Cistercian Route I: gastronomy in Vallbona de les monges

Cistercian Route I: gastronomy in Vallbona de les monges

On this route we suggest a visit to the Monastery of Santa Maria de Vallbona de les Monges, a female monastery which is included within the Cistercian order. I also do interesting proposals for some of the loveliest villages in the area, and discover its fantastic treasures, as nougat and chocolate, wine or one of the best virgin olive oils of Catalonia.

Monastery of Vallbona of them monks

The Monastery of Santa Maria de Vallbona de les Monges is the smallest, but the only female monastery of the Cistercian Route. From the time of its construction in 1153, has always been inhabited by nuns who have sought for their conservation and good treatment to his hosts, reputation that endures to this day. In his history was considered a place worthy of queens, a fact for which we find many references to women and daughters of the Catalan nobility, and currently offers a pleasant accommodation for lovers of tranquility. While it is recommended to lovers of art and the heraldry and in the tombs of Vallbona will find a wide collection of carved shields of the Catalan nobility.

The monastery is located in the county of Urgell, rich gastronomically speaking. Renowned for its wine with denomination of origin Costers del Segre, by the protected geographical indication Costers del Segre and nougat from Agramunt and virgin olive oil designation of origin Garrigues.

Capital Theatre ... Tarrega

Tarrega (Ermita de Sant Eloi)

The capital of Urgell is known inside and outside of Catalonia by the Fira de Teatre al Carrer, theater fair held every year in early September and filling the streets of the city and theater actors. This makes the city acontencimiento Tarrega on a bustle of people and entertainment, including theater repertoires groundbreaking new theater companies like the bigger name groups.

Beyond these holidays the city is welcoming and offers unique places throughout the year. We will highlight St. Eloi Park, a green area created in 1913 by the residents with the desire to maintain areas of trees within the village and now, much wider and perfectly manicured, is a symbol of the city where walking and enjoy the tranquility.

In the old part of the city find unique buildings scattered around the streets of downtown showing the passage of various styles of building the city. Possible to emphasize the Palace of the Marquis de la Floresta and Gothic doorways Calle del Carme, the source of water, conferred by Carles, author of the Montjuïc fountains in the Plaza del Carme, Renaissance-style City Hall and the building Modernist of the Chamber of Commerce of the Plaza Mayor i XIV century church in the Plaza Sant Antoni.

Aromas craft throughout the region

Agramunt (torrons Artesanals) If we take the C-14 to the north, we leave Tarrega and go towards Agramunt . This town is the most tempting of the region with a long tradition of making chocolate and handmade nougat. A walk through the center allow us to know the people and contact some of the artists and chocolate nougat to stone, foods that we should not miss.

Taking the same road south find Verdú , this small town has a strong appeal to children have located the Museum of Toys and Automata but it is also known for the production of black pottery. Tradition says that each house had a black jug, also called Silló, outside the front door to give drink to the workers when they returned from the field. If we walk through the center of Verdú can enter a workshop where we can see live the techniques used.

Càntir or Sillo Verdú (ceramics negre) Following the same road C-14 to the south and turning off left hand reach Guimerà , this small town is a medieval town built on the river Corb that kept its essence. We can take a walk and visit various original buildings and period foods taste. In the same town is the Sanctuary of the Mother of God of Bovera, also Cistercian order.

For those who want more, we can continue the crossing we have taken to reach Guimerà to the village of Albió already in the region of Conca de Barbera where it is said that good cheeses produced in the area.

Before arriving at the Monastery monks Vallbona of them visit one last town, also completely dedicated to gastronomy. It is Maldà . If we return to the C-14 and take the junction signposted to the right, come to this town known for its oil production, including in the PDO Oil Les Garrigues.

Towards Vallbona de les Monges

 

Monastery of Vallbona of them monks

From Maldà well as from a number of nearby villages find

directions to the Monastery of Santa Maria de Vallbona de les Monges . Construction of the monastery began in the twelfth century but not completed until the sixteenth century, this number of years with different interventions master builders have been very different styles spaces or until blended. The galleries of the cloister, for example, each have a distinct style, Arabic, Romanesque and Gothic. The properties of this monastery became very broad in its heyday in the late fourteenth century so that, besides the main building, find buildings owned by the nuns of Vallbona spread to nearby villages, but mainly in Vallbona de les Monges , where these remains have been integrated into the buildings of the town.

The war affected the monastic life of Vallbona making the monastery was looted vacated and for short periods of time, but thanks to the persistence of the nuns, to the economic ayudad nobility and later rehabilitation plans, now we know the monastery almost every inch as it was built.

 

Cistercian Route on foot or by bicycle

For lovers of long walks we propose the Cistercian (GR175) walk or bike. It has a total length of 105 km approximately and is perfectly marked with the GR, white and red.

This route can be divided into stages, from monastery to monastery:

  • Santes Creus - Poblet: 35.3 Km and 7h and a half
  • Poblet - Vallbona de les Monges: 23,55 km and 5h and fourth
  • Vallbona de les Monges - Santes Creus: 45.3 Km and 9h and a half

This walk allows us to know in detail the land on which rose the most important monasteries of Catalonia cistencienses. If we go with time, we can visit some of the villages in the area that we discussed as well as the monasteries and natural landscapes that surround them. A very good option.

Cistercian Route Find more information on the Cistercian Route www.larutadelcister.info .

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