Amid the imposing Pyrenees step opens the Cerdanya, a singular plain between mountains. The region is one of the places with more favorable to cross the Pyrenees geography, which is why for centuries has been a crossing with roads like the road to Santiago, at the same time, follows the old road Real Cerdanya.
On this route we will continue to one of the sections of this road, which runs from Talló in Martinet, visit the emblematic Sanctuary Talló, the historic town of Bellver or curious places like bunkers Martinet, but mostly we can delve into the Cerdanya rural, landscapes and learn about the Segre river crossing discretely the region.
The beginning of the route we will Talló from the sanctuary, located on the outskirts of Bellver, the route has a length of 11.5 kilometers and can be done on foot, in this case lasting two hours back for low difficulty journey through the rural landscape of the Cerdanya. On the other hand it is also possible to make the bike path. To arrive by car to the starting point, if we come from the Cadí tunnel, we must digress for diversion indicating Bellver de Cerdanya, once we have taken the detour that will take us through the N-1411 we find a second exit to return to indicate Bellver de Cerdanya, after entering this detour, shortly before entering Bellver, find the indicator to divert to Talló. To get from Puigcerdà we can do from the N-260 road towards La Seu d'Urgell and Andorra, as we find the diversion of Bellver we'll take it and, once we have crossed the center of the town, find the pointer to Talló. Although the route is designed to make it or foot or bicycle, the vast majority of attractions can be reached through the N-260 towards La Seu d'Urgell.
Doing the walking route, to be sure not to lose, keep in mind that the route is well indicated by the name of Camino de Santiago and Camino Real de la Cerdanya. We start the route by visiting Santa Maria de Talló, a religious place is also called the "cathedral" of the Cerdanya, the reason for this nickname is in the large dimensions of a temple located in a region of discrete buildings where churches often be of little importance. But also it named for its historical importance, in the past Talló was the most important place of worship of the Cerdanya. There are historical news Talló from the tenth century, the current building is a Romanesque building with a terraced seventeenth century bell tower. The religious complex revolves around the image of the Virgin of Talló, an original size of the thirteenth century, who chairs inside the church. This environment is the protagonist, each year, the aplec of Talló, one of the most ancient festivals in the area. The festival is held every Easter Monday morning a celebration is in the church, in the afternoon the meeting continued in the source Talló, close to the sanctuary, with couplets and letrillas welcoming spring, amid the cerdans natural environment of meadows.
Leaving Talló continue the road, heading to the town of Bellver, this villa has numerous testimonies of its medieval past and also preserves the memory of some illustrious visitor. The people came from the construction of a castle which defended the royal road between the ancient counties of Urgell and the Conflent, today is one of the tourist centers of the Cerdanya.
Defensive Bellver past is still present in the villa and preserved sections of the old wall and some of the gates that closed the nucleus as the portal or the Baridà Cerdanya. Before entering the old quarter we can see the Tower of Jail, one of the two towers flanking the gate of Cerdanya and that, as its name suggests, he had this feature.
Inside the medieval core is important to go through the street del Medio, a vial was formerly the principal of the village, where most businesses were concentrated. On the tour we do for the medieval core of Bellver can not miss the Gothic church and belfry of Santiago, with its silhouette, it is one of the elements that marks the visual profile of the city. In the literary field Bellver still keeps the memory of the host of the writer Gustavo Adolfo Becquer, one of the leaders of the Spanish Romanesque literature of the nineteenth century, during his stay was inspired to write the legendary story "La Cruz del Diablo", published in 1860 and located in Bellver. If we read earlier this account we can identify some parts of the town and its surroundings. You will find a reference plate of your stay at the home of Cal Patano that, at that time, was an inn where he stayed the writer.
One of the days of referral to see Bellver is in mid-August when San Lorenzo Fair held in this event can find many indigenous food producers gathered in the Pyrenees, an ideal day to meet the zero kilometer products of this area.
Santa Eugenia de Nerella and San Martin de Castells
Follow the path, we will find step of Nerella Santa Eugenia, a church that has, as its main visual appeal, its bell slightly twisted, which is why the building is also known as the Tower of Pisa of the Cerdanya. The bell tower is the only Romanesque period preserved in the Cerdanya and the only remaining element of the old church of the tenth century, the present church is the result of several reforms made during the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries.
If we move, the road will lead us to pass near Cal Manxot, a farmhouse with centuries of history, architecturally, is an example of the typical CERDANYA house, the house stands in the middle of fields and pastures. Later we came to San Martin de Castells, a hill located in one of the meanders of the river Segre, was formerly a defensive point as it was on land border between the counties of Cerdanya and Urgell. Sample of this ancient function is the fortress that rises on top. The building, now in ruins, is documented since 1050, is located inside the church of San Martin. The castle is one of the protagonists of the story scenarios "Devil's Cross" writer Gustavo Adolfo Becquer.
Segre and itinerary Otter
After leaving San Martin de Castells we follow the path that will be around for a long time the stretch of the river Segre, from here we can admire a beautiful view of the river and its meanders. In this part of the river we can also follow the route of the otter, the queen of aquatic environments. This animal, formerly very common in rivers, has suffered for years a strong regression due to urban pressure and pollution. In the 80s here it was located one of the last colonies of otters and the Partial Nature Reserve was created Segre-Prullans.
Currently this stretch of river is signposted with explanations on the nutria: their habitat, breeding, burrows, on the other hand also includes explanations of riparian vegetation and other animals that live in this area. The protagonists of this part of the trail are not easy to see and we must be careful, especially if we hear whistles, the sound type using otters to communicate.
Otter itinerary ends at the height of the core Martinet, once at this point continue along the same path until you reach the place of Cabiscol. There, in addition Otter itinerary, we find the Casa del Rio where an exhibition on ecosystems storm is housed. Inside you can also find a screening room and reproductions of Segre characteristic fauna.
Bunkers of Martinet and Montellà
We finished the route at the same place of Cabiscol where we find one of the most curious places of the region, the park bunkers Montella i Martinet. The history of these bunkers dating back to the forties of the twentieth century and are part of the Pyrenees line, an ancient fortified line. At the end of the Second World War, the regime of General Franco feared an invasion by the countries of the side of the Allies, who did not see with good eyes dictatorial systems as had in Spain. Given this hypothesis a series of bunkers and other defensive positions along the Pyrenees buildings were constructed. This was a surprising project for the time span since the country was in a time of great economic hardship, after a still recent Civil War. Cerdanya in the fortified line was reinforced by being a geographical location where it was easier to cross the Pyrenees.
In the ceretana Martinet just plain and the valley becomes so narrow that the bunkers, located on higher points, were intended to intercept more easily the advance of the invaders through the valley of Segre hypothetical. These buildings were never used for this purpose and were abandoned in Montella i Martinet, however, were rehabilitated and are part of a tour where they explain what should be use.
Along with the bunkers are the visitor center where you can understand the historical context and atmosphere of war recreates that have lived in this type of construction. Outside there is a path that takes us to see eight different types of bunkers and underground gallery system is in your environment.
Here ends our route through the Cerdanya, along the way, however, does not end here, from now on the way of Santiago continues towards the Alt Urgell to finish, to many, many kilometers away, in Santiago de Compostela.
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