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Past, Present, and Future of Cal Soldat

 

This photography is part of a collection of 41 protagonists in the book Mírame España, sponsored by Accenture and edited by E. Planet.

Accenture invited Morgana, David and Jaime’s team in order to make a portrait of today’s Spain with their particular vision.

Each photography, the authors tell us, contains details reflecting experiences and, among them and above all, the new female protagonist that enriches society stands out.

 

It is easy to imagine how the enclave and the small houses that make up Cal Soldat were revealed before Rosa’s eyes as the fog dissipated. Thus, she also met the former owner, Isabel, who emerged from the same haze carrying a little girl by the hand, when, by chance, her passion for Romanesque art led her to the nearby castle of Mur.
Rosa is the soul of Cal Soldat. Nestled in a spectacular setting, it is a dream that, with the support of Alejandro, has come true over many years of effort. She transformed the small village of yesteryear into the cottage that is has now become, she faithfully reconstructed the spaces and kept a multitude of objects that Rosa has discovered and recovered, so that her guests feel that it is through them the small village tells them its story.

SPAIN LOOK ME, is a tribute to people who with their efforts, dreams and realities encourage us to believe in ourselves.

Seo of Fog

 

Today we woke up in Cal Soldat. It is winter and, as every morning, I go out to the middle of the patio to see what the day has to give to us. I look at the stones that build the different spaces, they seem to speak with their golden and bright colour due to the impact of the first rays of the Sun.

I wonder what these white stone walls have lived, countless stories, now just memories. I turn my view to the West and, imposing, with these first rays of light, the castle of Mur greets us, always imposing and loyal guardian of Cal Soldat.

I follow the short walk before going to breakfast, and in the background I am attracted to a long, endless view. The vastness grows each step that it brings me closer to the south balcony; my heart beats vividly as it knew what I was going to live.

The presence and beauty that opens before me leave me speechless; only the silence is worth this majestic setting.

An extraordinary Sea of Fog floods my vision and follows perfectly the limits of the Noguera Pallaresa Valley, and the entire gorge of Tremp. From this immense fog, different reliefs stand out in a perfect contrast, the Montsec to the South and, further afield, to the North, the mountain of Sant Corneli, the serre of Sillar and Carrànima.

Suddenly, this landscape, this endless image, offers me the experience and understanding that many geologists would love to exeperience. Seeing the almost perfect and exact scene of this place 55 million years ago. The haze made sea.

Unintentionally, this geological tale catches me and I begin to travel in time, to the moment where the Montsec first emerged from the bottom of the sea… the last sea that occupied the Pyrenees. At this bygone moment, the gorge of Tremp, the North, and the Àger valley are first individualised. These two basins were actually two gulfs, that is, two portions of the sea that penetrate into the mainland.

Seo of Frog

Cal Soldat, during this time, remained almost 5 million years in the water, at shallow depth, under a more or less warm climate where conditions made possible the accumulation of many forms of life, forming reefs, beaches, etc.

Today, the stones with which Cal Soldat and its surrondings were built, we can know further about this sea and much more. The types of rocks and fossil organisms found are part of this wonderful puzzle that is the geological history of this territory. A voyage of more than 550 million years where new reliefs, climates, landscapes, and forms of life appeared, and made of it a quiet and unique book of geology.

Little by little, I leave this wonderful story. I do not know if several minutes or millions of years went by but… the day in Cal Soldat has just begun above the Sea of Fog.

Acknowledgments
Video: But George
Editorial: Gonzalo Rivas

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.