Camping La soleia d'Oix. Alta Garrotxa (Girona)

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Sightseeing

Location and characteristics of the territory

La Garrotxa is a region in NE Catalunya and is the best exponent of the volcanic landscape of the Iberian Peninsula and one of the most interesting of Europe. “El Parque Natural de la Zona Volcánica y Reservas Naturales de la Garrotxa” (The Natural Park of Volcanic Zone of La Garrotxa Nature Reserve) is a beautiful exhibition of around thirty volcanic cones in very good condition. The craters are seen to perfection. They have ten to one hundred and sixty meters high and three hundred to 1500 meters in diameter at its base. The flagship, the Santa Margarida volcano we even find a beautiful chapel built in the fifteenth century inside the crater.
In this park, twenty-five nature reserves protect twenty-four volcanoes and a forest, Fageda d’en Jordà, a legendary beech.

La Garrotxa is between the Alt Empordà and the Ripollès, in Girona, and is subdivided into two distinct parts: Alta Garrotxa (upper) and Baja (lower) Garrotxa. The natural area of Alta Garrotxa landscape presents a steep, narrow and deep valleys surrounded by high cliffs and rock walls.

In contrast, the Baja Garrotxa is soft and wet, the valleys are flat due to the volcanic activity and this has led to the development of the most important towns in the region, with its capital Olot.

The Garrotxa is a land of nature, the variety of flora and fauna is extraordinary. The high rate of rainfall, the variety of substrates and differences in altitude and direction of the mountains are reasons for that, in a small space, can be found from the more typical Mediterranean vegetation to Central European vegetation and Atlantic vegetation trend.

Orographically, is clearly defined, both north and south and south-west, because it divides the watersheds of the rivers Ter and Tec and the high basin of river Fluvià. Forest areas occupy more than three quarters of the county area, with a predominance of sclerophyllous forest on mountain slopes and rainfed arable crops spread throughout the plains of the valleys.

 

Cultural and artistic heritage

The area has been inhabited since the ninth century with the formation of small rural villages, stately homes and scattered masonry. The Catalan popular architecture fully adapts to the landscape, there are many traditional agricultural buildings and old houses.

The region presents an invaluable cultural heritage: medieval villages, Capsacosta Roman road, small churches, shrines, castles, fortresses and hermitages of all kinds are scattered throughout the territory of the Garrotxa. In the high Garrotxa there are more than 40 churches, mostly Roman style. The conservation status of these monuments is very different from each other. All have their origin in medieval times, when Romanesque art left a strong imprint on this land. The ninth century, when Besalú County, is period of re-Christianization of this region. At this time appear the first monasteries such as Sant Aniol d'Aguja, Sant Llorenç de Sous or Sant Julià del Mont. Later, in feudal times, it was time for small castles and fortresses. Most Roman history of the region are the twelfth century, ranging from the major churches of Besalú to small chapels scattered around the mountain.

Gothic style must mention the Sanctuary of Sant Ferriol in south of Besalú, or the church of Sant Miquel de Coma-de-Roure.


OlotOlot

Olot's city is placed in the intersection of small three valleys crossed by the river Fluvià, to 440 meters of height. His capital owes to itself, partly, to his central position inside the region of the Garrotxa, the industrial and commercial activity, the cultural life and the historical circumstances.
To live between volcanoes forms a part of the ordinariness of the olotenses, and is that the city it's located inside The Volcanic Region of La Garrotxa. They find four volcanoes of which stands out the Montsacopa, one in the middle of the city.

The modernist architecture and the wooded walks are the elements of the city that mas captivate for his beauty. Though also we finds other architectural styles in constructions like the Cloister of Carmen (XVIIth) or San Estevan's iglésia (The XVIII). In addition it has other singular features that her make a placid place only in the frame of the Catalan Pyrenees, as the zone of the wets of the Moixina, I calmly that surprises whom it visits, overcoat to the lovers of the art, who identify them with the painters of the Art's school.

One of its tourist ases is its cuisine, called "volcanic cuisine", being "Potatoes Olot" one of its best and most popular recipes.

Besalú Besalú

Besalú, medieval town which was a fortress between two rivers: the Fluvià in southern and Capellades in the north. The origin of the town was the castle of Besalú which is already documented in the tenth century, built on a hill where the remains of the canon of Santa Maria in the High Middle Ages. It is a historic-artistic since 1966, thanks to its great architectural and the discovery of Mikva, ancient Jewish bath, which is unique in Spain and the third discovered in Europe.

In the picture you can see the Besalú bridge. Founded in the eleventh century, is a bridge of seven arches and characterized by having angular due to the settlement of the foundations of natural river stones. Is 105 meters long and 30 meter in height including the tower of defense. 
It was bombed during de civil war and later rebuilt. Today is the symbol of the town.

Castellfollit de la Roca

Castellfollit de la Roca, a town bounded by the confluence of the rivers Fluvià and Toronell, amid which stands the spectacular basalt wall on which is the village. It’s a basalt wall of 50m height and almost a mile long, and is the direct result of the erosive actions of the two rivers on the remains of lava from volcanic eruptions that occurred thousands of years ago. When the lava solidifies resulting basalt, rock of great hardness, and it takes different forms depending on the cooling process, contraction and cracking of the lava.

Beget

Beget, a town located 541m above sea level and whose houses are staggered over the river, which is crossed by two old, but well-preserved bridges. The municipality of Beget is chaired by the Romanesque church of Sant Cristòfol of Beget, XII century, one of the most beautiful Romanesque examples in the area and beautifully restored. Inside is the famous majesty of Beget, the image of Santo Cristo (Divine Majesty), a wood sculpture of the twelfth century, with robe to toe and crown, which presides over the altar, and the protagonist of a curious legend.

It’s also interesting a Romanesque baptismal pike, a Gothic alabaster altarpiece representing various scenes from the Christmas cycle and the life of the Virgin, and the Gothic image of the Mare de Déu de la Salut, XIV century, and a set of Baroque altarpieces. This church is listed as a national monument. The temple is a Roman exemplar of the second half of the twelfth century. Correct and tight lines, has a richly ornamented own of mature Romanesque. Built around a Benedictine monastery disappeared, the church is their only reference.

Sant Joan les FontsSant Joan les Fonts

The municipality of Sant Joan les Fonts is the second largest in the county of La Garrotxa with around 2700 inhabitants and is made up of three settlements: Sant Joan les Fonts - which gave the municipality its name -, La Canya and Begudà. The municipality is at the meeting point of the roads that join Girona, with Olot, Figueres and Camprodon. As well, it is the route taken by lovers of winter sports to reach the ski slopes of La Molina, Vallter or Andorra.

The Route of Les Tres Colades, with its spectacular basalt cliffs, is a walking route that shows the results of the cooling of the lava as it flowed towards the site of the town.

The centre of Sant Joan les Fonts displays its past through many examples of natural and artistic heritage.

The church of the old Romanesque monastery of Sant Joan les Fonts has been declared a monument of national interest. The medieval bridge - constructed with volcanic stone. The medieval castle Estada Juvinyà is the oldest civil Romanesque building in Catalonia, according to local historian Frances Caula (1887-1973). Situated beside the river Fluvià, it is a stately home with a fortified defensive tower and main building. The Estada Juvinyà is the base forSant Joan les Fonts' Territorial Interpretation Centre.

Fondo Mill, a place of interest because of its industrial archaeology and three lava flows that make up a natural part of the old dam. Santa Eulàlia de Begudà church and Cossei bridge at Begudà are other places of interest of the municipality.

Mare de Déu del MontSantuari de la Mare de Déu del Mont

Sanctuary of the Mare de Deu del Mont, Marian shrine of the Bishopric of Girona, located on the highest peak of the Serra (mountain range) del Mont. According to legend it was built on top of the mountain by the monks, who began work on the plain of Solls but the day after starting work the tools were found mysteriously in the top of the mountain. This was repeated several days and eventually the monks interpreted celestial desire was that the chapel was in that place.



Vall de Núria

“La Vall de Núria” is a valley located in the Pyrenean town of Queralbs, in the eastern Pyrenees, in the province of Gerona. Located at an altitude of 2000 meters above sea level, is surrounded by peaks around 3000 meters where multiple sources and stremas are born. It is a perfect spot for hiking, the views are magnificent and routes are well marked.

It has a unique transport: the cog railway (tren cremallera), which has a distance of 12,5 km and a slope of more than 1000 meters. It is a pilgrimage site where is the Shrine of the Virgin of Nuria, where was drafted in 1931 the first Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia.

According to tradition, San Gil arrived in the valley around 700 AD. This saint, with Athenian origin, lived in the valley for four years. Again according to legend, the saint carved a statue of the Virgin which hid in a cave when he's forced to flee the valley when the Arabs invaded the Iberian Peninsula. Next to the Virgin left hidden the pot used for cooking, the cross which presided his prayers and the bell with which he called the shepherds to eat.
In 1072, a pilgrim from Dalmatia, named Amadeo, arrived in the valley looking for the image of the Virgin Mary as a divine revelation. He built a small chapel on the pilgrims attending. In 1079 he found the image, near the cross, the bell and the pot and moved all the sacred objects to the chapel.

The truth is that the image of the Virgin of Nuria today is revered is a carving dating between the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. It is a wood carving in Romanesque style. Primitive features, it still has its polychromy well-preserved.

To this day has come a curious tradition. Women who want children place their heads under the pot of San Gil and do ring the bell. Each ring represents a child who is expected the Virgin to bless her. The shepherds considered the Virgin of Núria patron of fertility. Since 1983 is also the patron saint of Catalan skiers. The canonical coronation of the Virgin of Núria was in 1965.


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Camping La Soleia d'Oix - Mas Can Vilà - 17856 Oix - (Alta Garrotxa)
Tel: 972 29 45 61 - Fax: 972 29 40 29 - E-mail: info@lasoleiadoix.cat 
GPS: 42.271387, 2.522489