La Pobla de Lillet , inside of Catalonia, is the second municipality with more works of Gaudí, second only to the city of Barcelona . There we find the Artigas Gardens (also known as Garden of the Fountain of Magnèsia) and Catllaràs villa, built in the early twentieth century.
Interestingly, this is one of the more obscure works of genius and the only one where the real protagonist is the water. Therefore, I encourage you to visit it.
No one can understand the existence of the work of Gaudi in some places as inhospitable as prepirineo lands are only in relation to industrial development in the area.
In the early twentieth century created the first company in the country portland cement Castellar de n'Hug . His promoter, Eusebi Guell commissioned Antoni Gaudí to design a villa to house engineers who would work in the company. The famous architect was staying Artigas family, working on the design of the house, when they asked him to build a garden behind the factory for the exclusive use of the family. As a token of gratitude for their hospitality, in 1904, Gaudí designed the gardens but not personally directed the work, because in those moments Guell Park occupied all his time.
The authorship controversy
Artigas Gardens were abandoned at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War. Because the place where is difficult to access, were not discovered until 1971, when a journalist "Catalan Mail" published an article about them as a parent pointing to Gaudi's work.
However, the lack of additional information about the authorship of the gardens made ??these, and the Chalet Catllaràs, were not included in Gaudi's work until two decades later, the Royal Gaudí Chair (University of Catalonia) conducted research on these constructs, confirming that they were the result of the Catalan genius.
Artigas Gardens Tour
It is undeniable that Gaudí was inspired by the Park Güell to build these gardens. In fact, many of the plants that adorn this space came from Park Guell by ordenexpresa the author. However, there are important distinctions between the two works.
Unlike the old city park, dry nature, Artigas Gardens embrace the Llobregat River, extending along its banks, which gives them a moist. Its design is oriented to enjoy the waters of the channel, making it the true protagonist of the play. Furthermore, while the Park Guell is known for its varied colors, in the gardens predominant color of the stone, broken only by the green brushstrokes plants.
The first thing we find is the Source of Magnesia, an artificial grotto with two holes drilled in the rock that serve as windows, below which there are benches to sit and enjoy the sound of the river that fills this hole in nature .
Following the steps located above the cave leads to the pergola León, so named because it lies inside the Lion Fountain, statue by Ramon Millet i Domènech, who was responsible for the restoration of the sculptures in the garden under the supervision of the Royal Gaudí Chair.
After passing under the old railway linking the towns of Guardiola de Berguedà and Clot del Moro is a pine forest where the background, we see the source of the Ox.
Because the gardens were designed following the course of the river, Gaudí built two bridges that would allow cross from one bank to another.
Broken Arch Bridge (also called the Magnèsia) leads to a huge cedar custody eagle sculpture, made ??of small stones showing this bird with outstretched wings, about to take flight. On the right, we find the Square, a striking stone pavilion that offers a panoramic view of the river Llobregat and gardens.
A set of stone planters, with sinuous forms, leads to a tortuous path parallel to the river on which stands an artificial waterfall made ??of stone, covered with moss, with numerous holes through which water runs unstoppable. The trail descends down to a viewpoint where you make a little break to watch Arches Bridge. This bridge is one of the most striking architectural elements of the garden. Two human figures representing a man and a woman, guarding the five stone arches, connected by a wooden railing that give color to the whole.
And as in Gaudí's work can not miss references to Christianity, Artigas Gardens are no exception. In them we find the four Evangelists represented under the figures of the eagle, bull, lion, and, finally, an angel who is now restored. All images are arranged so that form a cross.
The guided tour of the gardens has a duration of one hour. Before leaving, you should see the times.
La Pobla de Lillet
Since we are here, we can not walk around this ancient town that owes its creation to be Ramon Urtx II, who decided, in the twelfth century, set your castle in this valley protected by three rivers: the Llobregat, Aritja and Regatell. Not content with this, he also built a fortress to let him defend himself in case of attack.
In the old town we find the parish church, which is Christ in Majesty, a large polychrome wood carving dating from the same time as the castle.
However, La Pobla de Lillet known for surrounding landscapes with stunning viewpoints that offer a unique show, as the Mirador Joan Casanova. Leaving the village, to the right of the train station there is a path leading to the shrine of Falgàs, where is the Mother of God of Falgàs, an image carved in alabaster whose origin dates back to the fifteenth century.
Two kilometers away stands the Monastery of Santa Maria de Lillet. Located in a privileged location, at the foot of the mountain, has a great importance in the region of Upper Berguedà. His church, in Romanesque style, has a Latin cross plan has supported numerous reforms, as was done in the eighteenth century, and a stunning rustic cloister.
The Chalet Catllaràs
There are two roads leading to Villa Catllaràs. The first is before you get to La Pobla de Lillet , the deflection in front of the train station (Cal Xesa), to the Sanctuary of Falgars, above, leads us to the house of the Sierra de Catllaràs. If we are in the interior of La Pobla de Lillet , in the district of Les Colomines there is a marked path indicating the route, with a duration of hours.
Designed shaped case, the villa had worse luck than the gardens and lost most of his sets in the remodeling done in the eighties. Today, it is a refuge.
The Clot del Moro, last stop Berguedá modernist
Before arriving in Castellar de n'Hug , taking the BV-4031, is the Clot del Moro, where we see the former cement asland, a modernist building designed by Rafael Guastavino commissioned by Eusebi Güell. Although their production activity ended in the early seventies, currently this architectural gem is part of Museum of Science i Technology of Catalonia (mNACTEC).
It is worth noting this wonderful building guarded by towering mountains.