Seeking Freedom on the roads of the Pyrenees
With the route of this month from Femturisme we invite you to visit one of the paths followed by those Republicans who passed through the Pyrenees to flee to France to avoid falling into the hands of the fascist regime, one of the existing roads so many of those who sought freedom. And I emphasize the main populations were waypoints.
We should add that these routes were also used in the opposite direction by Jews, Poles, French, Inglesos fighters, etc.. fleeing a similar situation during the Second World War.
Throughout its history, Catalonia has suffered several wars, all with a political background. One of the bloodiest, fiercest and recent has been the Civil War. This was carried out between 1936 and 1939, and ended with the victory of the continuing national Franco regime.
Clearly, the end of the war reprisals for Republicans behaved. Thousands were imprisoned and many executed. Others were able to flee into exile in neighboring countries, such as France, or even to more distant countries such as Mexico.
Those who fled did so the Pyrenees deciding between two options: the Pyrenees Gironí-much easier to cross at some points, being more low-or Lleidatà Pyrenees. Perhaps, the answer was already conditioned by place of origin.
Sort, population for some meant just the opposite (bad luck)
Sort , capital of the fourth largest region of Catalonia, the culd, it sure sounds like you all for the great lottery prizes has divided his state administration known as "Bruja de Oro". But now, what we want to emphasize in this population, which has been one of the busiest towns along its history and precisely for this reason.
The fact that the geographical location of Sort is so close to the border has determined that for several years was a passageway. Perhaps, as output by the exiles traveled from Lleida and also in reverse, input by people from different countries. It is believed that for this reason it was decided to implement in this population a small prison (24m ²) of men in the judicial district in an old Gothic chapel which had previously been a small hospital, in which many killed themselves arrested. From this prison will be moved to larger ones like Huesca, Lleida and Barcelona .
Now, this prison has been restored and equipped to locate in it the Freedom Trail Museum where you can get more information related to this subject and put you to the skin of those who have not achieved their goal and eventually imprisoned.
Also Sort museum features butterflies, meteorological observatory and interpretive center culd Tourist, taking advantage of the trip would be interesting to visit.
Sort had other times better, and good example of this is the castle of Sort, which inside has a space for exhibitions and other activities. The castle is dated XV century or so indicates its Gothic facade. In this castle lived the Earls of Pallars.
Step by step to reach Llavorsí and Esterri d'Àneu
At a mile and a half of Llavorsí can visit the shrine of the Mother of God and Baroque Biuse presiding medieval old town of the same name. I should add that for years about this population found a site with parts of the Bronze Age.
Also, we can find traces Gilareny Castle. This was essential to the defense of the Valle d'Àneu.
Within the same municipality can not miss the church of Sant Serni of Baiasca, the Romanesque church contains within it some murals from this period. They are gorgeous!
The next step you performed those seeking a better life continued to Esterri d'Àneu . We'll get to it through the road that we have taken above, the C-13.
This town has an outstanding heritage and a rich cultural life. Still remains part of the facade of the church of Sant Vicenç dated XV century. In fact, the new church located on the main street (dating from the eighteenth century) continues to carry the same name.
Very near here we find the bridge, which some authors place in the Romanesque tradition, and linking the two historical centers of the town. We can not miss the Creu de Terme Renaissance style, which according to popular tradition was built by the French.
Strolling Esterri d'Àneu can walk the path that runs along the river road and as we learn in detail interesting corners of great natural and cultural value of the Pyrenean village.
To finish complete the visit and further enriched with knowledge of the area is essential to visit the eco-museum of the Valley d'Àneu, and visit the house Gassia. In this interesting building, we propose to make a trip back in time and live and imagine domestic life was like inside a house during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Salardú, the last step
The next way point or above (depending on how you look at it) was located in Salardú . This was the last leg of Catalonia up to the next point that was already right on the French border, Sant Joan de Toran, the last village in the valley of Aran.
We can be reached by taking the C-28 from Esterri d'Àneu crossing Tredós Baqueira and the latter is one of the towns that form part of his parish.
In the main square of the village stands the church of Sant Andreu Romanesque transition, which in 1974 was declared a historic monument and, inside of which hides a Romanesque dated around the late twelfth century and that Christ called Salardú. Formerly, the church where there was a castle, now in ruins. From the same period is preserved part of the wall and specifically, the remains Pallars Portal.
Within this municipality can visit the site dera Mola, a grain mill to make flour and that was driven by water power.
When performing the route?
This route does not have a deadline to perform. We could say that it may be possible almost all year. Although, the availability to take out depending on the conditions in which you ride, since in the west of Catalonia, a climate Atlantic (unique in Catalonia), in which the highest rainfall record is between the months of May and June, and no strictly dry months.
Depending on the time of year we can enjoy very different landscapes. Looking to find the people snowy winter and quite cold environment, although this is one more reason to make the route and supplementing doing winter sports. In this case we must be well prepared.
Heading into the spring / summer landscapes are green and give foot to many walking tours.
Related articles: The Civil War, exile and repression in Catalonia