s a synthesis of the work of sculptors, carpenters, goldsmiths, painters, etc. The altarpiece is crowned by a figure of God and, placed in different locations you can’t identify the 12 apostles, but 13 because it also appears Paul.

Centuries ago, the central site now occupied by Saint Bartholomew, patron of Casserres, was occupied by San Isidro. The western church fathers also have their space, St. Gregory the Great and St. Augustine. The altarpiece is dedicated to Our Lady of the Angels, which occupies the center of the altar, over the tabernacle. The richness of details is more evident in the four Marian scenes: the Nativity, Epiphany, Pentecost and the Coronation.

Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes
The sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes was the first to be built in Spain and is located in La Nou de Berguedà. It was a holy priest, Mn. Antoni Comellas, born in La Nou and great devotee of Our Lady of Lourdes who wanted to build the sanctuary. Start with a small chapel in 1878 to put an image of the Virgin of Lourdes. But due the avalanche of visitors received, in 1880 they laid the first stone of the present sanctuary, neoclassical style, which was opened in 1885. In a few years, paid entirely by devotees, they built the high altar and eight side altars (two of them destroyed during the Spanish Civil war) in Gothic style. By 1915 was completely finished.

Sanctuary of Falgars
The Sanctuary of the Virgin of Falgars is located in the mountains of the same name at 1288 meters. The horizon is immense and spectacular: to wind, the great mountain range formed by Cadi and Moixeró; east, Montgrony, Puigmal and Rasos de Tubau; to the south, forests of Catllaràs and west, Pedraforca, Rasos de Peguera and Ensija. It can be reached by paved road and far from La Pobla de Lillet seven kilometers.

Sanctuary of the Quar
The church of Santa Maria de La Quar, perhaps Visigoth origin, is first mentioned in 900, when it was consecrated. In 1069 he was transferred, along with the parish to the Monastery of La Portella. In the course of time has been changed, and there are few preserved remains of the Romanesque period. Inside, is venerated a Romanesque sculpture of the Virgin of La Quar. To the east, at the foot of the sanctuary, there is a small cave where the image was found. The sanctuary had rectory and a fountain.. The sanctuary offers a landscape that ranges from Montseny and Collsacabra to the high peaks of Berguedà.

Puig-Reig Castle
Founded in Barcelona, probably at the end of the 9th century, the castle of Puig-Reig was chosen by the viscount and troubadour Guillem de Berguedà to locate it. In his will, in 1196, he left much of his patrimony to the Temple, and made Puig-Reig one of the few orders in old Catalonia. A visit to the Romanesque church of Sant Martí and the castle of Puig-Reig allows you to see how important this place was during the Middle Ages.

Sanctuary of the Guard
It is a building structure with a single nave, with the presbytery facing east. The facade presents a simple ornamentation gate arch, a simple circular rosette. The graceful bell tower stands in the north side, is a square tower becoming octagonal, with four openings arch topped by a balustrade. In the middle of the transept rises a small square dome. The Guardia Sanctuary construction raised on previous Romanesque structure, they are still among the foundation and the low of the current church arcades and capitals. The carved image of Our Lady of La Guardia is Gothic, from fourteenth century.

Santa Maria de Serrateix
The monastery of Santa Maria de Serrateix was founded in the X century, enjoying the protection of the counts of Cerdanya and Berguedà Sires. Accumulation of significant assets and their income allowed him to make significant architectural works from its founding until the nineteenth century. The works of the church of the monastery began in the late XI century, being consecrated in 1126. It is a church of Latin cross, a single nave covered with pointed vault reinforced with arches and crown on the east by a semicircular apse decorated, on the outside, with blind arches and Lombard bands. Under the cruise there is a crypt.

In the eighteenth century were carried out major refurbishment: the semicircular apses which flanked the main apse were replaced by the current square chapels; the gateway was remodeled; the nave was plastered and all the church was decorated with neoclassical elements, but the burning of the church during the civil war led to the destruction of its interior. The bell tower at west is a solid tower of the XIVth century. From this century are also the abbot’s palace, and the courtyard. The Gothic cloister was replaced in the late eighteenth century to the present style, somewhere between baroque and neoclassical. The set was declared Place of Cultural Interest in 1982.

Industrial heritage

Llobregat textile colonies
A journey through the Catalan industrial origins. The main peculiarity of the lands of the Baix Berguedà, which it its own identity, is the set of textile colonies – which began to be built during the second half of the 19th century – that we can find near the Llobregat river. A unique concentration of industrial colonies – with common elements and unique elements that make them unmatched – where thousands of people have lived and worked, and which currently makes up a heritage which reminds one of the essential chapters of the industrialization process in Catalonia. In each of the colonies there were two very different spaces.

The first was the industrial space, where there were the factory and the elements (the dam, the channel and the turbine) that allowed to transform the river water into energy that made the machinery move. Next to the factory, or farther, lived the working families of the colony. In this space, in addition to the workers’ housing, the owners also built all kinds of services and equipment for the workers to use: bread oven, butcher shop, fish shop, shop, laundry room, school, residence for working girls., church, cafe, theater, sports area, etc. Presiding over the colony as a whole, the master’s tower stood out, often at a high point.

Fumanya paleontological complex
The richness of Berguedà allows us to see thousands of dinosaur footprints over 65 million years old in just a few minutes, living inside the everyday life of a coal mine. In 1985, as a result of an open-cast mining operation, the Fumanya paleontological complex was discovered, the largest European site with traces of Upper Cretaceous sauropods and one of the largest in the world. At an altitude of over 1,400 meters is the Fumanya Dinosaur Interpretation Center, where you can observe the footprints and learn what life was like millions of years ago.

This center is located inside the old coal mines in the Fumanya cellar, which closed in 1991. Mining has marked the lives of most villages in Alt Berguedà during the 20th century. The economic depression that meant the end of mining throughout the region has been overcome by the conversion of this and other spaces. The ancient mines have been museumized so that they do not lose their memory, so that the visitor can get to know the life of the miners and explore colonies that, with a unique model, drew an essential period in Berguedà. Even now everyone remembers one episode or another of the mine. Like the rebellion of 1932 when, in the middle of the Republic, in Fígols, libertarian communism was proclaimed or the explosion of a greyhound in the Consolation mine where 30 miners died, all neighbors of the area.

Artigas Gardens
Jardins Artigas is a garden designed by Antoni Gaudí in 1903, it shows us how architecture mixes with the elements of nature in perfect harmony. A beautiful corner of the region where fountains, benches, railings and bridges crossed by the Llobregat river and surrounded by lush vegetation will accompany you as you stroll. The history of the gardens is linked to the first Portland cement factory known as Asland, created in the early 20th century by Eusebi Güell Bacigalupi, in Clot del Moro of Castellar de N’hug, where nowadays there is the Cement Museum. Mr. Güell commissioned the architect Antoni Gaudí, the projection of the Xalet del Catllaràs as a dwelling for the workers and engineers of the mines.

During his stay in Lillet Valley Gaudí stayed at the Mr. Artigas house, owner of one of the most prosperous factories at that time. In gratitude for his hospitality, Gaudí gave Artigas family the design of a garden on a plot that they had right in front of the house and textile factory. The Gardens and the Cement Museum are currently connected by the Cement Train that runs through the Lillet Valley, which takes about 20 minutes, and is made by a diesel locomotive with a maximum of 4 cars that can seat 25 passengers each.

The Dam
Baells reservoir was opened in 1976. Its purpose is to regulate the river Llobregat water and store it in order to guarantee domestic, industrial and irrigated land uses water supplies for the metropolitan area of Barcelona. It was built taking advantage of the gorge that gives its name and collecting the waters of the Llobregat river and the Vilada stream. The double-curved dam is designed to contain 115 Hm3 of water and to foresee, with the three levels of drainage (lower, medium and upper), the evacuation of large amounts of water.

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A human team is constantly in charge of guaranteeing the security and good functioning of this infrastructure that, over the years, incorporates technical systems of automatic control. You can now take a guided tour to learn about the Dam and learn about the importance of reservoirs in the regulation of water cycle in Catalonia and the use made of it for the production of electricity.

Cultural spaces

Medieval Center and the Catarans
Follow the steps of good men or Cathars. To this the Centre for Medieval and Cathar from Baga invite us. From the old palace of Pinós they offer us a historical route through the life of some of the characters that were part of this religion, who found, between the tenth and fourteenth centuries, a place of refuge in Berguedà. Also, we can know better one of the most famous legends of the area, the legend of the rescue of the hundred maidens.

The whole visit lasts about an hour and a half. Each room has a locution (in languages) and there is also an audio visual. Outside there are panels that complement the information related to Cathars or good men. On the upper floors of the palace there are also two more visitable spaces, the exhibition Bagà 1440 which includes an interesting 5 minute video in languages and the Room of paintings (rooms decorated with murals from the 17th, 18th, 19th centuries, being an example little seen in Catalonia and of great historical importance).

Josep Vinyes Circus Collection
Collection of the circus world given by Josep Vinyes to the town hall of Berga. It consists of photographs, posters, hand programs, objects of the circus world, bibliography… Equipped with a new remodeled exhibition space.

Regional Museum of Berga
The centre presents the origins and evolution of the town. It describes its development, its growth and its period of splendour in the Early Middle Ages. In then explains how it continue to be a vibrant toen in the centuries that followed and ended up commanding the surrounding territory, particulary in the 18th century as a Borbon town at the foot of a castle and in the 19th century as the capital of Catalan Carlism.

Anisette House
As a result of a patient collection, in Castell de l’Areny you can see a private collection consisting of more than 1000 bottles of anise sealed and from around the world.

Shepherd’s Museum
One of the most beloved trades and more traditional in mountain areas, the shepherd has for some time, a landmark in Castellar de n’Hug. The Sheperd’s museum show us an overview of past, present and future of this hard work that every summer has an outstanding tribute in this town with the International sheepdog Competition. Utensils and pots of these pastors have their place in this museum located in the middle of the town with the longest tradition of tourism in the region.

Picasso Center
The Picasso Centre of Gósol is located in the middle of the village, in the main square, next to Cal Tampanada, where it is easy to imagine the genius. This small space has the most representative display of the three hundred and two works attributed to the period of the artist in Gosól. The originals are in different museums in Europe and the United States, but only here can you link the works with the landscape that surrounded -and surely inspired- Picasso in 1906.

Gósol inspired Picasso, and as a result of this renovation, works such as “Young woman of Gósol”, “Head of Young Man from Gósol” and the enigmatic “Woman with Loaves”, a work reproduced in the Square of Gósol as a statue and which inspired all sorts of legends around Picasso’s stay in the village. The Pedraforca also seduced the genius, the works “Fernande with a black mantilla” and “Fernande on a mule” show the emblematic mountain. To contemplate the works of Picasso with their real-life backgrounds is doubtlessly a unique experience.

In the Centre, you can find valuable objects such as the notebook where he constantly recorded details he saw, a collection of old photographs of Gósol or the everyday furnishings of the time. In short, an approximation to the summer of 1906. But, the arrival in the village has nothing to do with the route on the steam train to Guardiola, where there is still a stretch to do on foot following the royal road until you arrive in Gósol. And this is the route of Picasso and Fernande. And that is how they will leave, just as they had arrived, this time on foot through the Pas dels Gosolans crossing the Cadí mountain range. Even today, many inhabitants of Gósol have anecdotes as well as legends full of mysticism about the stay of the genius, who changed their lives.

Natural space

Camadoca, Wildlife Recovery Center
If you want to know and learn about nature in Berguedà we have several proposals. Camadoca is a wildlife recovery center in Santa Maria de Merlès where you can see amphibians, birds and other animals. In the Nature Interpretation Centre of Berga you will learn about geology, paleontology, vegetation and wildlife of the region through exhibitions and audiovisuals. At the Mushroom Art Museum of Montmajor you will get into the wonderful world of wild mushrooms and find more than 500 handmade clay mushrooms made by a local potter.

Centre for Information and Interpretation of Pedraforca
In the Centre for Information and Interpretation of the Pedraforca Massif, you can find all the necessary references to the magic mountain. It is in the Pedraforca square in Saldes, at the foot of the mountain, and offers tourist information of the area, a monographic exhibition on the massif and another about mining in Saldes. Additionally, it has a scale model and books and maps about the Pedraforca. Therefore, it is a space that brings together the meaning and particular characteristics of the mountain as well as the influence of coal mining, an industrial activity that has marked the history of the municipality for the last hundred years.

Mushroom Art Museum of Montmajor
The Mushroom Art Museum of Montmajor is located in the ground floor of the former town hall of Montmajor, which was vacated in 1994 with the construction of the new building. The left-hand façade was decorated with a “trompe-l’oeil” mural representing a wood and with a giant iron mushroom occupying much of the height of the building. The Mushroom Art Museum of Montmajor is a cultural facility of an eminently didactic nature, which aims to portray the world of mushrooms and their particularities to all its visitors, whether they are experts or newcomers.

Inside we have the visitors’ reception, the lavatories, a projection room for an audiovisual on the history of Montmajor and its market, and a single exhibition hall accessed by walking over two glass panels under which there is a scenography of the ground of the woods with mushrooms. The ceramic representations of mushrooms are housed in display cases decorated with moss, earth and branches, natural elements of woodlands. The interior design of the Museum is the work of Marcel Castella, the exterior mural was painted by Àngel Gispert, and the iron mushroom was constructed by Jordi Puig. For the inauguration of the Museum, the sculptor of Ca l’Escuder of El Pujol de Planés created a giant figure called “Tocat del Bolet” (a Catalan expression meaning “crazy”.)

Nature Museum
Knowing the nature that surrounds us, to make an interpretative approach is possible thanks to this space. If you do not have time to go around or are afraid of not being lucky in observing the flora and fauna of the region, here you can become a small expert. Surely you can not resist the temptation to live and see the wonders close to you… The exhibition is permanent and consists of two very different parts. The first corresponds to the Lluís Viladrich Room (in memory of the enthusiastic Berguedan naturalist who disappeared in 2006) and is dedicated to geology and palaeontology. The second room shows the great domains of the Berguedà vegetation and the vertebrate fauna that characterizes them.

Pedraforca Astronomical Center
The Pedraforca astronomical center aims to emphasize the quality of the sky in this environment. Saldes is a municipality that bears the stamp of space with a quality night sky. In particular, the Generalitat recognized the Gresolet viewpoint, very close to the Lluís Estaen refuge and Plaça de l’Espà as exceptional places to observe the sky. The astronomical center has a powerful telescope to observe the sky both day and night and regularly organizes activities to deepen its knowledge of the subject.

Rivers, ponds, waterfalls and lakes
One of the elements associated with the mountain is water. And in a context where the Natural Park of Cadí Moixeró dominates the landscape, the formation of rivers, streams and torrents is constant. In the collective imagination of the local inhabitants, the rivers Llobregat and Bastareny, and the countless corners with pools and places to bath, are the protagonists of family stories and memories with friends. Without all the watercourses of the Pedraforca, the character of the people of Berguedà would be different; landmarks would be missing, landmarks which are often the reason for lovers of the mountain to visit again. Because many of them are a constant resource when hiking, spending the day, or for kids to discover them.

Both the source of the Llobregat and the Bastareny rivers are spectacular in the rainy seasons when water is abundant thanks to the rains and the thawing of mountain snow. Along its initial course, it forms countless springs, waterfalls and hidden spaces where you can bathe, which are in a good state, thanks to the work carried out to restore them. This water arrives at the Baells reservoir from where the Llobregat river continues down through the textile colonies that long ago were an important economic engine of the region. Some of them are still in operation today and others have become museums or other useful buildings.

Berguedà cuisine is a singular, surprising and magnificent example of Catalan interior cuisine. Based on a centuries-old tradition, which was completed in the late nineteenth century, it has been able to renew itself and at the same time preserve its personality. It is solid cuisine, with direct and forceful tastes, subtle perfumes, textures and flavors already almost forgotten. The secret must be sought in the high quality of the products that are given to him from his crops, orchards and forests, in the cooking methods and in the patient skill of his chefs.

The most unique products of Berguedà are the black peas, the “blat de moro escairat” (type of local corn) and the mountain potatoes. Our farmers who work so that we can taste excellent quality beef, chicken and lamb stand out. We have some quality stamps like the one of “Ramaders de Muntanya dels Pirineus” and also ecological certifications. In terms of processed products there are cold meats and cheeses, as well as baker’s cakes and traditional bread, honey, jams and cookies and sweets.

Berguedà gastronomy has been able to take advantage of these quality products to prepare the delicious dishes of traditional cuisine that are presented in the appropriate season to visitors in the form of gastronomic days and campaigns. Products such as black peas, “blat de moro escairat” (type of local corn) and, of course, mushrooms, truffles and game meat are recognized in Berguedà.

El Berguedà is one of those places that you remember sitting around a table. The simple tasting of a moixernó, a dish of masked potatoes or a frying pan inevitably transports us to Queralt, Pedraforca or the fertile plains of the south. And surely all these places will never leave the corner of our brain where pleasant experiences are stored, all of which has a lot to do with the indisputable quality of the products: mushrooms, beef, sausages, the cheeses, the chicken, the squared corn, the black peas…

Events and festivals
Berguedà is well known for its many traditional festivals. The most famous is certainly the Patum, a week-long celebration held in Berga every summer. During the Patum, representations of different mythological beasts and historical figures take to the streets, and concerts and banquets are also organized in the town. Another well-known celebration is the Fia-faia, held every Christmas Eve in Bagà and Sant Julià de Cerdanyola. This pre-Christian tradition marks the winter solstice, with participants carrying lighted bundles of Cephalaria leucanta from a bonfire in the mountains to the west of either town (where the sun is seen to set) to the main square.

Harvest and threshing festival – Avià
Close to Santa Maria Church, every year, a journey takes place in time… The carts, the mules, the sheaves and the threshing replace the present tractors and tools. Farming continues to be one of the most important elements of the region. On the second Sunday of July, in Avià, their special homage is paid to this harvest festival. The typical peasant breakfast, the artisan fair, the Meeting of bobbin lace embroiderers, the dance or the popular cake of the reaper adorns this feast in honor of the peasants and the labors of the field.

Celebrations of the Barony of Pinos
Baga has a unique heritage from the thirteenth century. Beautifully preserved, the streets of its medieval Old Town, the Pinos square and his porches become the stage where they celebrated the Festival of the Barony of Pinós. The festival is celebrated during the third week of July with a multitude of events that take us back to medieval times. You can walk around the market with agricultural producers and the monographic fair of crafts and traditional trades.

La Patum
Symbol of the Berguedan identity, the Patum is a festival that has its origins in the ensemble of interludes that accompany the Corpus Christi procession in the XIVth century which included elements already existent since immemorial time. The Drum, The Giants, The Eagle, The Turks and horses, The Dwarves…… everyone has their rol in the festival.

International Sheepdog Contest
The International Sheepdog Contest was born in 1962 in the meetings were a group of shepherds from the region competed to prove who had the best sheepdog. Since then, the competition is celebrated annually on the last Sunday of August, and is part of the Sheepdog Championship Competitions of the Catalan Countries. Participate in the contest shepherds trained in France, Andorra, Basque Country, Aragon, the Balearic Islands and Andorra. The competition is divided into two tests. In the first act all dogs registered and in the second round only the best ranked. The order of performance is determined by draw.

An endangered profession and people who want to preserve it at all costs. Castellar de n’Hug has made a commitment to preserve one of the most deeply rooted mountain tradition in our country. The shepherds and dogs have all the attention and admiration on the last Sunday of August since 1962 in the town with more tourism of the region. El Prat del Castell becomes the place where shepherds and dogs demonstrate skills, understanding and, above all, the spirit of mountain life.

Meeting of Maçaners accordionists
With the Pedraforca skyline, Catalan, Basque, Galician, Occitan and Portuguese people reaches Maçaners with their accordion under the arm, to relive a night as before, those nights during the first half of the twentieth century filled with music and celebration in the magic towns of the Pyrenees. The second weekend of July Saldes becomes the capital of the accordion.

Burning torches festival
This event held on the evening of 24 December in the villages of Bagà and Sant Julià de Cerdanyola consists of burning torches called “faies”. The festival originated in pre-Christian times as a winter solstice celebration, or ritualised prayer request for the days to lengthen. The festival starts on a mountaintop at sunset with the lighting of a small bonfire. Torches are then lit and carried down to the village square, where the fire is passed to other torches held by the waiting villagers. Once all the torches are burning, the people chant “Fia-faia, fia-faia, unto us a Child is born”. As the torches burn out, they are thrown into the middle of the square for people to jump over and dance around. The church bells ring out during the burning of the torches, with music added in recent years.

Pyrenees Early Music Festival (Femap)
Avià, Bagà, Berga and Guardiola del Berguedà are municipalities on which we can listen concerts of the Pyrenees Early Music Festival.

Casa de la Patum
The Patum of Berga is the celebration par excellence. Turned into a manifestation of popular theater unique in the world, is the miracle that Berga has managed to realize and perpetuate. A miracle that the inhabitants of the city who have preceded us have kept alive for over six hundred years. On 25 November 2005 an international jury meeting in Paris agreed that UNESCO declared the Patum Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. La Casa de la Patum, inaugurated and opened to the public on 25 November 2007 aims to give visitors a taste of this festival.

Outdoor activities

The old ways are threads of memory. They talk about work to live, from entire generations, of migrations and transhumance, love and joy. In Al Berguedà old ways have been recovered to give voice to this valuable heritage and so that they can be visited – and escorted – on foot and in a calm way, enjoying nature and landscapes. Walk through our network of paths, discover the territory, the secrets hidden in the mountains and the valleys, the fountains and the forests. We offer you a selection of circular routes and some family routes of different difficulties that adapt to your tastes and possibilities, and we encourage you to venture into the crossings routes that won’t leave you indifferent, such as the Camí dels Bons Homes, Camí Picasso, Cavalls del Vent, Ruta de l’ermità, Llobregat green route and more.

Water Activities
Water is an element present in the Berguedà geography. The river Llobregat is born and crosses the region from north to south, collecting water from all valleys and mountains with its tributaries. In the center of the region, the Baells reservoir collects these waters, making it a great place for water activities such as rowing, wakeboarding, swimming, stand-up paddle or fishing. La Baells has the first inland swimming trail in Catalonia (Via brava), a space of 1000 meters, perfectly marked for the training of swimming in open water.

Snow activities
The situation of Berguedà in the Pre-Pyrenees is ideal for enjoying snow activities during winter months. Rasos de Peguera is the busiest and most accessible place where you can practice most sports, and you can also find material rental and guides. Other areas with a less number of people and also good for enjoying the snow are Serra d’Ensija and Coll de Pal.

A large number of ravines are born in the mountains of the Berguedà – especially in the Alt Berguedà. Many of them are equipped to be able to descend through their interior, practicing the sport known as canyoning. We will find about twenty long ravines located and listed, two of which stand out. One is the Barranc de l’Olla de Mel, a vertical and deep fissure that goes down the cliffs of Gresolet until it reaches La Fageda. It is a very closed canal and at some points very narrow that requires eight abseils to overcome it. Along the route there are charming corners, like a natural rock bridge that is in the middle of the descent. This is a fully regulated ravine and the guide services is recommended to be able to do it and know how to interpret it. An alternative more adapted to families and ideal for beginners in canyoning is the Barranc del Forat Negre, in Vallcebre. Much more accessible, along its descent there are seventeen-meter abseils, climbs, jumps, a cave and narrow steps where there is only space for one person.

The limestone mountains of the Berguedà are excellent for those who enjoy snacking on the walls. A multitude of schools, sectors and roads spread throughout the central and northern part of Berguedà, mainly climbing limestone but also some conglomerates. Traditional, classic and sport climbing, for all tastes. To enjoy the verticality of Berguedà, the almost 2,000 equipped routes that we have on excellent quality calcareous and conglomerate rock, we present here a sample of 10 areas with sport climbing routes that you can do with children as well as others for experienced climbers and experts.

Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. Geocaching is enjoyed by people from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment.

Our caches (container with logbook, Berguedà passports inside and other small pieces) may be found hidden in the 17 municipalities mentioned, very close to the viewpoints. The only rules are: if you remove something from the container, they would have to leave again to change and write a few words about the visit in the log book.

From Berguedà Tourism, we want to add to the initiative and we hidden different caches in 17th villages of Alt Berguedà, which also involved and are part of the game ‘Passport Berguedà’: Bagà, Berga, Borredà, Castellar del Riu, Castell de l’Areny, Fígols, Gisclareny, Gósol Berguedà Guardiola, La Nou de Berguedà, La Pobla de Lillet, Sant Jaume de Frontanyà, Sant Julià de Cerdanyola and Vilada.

Born in Sweden more than a hundred years ago, Orientation is a sport that combines, in a harmonious way, body and mind, that’s why it is a sport of the so-called “cultured” and that is typical of culturally and socially advanced countries. In other countries the permanent circuits of educational use are numerous and numerous is also the use that is made of them. The sport-competitive practice of orientation is proposed from various recreational and educational activities in which the user, without realizing it, is already practicing and learning the basics of this sport.

Experts around the world agree that the Berguedà is an exceptional area for practicing paragliding, both free as paramotor, that has all the necessary characteristics to be it: proper guidance, variety of geological and geographical, suitable aerological conditions, good road communication network, proximity between locations, proximity to large metropolitan areas and tourist services. A competitive level, Berguedà hosts a round of the Spanish glider league and a stage through X-pyr competition.

Tags: Spain