A little sketch ...
Besides chess, during your stay in La Pobla de Lillet, you can do many visits and activities. First of all we will take a look at village outskirts:
The region is an area that is rich in natural resources, which is encouraging a development of tourism that is fast turning into an alternative to an economy traditionally based on mining, little industry, agriculture and animal husbandry.
On this route,you can discover a truly remarkable itinerary:
Starting off at Guardiola de Berguedà, you must take the B-402 Road and in a few Kms., near L'Espelt Camping, you will see a traffic signal indicating a "Petroleum" (!) Mine - actually, a coal tar mine -, recently adapted for their visit.
At Km. 6 you come to the Church of Santa Cecilia de Riutort (XI century), an abandoned Romanesque Heritage with a single cannon nave,which enclose a crypt
At Km.8 a deviation reach to the Sanctuary of Falgàs (from "falgueres" = beechs), which is located on the ridge of the same name, and at 1288 mts. of height. Though it has a Romanesque origin, actual Church was built in XV and XVI centuries. A Ghotic alabaster image is venerated there and the whole place is the celebration
ones for the people of the village. There is also a recreational area with a well (from 1561), tables and toilets.
On the way back at Road Km. 10, you reach La Pobla de Lillet, town located at the point where the Arija river meet up with the famous Llobregat (Barcelona's city mouth). Inside the village, you can walk on its crumbking and narrow streets or contemplate the handsome medieval bridge of "Pont Vell"., Romanesque (XIV century, but restored several times) with a single half-pointed span
The parish Church of Santa Maria lies exactly in the centre of the town. It has experienced many changes until nowadays, and it is decorated with bright colours and valuable images (f.i. High Altar).
The most interesting churches from artistic point of view
are two Kms from La Pobla, via
the road that leads until Ripoll.
Approach road is a forest track which reach directly to Monastery
of Santa Maria. The existence
of a church here is documented
in 901, but it is not until 1086 we find references to a monastic community.
The group of buildings is now in a ruinous state, but the various ones around
the cloister can be recognized. The church has several
unusual features, possibly result of successive
The cloister, rustic's one, is very nice, it has a quadrangular ground plan with four arcades above each gallery.
150 metres from here, you can see the "Rotonda" of Sant Miquel, a round ground plan church (consecrated at year 1000) in excellent conditions of maintenance.
Upwards we could walk and visit The Castle, a demolished living rock refuge where the inhabitants of the Valley was protected against the Moorish.
( Note: For visit information, ask at the Tourist Information Office in La Pobla de Lillet. Even it is possible to get the key of the church ! )
In addition to all this, you can get some wonderful views over the whole region, Catllaràs Mountains Range, the path that takes you there passes through forests of pine, oak and beech and, as a curious detail, in hidden- away corners you can find examples of the snow flower (Edelweiss), symbol of high mountain country.
The village has dozens sources of river -drinking fountains- too, but most famous is the tourist "Font del Bisbe", on Assois Valley, close to Sant Jaume de Frontanyà Road.
The water of the stream climbs down over a rocky cornice from a height of 12 metres, and developing a broad gorge of great depth. Below rocky barbican, a great cavity has been opened owing to millenary erosion.
Maybe the most well-known legacy from La Pobla is the stay of Gaudí. The village occupies the second place in possessing works by the famous architect ( behind Barcelona ! ):
XALET DE CATLLARÀS (Refuge of Catllaràs)- The knowledge that this mountain shelter is a work of Gaudí is recent but at present, his responsibility is generally accepted The reason was to build a housing for the technicians and another personnel working in near coal mines, and thus, it was chosen a natural environment surrounded by fields, without forest, allowing a magnificent vision on a environment of splendid landscapes. The construction was started in the year 1902 and developed in two phases keeping the adverse climatic conditions, with very hard winters. Successive alterations devoted the building to new applications, likewise the staircase, the initial covering of the facade and interior was substituted.
The original designed building was a matter of three plants with two dwellings by plant (total, six). The structure has form of barrel vault with closed sides forming the lateral façades with some openings with two projecting, one in each side, in the shape of the attic to lodge the toilets. Initially, the base of the cover was covered by river stones, but subsequently it was recovered with cement; also was crowned by a culmination decorated with river stones. It is to remark the perfect assemblage among the cover and the staircase (last one, today destroyed).
In the year 1932 the chalet was transferred to La Pobla de Lillet municipality, and from 1971 was adapted to the new function as holiday Camp.
JARDINS ARTIGAS (Artigas Garden).- Sadly, the original sketches aren't arrived to us, but we know the gardens were ordered to Gaudí by Artigas family during one of the stays the architect carried out to follow the evolution of the building of Catllaràs Ville. The works were developed since 1903 until 1910, but since the end the gardens, as usual, through various historic vicissitudes. The renaissance came in 1983, when the Major and the owners of the land signed a transfer agreement by a period of 25 years for public use. In 1992 start works of restoration respecting the initial idea of Gaudí, redoing all the sculptures and applying new techniques where it was necessary, as for example in the banisters, substituting the interior wire nettings causing oxidation problems, by plastic nettings.
At first sight, one observes
that the gardens are
really, very humid.
They are crossed by the river Llobregat, they have a source,
and they are found in
a mountainous place.
In contrast of Barcelona's Parc Güell, ArtigasAt first sight, one observes that the gardens are really, very humid. They are crossed by the river Llobregat, they have a source, and they are found in a mountainous place. In contrast of Barcelona's Parc Güell, Artigas Gardens are adapted of naturalistic type, with few flowers, but only the natural ones of that area and with an exuberant natural vegetation. They show a sobriety of colour due to the utilization of the natural materials of the place, specially the rocky stone; by this reason, the predominant colours are the stone brown and the vegetation green.
The most well-known place is the "Magnesia Spring"
- initial denomination denoted for the gardens -.
This artificial cave built with large river stones, has two entrances and two small openings from who it is possible to seen the river. A bank of the same stone follow the sinuous walls of the cave and allow to enjoy the fresh air and the water rumour, specially during the spring and the summer in which the temperature is more pleasant.
In the upper level, we arrive to the
inclined bridge crossing the Llobregat, two stone flower beds in each side of
the bridge are the start of the bridge stairs rising to a succession of small
platforms with trunks imitating cement banisters, one of this platforms are a
belvedere and a little up a statue built in small stone represents an
eagle and further
up it is
a bower. The bower passed, a
path get us rising among flower beds of original design with twisted shapes and
built in small stone on cement (as the eagle), to an original arch of
cement imitating the
wood. From here, a long path in
zigzag descends us pleasantly to the start level of the visit, but not without
previous passed through a belvedere with a table and three banks, the larger
supported by the wall and two smaller to both side of a table since where we can enjoy a view on the nearby Arches
This is perhaps the most important construction of the garden, this bridge has a curious structure of five rocky stone arches in cross and longitudinal sense. In addition of that, in its entrance we find the figures of a man and a woman with a basket on the head. The faces and hands of these figures are a done contribution during the restoration - work of the sculptor Ramon Millet -, that already they existed before, but carried out with not sculpted rustic stone. Next to the woman of the basket there is a stair with a wood imitating cement banister, that carries us to a small square under the bridge
Of course, there are other activities to enjoy:
Give yourself some days to relax. The best massage and beauty specialists of La Pobla offer you the chance to enjoy services such as body massage, Shiatsu capillary massage, foot reflexology, sauna, solarium and manicure, among others.
During your stay we suggest three excellent spots in which to breathe in pure mountain air, you can go on a 4x4 excursion in the Catllaràs range, or visit old Asland Cement Factory and Transport Museums.
Also taste the home produces of the Lillet valley local cuisine, buy typical pig products, "mató", jam or honey in some well-known groceries that any person will tell you.
Listen music and talk about chess with your friends and one of the co-organizers of the Tournament at Gatim's, the town's pub (you will have played YOUR BEST MOVE !)
Finally, drive and look the birth of Llobregat River (in Castellar de N'Hug). Far from the noise of the looms and the smoke of the factory chimneys, you will discover a river surrounded by luxuriant nature: its source is a burst of life.
You will not easily forget holidays in LA POBLA DE LILLET.
As in the introduction is emphasized:
You will return, no doubt !
Author and translation: Alejandro Melchor