The Birth of Llobregat, a Gift from Nature
ITINERARY FOR BERGUEDÁ, IN FULL MUSHROOM SEASON
The these times, in which people explore the universe looking for water on the moon and life on Mars, mysteries continue to exist in areas not so far away. One of these areas which hides a secret is Castellar de N'Hug, where the river of Llobregat begins. Nothing is known of the origin of these subterranean waters which give life to the most important river in Catalonian history. Remember that the Catalonian industrial revolution was centered around the course of the Llobregat river, whose basin came to life with the installation of businesses and textile colonies throughout. The fountains are one of the most visited sights in all of Catalonia, and hence, we could not avoid their mention in this itinerary.
The excursion to Castellar de N'Hug can begin in Guardiola de Berguedá, on foot from the C-1411, where the road leading to Pobla de Lillet begins. Besides being one of the region's commercial centers and an axis of communication, Guardiola has one of it's most important monuments in its benedictine monastery, Sant Llorenz prop Bagá. There exist references to this building from as far back as the year 898. Of the monastery - almost all in ruins - remain a crypt and the Romanic church with three naves. One of the key dates in the area is the festival of All Saints, on November 1st, which is when the "feria" is celebrated.
From Guardiola, on the highway which leads to Pobla de Lillet, a 6-km-long road permits access to the Falgars Sanctuary - a Barroque structure erected at an altitude of 1,325 meters in the middle of a thick forest - which will also provide visitors with simple lodging. At a short distance from away, and through a forest trail, one can has access to anywhere from the belvedere of the Roc de la Lluna to where one can view a splendid panorama of the Catllarás mountain range. In the fall, the Bolet Market opens and sells freshly-acquired "rovellons" (a species of mushroom typical to Catalonia).
The next phase of the journey through the heart of Berguedá is La Pobla de Lillet, where the Arija and Llobregat rivers meet. It's a very dear place, which becmes invaded by "boletaires" from now until November every year. The Boletaires have in this soil one of the best places to look for and find these sought-after mushrooms. In its narrow streets, La Pobla guards a midieval aire. One of the most representative places is the Romanic Old Bridge ("el Puente Viejo") [12th-13th Centruries], over the Llobregat River. Very near, one finds, one right next to the other, the restored Romanic churches of the monastery of Saint Mary and Saint Michael of Lillet of circular form.
Another of the interesting places in the area is the Garden of "Can Artigas", also known as the Garden "de la Magnésia", designed by Gaudí and executed by and operary of Park Güell and "el Clot de Moro". In the garden, one can see the phantasmic remains of an ancient cement factory, next to which stands the Museum of Transport.
Finally, the route arrives at its destination - Castellar de N'Hug - at an altitude of 1,390 meters. This area is celebrated for its sheep-herding contests, which are carried out towards the end of August. Castellar is, without a doubt, known for being the place where spring forth the sources of the Llobregat River. As the water arrives at the river's glorious mouth, one cannot even imagine how beautiful the paradisic corner is in which it is born. It consists of various sources of subterranean water which surge up with great force from under the earth. It is a small miracle and gift from Mother Nature. It's worth it to pass through the town and take a breath of the clean air - difficult to find near cities. Thanks to this natural attraction, the villa has been increasing its number of tourist services, but without losing the charm of being of a small mountain town lost in the pre-Pyrenean zone.
From Castellar de N'Hug one can take an excursion to the La Molina ski station, by way of an extremely curvey road through the Plaza de l'Anyella. It is a beautiful and spectacular road which is normally widely used during summer months and has access to several magnificent panoramic views.
El Periódico de Catalunya