Vall de Boí

Where the Pyrenees touch the sky

Located in a privileged place, at the base of the Aigüestortes National Park and the Estany de Sant Maurici ( San Mauricio lake ), one of the most beautiful natural surroundings in Spain, with its spectacular landscapes, impressive peaks, lush forests and hundreds of lakes and lagoons. One of the most charming valleys in Catalonia. Here you will find a place full of ancient legends, traditions and a slow lifestyle that reminds us of our ancestors. All this in a magical setting of great natural beauty and a unique set of medieval Romanesque jewelery declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco.

Unesco World Heritage

The Romanesque complex of the Vall de Boí is made up of eight churches and a hermitage: Sant Climent and Santa Maria de Taüll, Sant Joan de Boí, Santa Eulàlia, d´Erill La Vall, Sant Feliu de Barruera, the Nativity of Durro, Santa Maria de Cardet, the Assumpció de Cóll and the hermitage of Sant Quirc de Durro. The Romanesque was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in the year 2000 and is surprising for the concentration of churches of the same architectural style in a small space. It has been preserved with few modifications over the years due to the isolation of the valley until the 20th century. Built during the 11th and 12th centuries, following the models of northern Italy, the Lombard Romanesque, the Vall de Boí churches are functional buildings with one or three naves, which are erected with careful granite work and are covered with beams of wood or barrel vaults. Its bell towers stand out: slender square plan towers that fulfilled a function of communication and surveillance of the territory. Inside the churches, the set of mural paintings, the Descendants of the Cross, the carvings and the frontals of the altar filled the spaces with images destined to reveal the spiritual values ​​of medieval society.

The Aigüestortes National Park

The Aigüestortes and Estany de Sant Maurici National Park is one of the fourteen national parks in Spain and the only one in Catalonia. Located in the heart of the Pyrenees, it is an excellent representation of the main ecosystem that you can discover in the high mountains. Summits that exceed three thousand meters in height; rivers, ravines, waterfalls and swamps that make you truly feel, like in the land of water; more than 200 mountain lakes of different shapes and colors. A great diversity of flora and fauna that insists on surviving in a rigorous physical environment, giving life to this protected natural space, unique for southern Europe. During the four seasons of the year, the National Park offers a complete program of activities. Interpreting guides, excursions with snowshoes in the winter time, naturalist days, exhibitions, talks and competitions that have as objective to publicize the main natural resources of the National Park to improve the protection and conservation of these privileged ecosystem.

Starlight destination

The Aigüestortes National Park is considered a Starlight reserve and tourist destination. The park was recognized as one of the best places to observe stars in Spain. This occurs because it enjoys excellent qualities for the contemplation of the sky and that being protected from light pollution and the favorable atmospheric conditions make optimal astronomical observation possible. To be part of the list of starlights destinations, the quality of the night sky and the light of the stars is evaluated, as well as a guaranty of commitment to the ecosystem conservation having an adequate and sustainable tourist offer.

Ancestral traditions

Traditionally, the summer solstice was celebrated with the descent of the Fallas ¨La Festa del Foc.¨ A tradition rooted since ancient times in the villages of Vall de Boí. The festival is related to the worship of the sun, giving thanks to the gods for the harvest received and to drive away evil spirits. Today this important celebration in the Vall de Boí goes beyond its roots, and the festivities begin around the middle of June and last until the middle of August, passing from village to village. The Fire parties, is a tradition, where the boys and girls prepare their resinous wooden torches a few days before, of the big day, leaving to dry until the day of the descent. On the day of the Fallas, everything begins at the lighthouse, a high point in the mountain from where they will come out with their torches illuminating the route to the village. On arrival at the village square, people receive them with joy and music. A large bonfire is built and the celebration begins, which can last all night.

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