Route for Bellver de Cerdanya
At the heart of the Catalan Pyrenees, in the divided region of Cerdanya and part of the subregion of the Batllia, soul between Lleida and Girona, rises since 1225 Bellver de Cerdanya. Its medieval old town retains the essence who she was born, and today is what we have to discover. Walls and streets with stone houses, walkways, plazas with views of the surrounding... Some environments that captivated illustrious names as the poet Gustavo Adolfo Becquer... and us!
Approaching the village, from afar, we see there, high above the plain of Cerdanya. It does not take a great strategist to conclude that that mountain, known as Bello vedere time ago, could be a good place surveillance. If we add that the hill in question was in full royal road between Conflent and counties of Urgell, we have all the ingredients to make a castle. And it was matter of time before the shelter of the fortress houses were lifted, and the result was none other than a core to which the life Earl of Roussillon and Cerdagne, Nunó Sanç, granted the City Charter in 1225.
Since then, of course, Bellver has changed a lot, but the structure of its ancient streets not much different from the one needed to know the inhabitants of the Middle Ages, as sections of the walls are also preserved. Or a magnificent square tower, the Prison, where we begin our tour. It is so called because for a long time this function tube, but at first was the defense tower'm demonstrate its narrow espitlleres- of one of the two gates in the wall, the portal Cerdanya, by the coming and bellverencs out. The wall, which meet here and there, drove James II of Mallorca, around 1277.
The stairs rise of Joan Alay transport us to the past, through the streets and stone houses that, despite the reforms, have kept the charm. We can see clearly in Middle Street. Curiously, this road was initially called to Jussà, ie low, as it was where the southern wall closed the villa. It's a long road which is crossing the hill where we find some pretty portals and lintels on doors indicating the year of construction. Iron rings are conserved in the facades that were used to tie cattle. At Riu Street Mateu i Bach, if you look to the left and see the gap that we accumulated from the street below, that of Batllia where the pit wall was; and if we look to the right we will see that we still have to climb a bit to reach the center of this ancient and rectangular hull is being drawn on the hill.
Fights between nyerros and cadells (puppies)
Also on the right are two very narrow streets and filled with history. Of the Cadell and the Nyerro Today these two names may not tell us much, but for many centuries were two parties that dominated the roads of the Principality and terrorized the population, which was siding with one or the other.
It is considered that the Nyerros defended the rights of lords and Cadells the peasants and citizens. They kept fighting in many parts of the country, and one of the places where it was in the Cerdanya, as some of the best known bandits who thrived to storm paths, especially Cadells were from this region, as Galceran Cadell the Bastard, Vincente Tasquer, Perot Milletó or what Gabriel Millet Torner Boca Negra. These staggered road dating from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and what we can do is upload by the Cadell, pass Fossar street, and down the street Nyerro, and so we return to the streets of the Middle East, we continue to the Abad Oliba Square (next we will have left the streets of Wilfred the Hairy), an open space where there was possibly a defense tower and today provides magnificent part of the county. We see from here forests, small towns that are also part of the municipality of Bellver, the Cadi...
We can now take Castle Street and go beyond the limits of the wall, the so-called portal Baridà (the other door I had) and West Park, a space remodeled and restored a few years ago, an area green from where you can see the original rocks of the mountain, and a gap between these is nothing but a storehouse of ammunition that made the French troops when they occupied the Cerdanya between 1692 and 1698. Indeed, every step we do for Bellver nest is a story that demonstrates the strategic importance of the place. Upstairs we find all that remains of the medieval castle: a cistern.
The garden with medicinal plants
Well, we know not so bad not to know of the castle as it sat where today we have the viewpoint of Jaume Vila, where we can see the whole area outlining Bellver, and the river Segre by the course. What we do is now re-enter into the inner city to discover the Plaza del Castillo, where we see a house painted cornflower elements, since it was believed that in this way the entrance to the witches prevented, and also the Cal Travesseres house, now a cultural facility. Here it is also the house of a well-known communications company, which for years placed a phone mast on it and that was a real attempt to look and aesthetics of the Old Quarter, and is now a little more sneaky...
If you think back to touch of the wall, as this will make the pleasant walkway, and will leave the square of the Counts of Cerdagne, just behind the Town Hall, and keeps the medieval aspect. From there to the garden of Ca les Monges is only a step. It is sheltered by the church. Do not give us fear through the door and walk around, to feel the scents of lavender, thyme or oregano. This garden of medicinal plants is part of the Museum of the Forest of Bellver de Cerdanya.
Leaving, we will meet in front of the church. It is the parish of St. James, patron saint of Bellver, and there are references from the thirteenth century, but you can easily see that it has been restored and doing maintenance work, and its appearance today is impeccable. As well as its bell tower, which rose between 1767 and 1769, as we "reports" in the same building if you look good. The church is probably in the same place as the castle chapel, which was known to be dedicated to San Vicente was located. If you have a chance (not always open) from inside, as it has several works of great interest, beginning with the very roof of the central nave, a magnificent wooden craft.
If you read the legend of the devil Cross of Gustavo Adolfo Becquer you will see described some of the places where we are going. And the renowned poet and storyteller did stay in Bellver in 1860, particularly in Cal Patano. A plaque on its facade and remember. After we are returning, but first enter the square, one of the places most frequently mentioned Bellver in the legend of Becquer, and certainly the center of the Old Quarter. Existing already in the fourteenth century, in the main square of April 27th (that's his full name) have been carried out over the centuries a number of social and important, such as the weekly market events, fairs, most activities or Carnival party... or judgments of the Inquisition! The square is porticoed and has buildings that are history of the city, including the old pharmacy, the customs office where the merchant is charged, or the House of Common, Town Hall today. As for the date of 27 April, this is due to the events that took place during the civil war, on April 27, 1937, when groups anarchists attacked Bellver and neighbors opposed and emerged victorious. He killed the captain of the anarchists, Antonio Martin, Cojo de Málaga.
Let finishing our walk. We recommend the place to go to meet Gustavo Adolfo Becquer (you'll find a bomb shelter civil war carved into the rock and another hole for ammunition from the French) and the Levante park.
But now not to deviate much travel, and end at the same point where we started, what we do is take the Church Street and passed Ca les Monges. The nuns of the Order of the Holy Family settled in Bellver in the nineteenth century, and along a hundred years were crucial to the formation of ballverenques girls. Today this is a municipal building that houses, among other things, an exhibition hall and the Center for Information and Reception Natural Park Moixeró. Down the stairs we pass Bitterness Street, where the house is and we mentioned I stay Becquer, Cal Patano, and right there rising and Alay Joan Tower Prison, firm and stand the test of events that have taken place around them over the centuries.