What to visit
The Cradle of Catalonia. The Ripoll Monastery.
Iron and Coal Route
The Iron and Coal Route, referring to the important ironworking tradition in the Baix Ripollès Region and the coal mining of Ogassa, follows the route that was once taken by the train between Ripoll and Toralles. From this point, there is a newly built section, which links the route to the upper section, along which the mining trucks used to travel using gravity alone, thanks to a cleverly designed coal mining system. After leaving Ripoll, we can go on to Campdevànol where there is another 4-km section of greenway which follows an old highway and cattle track.
The regional capital, Ripoll, is a historical, strategic, fortified city, surrounded by a wall built in the 14th century around the monastery and the town itself. One of the towers of the five gates to the city still remains today. In the Main Square, we can see arcades as well as the main buildings of historical and architectural interest.
- The monastery of Santa Maria de Ripoll. Founded in 880 by Count Guifré el Pilós, this monastery acquired enormous political, social and cultural power, which made it a reference point in the formation of Catalonia. A fine example of Romanesque art, the monastery still conserves many original elements: the main door, the cloister, the main walls and several apsidioles, and many of the counts’ tombs, including that of Guifré el Pilós. The Ethnographical Museum is located next to the monastery. Opened in 2011, it also houses the tourist information centre.
- The Palau Forge. (Pg. de la Farga Catalana, 14-16). The metallurgic tradition both in Ripoll, hinted at by the name of this greenway, and by extension in the whole of Catalonia, is very well represented by the Palau Forge. This forge is unique due to its mechanism which has manufactured pieces of iron and copper for four centuries.
- The Tourist Reception Centre; the land of counts and abbots. At the Tourist Reception Centre (Centre d’Acollida Turística or CAT) in Ripoll, located at the start of the greenway, we can find a great deal of information on the history of Ripoll and the region under “Terra de comtes i Abats” (Land of Counts and Abbots), as well as details of the Greenways and Secrets project.
OGASSA AND THE COAL MINES
At the other end of the Greenway, in the town of Ogassa, we can find remains of the intense mining activity carried out here for 200 years. We can follow the route on foot along the “Coal Lives” (Secrets of the Greenways) to learn more about this.