THE CULTURAL HERITAGE

patrimonivallferrera.blogspot.com.es


ALINS




Former capital of the forges of Pallars, an important heritage linked to iron exploitation is still alive in the ancient centre of Alins.

We can point out the tower-prision of the Castellarnau family (XV Century) with its forged iron forge bars, in which the office of the Administrator of the Farges was located, the dovecot tower of Casa Guillem, the point from where the Castellarnau family’s carrier pigeons started their flight from Alins to Tarragona, and the mallet of the ancient forge of Ainet de Besan, built in 1748 and with a weight of 702Kg.

In honour to that glorious past, we can see some beautiful forged sculptures near Alins that have been made in the latest editions of the Pyrenean Iron Fair.

A visit to the church of Saint Vicenç is obligatory with its Romanesque bell tower and the Gothic Creu de Terme (XV Century) by its side.

You may also take a walk up to the Romanesque chapel of Saint Quirc, from where a beautiful panoramic of the Vall Ferrera can be seen.

Another nice walk is the one that leads us to the Torre de les Bruixes, an old watchtower and dovecot, the top of which can be reached by a spiral staircase.


AINET DE BESAN




Ainet has a well preserved ancient centre with houses maintaining the XIII-XIV Century structures, showing the old Pallars arquitecture with a framework of bare beams.

We can visit the Romanesque church of Saint Julià with its high XIX Century belltower and in the area of the orchards, the copy of the Creu de Terme that is kept in Alins.

 
The town maintains traditional elements such as an hydraulic sawmill, stone troughs and a frame for branding cattle.

We must highlight the new forged sculpture of a donkey dragging a wooden sleigh in which they used to transport the mineral iron from the mines to the forges.


ARAÓS




We can visit the Romanesque church of Saint Esteve (XI Century) and the ancient Gothic Creu de Terme (XV Century) made of slate.

Every summer there is an exhibition of paintings or photographs in the Sala Cultural d’Araós (Araós Cultural Centre) as well as of old tools from Vall Ferrera.

The old hydraulic sawmill was dismantled when the road was widened and it is kept working in the Museu de la Ciència i la Tècnica de Catalunya (Catalonian Science and Technology Museum).

After a short walk between the orchards we come to Saint Francesc, a pre-Romanesque chapel with a horseshoe arch that was used as the parish church by the ancient Força d’Araós, an old medieval castle and village from where the entrance to the Vall Ferrera was watched over.


ÀREU




Àreu is a mountain village which benefits from special protection, with streets and houses overflowing with a medieval air.

It is formed by two different centres. In the main centre we can visit the church of Saint Climent, where we find the sculpture of the XII Century Romanesque Virgin, Saint Maria de la Torre and its bell tower, the highest in the whole of Vall Ferrera.

In the same square there is a Gothic Creu de Terme (XV Century) and the forged sculpture titled “Forjant el temps” (“Building time”). We can point out as well the old village blacksmith’s which preserves an ancient air.

In La Força, the old fortified village, we can highlight the Romanesque church of Saint Feliu with its stunning pebbled paving and wonderful viewing point of Vall Ferrera.

On the roadside, before reaching Àreu, we find the Romanesque church of Saint Maria de la Torre, pointing out its large gate. In front of the church there was an old forge of which there are still some remains.

The Museu de la Fusta d’Àreu (Àreu Wood Museum), linked to the Museu de la Ciència i la Tècnica de Catalunya, constitutes a patrimonial monument formed by a mola (flour mill), molina (sawmill) and a small electric power station.

This is a wonderful example of how the traditional mountain industries worked using power obtained from water. www.serradora-areu.org


BESAN




Starting in Borda Felip we can take an half hour walk along the horse track leading to the abandoned village of Besan, which still maintains its old appearence of a XIX Century Pallars village and which takes us back in time.
In Besan we can point out the Romanesque church of Saint Maria de Besan with its beautiful pebbled paving and its bars forged from iron from the forges.

We can visit the Romanesque chapel of Sant Miquel by taking a short diversion in the middle of the track.


NORIS




This village maintains a medieval air. All the houses are ancient with many traditional architectural elements. No new houses have been built here.
We can highlight the Romanesque church of Saint Serni (XI Century) and the new forged sculpture representing a tree.

TOR




Poble ramader d’alta muntanya, el segon més alt de Catalunya. És un poble singular que manté el seu aspecte ancestral.

Tor is high mountain town, the second highest in Catalonia, dedicated to livestock farming. It is an odd town that maintains its ancient appearance.

Three primitive Romanesque buildings are evidence of the importance of this place in the Low Middle Ages: the church of Saint Pere (X Century) located in

the centre of the village, the castle church of Saint Pere del Roc (X Century) located at the top of a crag overlooking the town, and the Romanesque chapel of Saint Ambrós, located at Vallpeguera, at a height of 1,975 m, being the highest in Catalonia, although it is not very well preserved.

We can also point out the remains of the medieval castle, the only one preserved in the Vall Ferrera, next to Saint Pere del Roc and from where the road leading to Andorra was watched over.