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Romanesque Route

 

Romanesque buildings and paintings have the sobriety and mystery that so much attraction trigger.

One of the best collections of Romanesque art in Europe is in the MNAC (Barcelona) and the Mur Collegiate Church is the protagonist of saving the Catalan Romanesque.

The monumental buildings of MUR, with its Castle and Collegiate is a good starting point to start the Romanesque Route

Why?

DO YOU WANT TO LIVE A CULTURAL EXPERIENCE ?

In “CalSoldat”,”you will find your house to come with the family and friends.

In meeting all together, we will inform you of features of Mur’s history, and then we can visit these two historic buildings.

And then the talk:

How did the paintings of “St. Mary's Church” get to the Fine Arts of Boston museum?

Who was and why is so important Luis Plandiura ?

What did Pablo Picasso see in the Romanesque paintings?

BE PART OF THIS GREAT STORY, COME TO CAL SOLDAT!

If you can have a few more days, we organize the route to different Romanesque churches of Pallars.

LIVE THIS EXPERIENCE!

Montsec from the Air

 

We talked with friends about knowing Montsec differently and what better than from the air.
Let’s go! We will do the whole Montsec, from West to East. How? In a hot-air balloon, evidently.
The preparation, the joy, and the departure from Cal Soldat first thing in the morning, after a good coffee, cheers us up.

From where we will rise, how the balloon will inflate, how long it will take, what we will have to do… a series of questions that we all ask ourselves the first time of this experience.

We arrive to the starting point. Miguel, from Globos Kon-Tiki, an expert in this kind of navigation, is waiting for us. And the adventure begins!

 

The balloon is discharged, this is gibberish for inexperienced people like us: tarpaulins, ropes, towropes, carabiners, but everything is in place and it gradually begins to take shape.

The hot-air balloon is rising now and… now what? Run, run up to the basket, for the moment it is captive, but only for a moment. And we started to climb, the movement is noticeable, but the ground is further and further away.

We have learned that on a balloon you can never say that you are already up, there is no above, there are metres from the ground and it depends on the variables of the weather that it be lifted more or less.

Miguel walks us over the entrance of the Montrebei gorge; the sensations are different —now, during the activities, everything is sensations—, but these are sensations indeed. The Pyrenees, the river, the north face of the Montsec, spaces that cannot be seen from the ground, even if you go there expressly and, even so, they are not fully appreciated as from a hot-air balloon. Cars look very small. Dead silence.

We set course for the gorge. Very quiet weather allows you to get inside it and hover it from north to south. We went to the other side, the plain of Noguera. You can see the stairs of the wall of Aragon. Enjoying this spectacle of nature is so impressive that you wish you would never go down.

Luckily, there is still a long way to go. We turn left, go up 2,000 metres, and start to hover the Montsec. On the left, the Pyrenees; further to the front, Wall, lake Cellers, the San Antonio reservoir; on the right, Noguera, Segrie, the Santa Ana and Camarasa reservoirs, Lleida.
Montserrat. We cross the Terradets gorge. It looks small from above.

The world is at your feet. Dead silence. Not even the birds are heard. An unimaginable mental feeling. You are not shut, or tied; you are hung in the air and a gentle breeze returns you to this world.

We go to the Montsec in Rubies, the Ariet valley, Santa Maria Meià, Vilanova Meià, you can see the Sió river, Urgell, and Segarra. What’s happening? The ground is getting closer. Oh! How will we stop? We are landing… Done… Magnificient.

When we returned to Cal Soldat we had so many things to tell that everybody talked and talked. Some memorable experiences!

The Horse Soldier, we can prepare activities like this one and others to suit your needs.

The secrets of Mur

 

When our guests arrive to Cal Soldat, once they are settled, they visit the compound: the library, the wine celler, the oven… they watch our story video in the meeting room, and then they ask: How did you get here?

Well, Rosa was going to conquer Mur’s castle and then two fairies met and then… you’ll have to come to know the full story. But today we bring you our invitation to visit the complex of Mur, formed by the castle and St. Mary’s collegiate church (colegiata de Santa María).

The castle, dating from 989, amazingly looks like a boat, sailing the seas of fog in winter. Its homage tower, a key point for the Al-Andalus border castles, is a splendid spot to sight the enormous horizon.

We are in the 11st century. Count Ramón IV de Pallas Jussà, master of the castle, and his wife Valença, daughter of Arnau Mir de Tost, promote the construction of the collegiate church, dedicated to Saint Mary. In 1069 it was consecrated by Guillem Arnau, bishop of Urgel.

So this is a place where spiritual and civil power came together. The way these people lived, the men, the women’s influence… all the secrets of the history, known by a few, today are discovered.

COME TO KNOW THEM!

– Arnau Mir de Tos – He was a medieval knight, a warlord, a forgotten man these days who conquered the Muslim territories from the lands of the Pyrenees to beyond Lleida and Zaragoza. At Mur, along with Ramón IV, they put together the strategies for the battles.

– Mur Collegiate Church – Eight centuries later, it played a main role in the salvation of the Catalan Romanesque art.

What happened? First of all, note that the best collection of Romanesque art is at the MNAC museum of Barcelona.

This story began in 1919, with the first detachments of the Romanesque paintings in Mur -using the strappo technique-, which end up being auctioned in 1921 at the Savoy Hotel in New York.

Today, the paintings are held at the Fine Arts Museum of Boston. Now at the Collegiate you can appreciate an exact reproduction of these master pieces.

We must say that ‘thanks’ to these turbulent facts, the rest of the Catalan Romanesque paintings were saved.

The great historical novel ‘Strappo’, by Martí Gironell, walks us through these events.

Did you know that Picasso was inspired by Romanesque? He was attracted by the mysterious look of the figures, the representation of the sky, the hell, the death, the beyond.

– Did you know that the first documents written in Catalan language were found in Mur Castle? The first document is dated from 1035, is the oath of allegiance of Radul Oriol to Count of Pallars Jussà, Ramón IV.

We recommend you to visit the castle and the collegiate church, they are holding even more secrets for you.

All the visit is guided and includes more detailed explanations of what it has been presented in this article.

Castle and Collegiate Church, there they are, proud, attentive and yet lonely.

Get ready for a rest to enjoy the culture and the history.

At CALSOLDAT it will be a pleasure to welcome you.