Experiences in the heart of Cardona

Experience the essence of a land with a long history

HomeExperiencesCardona and the land
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Cardona: escenari de pel·lícula

Located in the Bages region, Cardona is a place brimming with history. With a privileged geographical location, close to the Cardener River, which is crossed by the legendary Devil's Bridge ("Pont del Diable"), the municipality of Cardona preserves a unique legacy filled with monuments and heritage. The exploitation of potassium salts, thanks to the geological characteristics of Salt Mountain, has played a very important role in the socio-economic development of the territory. Moreover, Cardona today boasts one of the most well-preserved monumental complexes from the medieval period in Catalonia.

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Salt Mountain

Cardona salt is a magnificent geological and gastronomic treasure. The ancient origin of Cardona salt starts with a fascinating journey more than 40 million years ago, when the Catalan landscape was dominated by an arm of the sea. This ancestral sea, isolated and evaporated by geological changes and the rise of mountain ranges such as the Pyrenees, left behind a precious legacy, a diapir formed by large layers of pure salt: potash, halite and carnallite.

Cardona's Salt Mountain is a unique phenomenon, rising to the surface and standing out for its singularity and importance on the international scene. Cardona salt, extracted directly from the heart of this ancient landscape, is renowned for its extraordinary purity, a quality that conveys the unique geological history of this land.

The visit to the Salt Mountain Cultural Park is a complete experience that includes:

  • Guided tours or dramatised visits (ideal for families) through a 500-metre gallery, more than 80 metres deep.
  • A free walk through the old mining facilities, where you can see exhibitions of photographs and the old machinery used in the shafts.
  • The projection of "Ànima Minera", a fictitious audiovisual experience to get to know the life of the miners and their families.
  • Visit to the Art Sal Handicraft Centre, where you can visit an exhibition and purchase handmade products.
  • A shop with local products and Cardona souvenirs.

You can also taste and buy Cardona salt, a unique, high-quality product.

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Historical centre

The historic centre, declared a Cultural Asset of National Interest under the category of Historic Site, offers a journey into Cardona's medieval past. Through guided tours, you can discover its rich historical heritage and its importance as a centre for the extraction and marketing of salt. We recommend that you let your curiosity get the better of you and wander through the streets until you reach the porticoed market square, where you can see a variety of arches of different styles. It is also worth walking to the Plaça de la Fira, where you can enter the Gothic church of Saint Michael, built in the 14th century and which today still houses vestiges of the past, such as the altarpiece featuring Saint Anna, the Holy Mother and Saint Amadour, by Pere Vall. On the other hand, next to the church is a monumental fountain by the sculptor Josep Campeny, which commemorates the events of 1714.

You can also see the Graell gateway, the only entrance through the ancient wall that is still standing, as well as the Gothic chapel of Saint Eulàlia. Guided tours of the historic centre are a window into the daily life of its former inhabitants and an opportunity to appreciate Cardona's cultural heritage.

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Festivals and traditions

Cardona's richness is not limited to its monuments. Its festivals and traditions, such as the Festa Major, the Festa de la Sal, the Festa Major del Castell (festival of Saint Raymond Nonnatus) and the Fira de la Llenega, among others, all celebrate the local history and culture.

Today, the Festa Major includes acts and events with centuries-old traditions, preserving both its civic and religious character. As a civic event, the most representative part of the festival is the correbou held in the Plaça de la Fira, while the procession of the Mare de Déu Petita with a Bastons dance is the key element of the religious festivity. However, it should be noted that, nowadays, the Festa Major de Cardona has incorporated many cultural and festive events that further enrich the celebration of our land and its traditions.

The Festa de la Sal is a key spring event in the calendars of the people of Cardona. Its origin is somewhat obvious, celebrating one of the most important elements in the history of Cardona: salt. This festival is based on the old Pentecost Fair, and today it stands on four pillars: culture, crafts & trade, gastronomy and heritage.

During the last weekend of October, the popular Fira de la Llenega, dedicated to the world of mushrooms, hosts several activities related to this local product. You can find everything from mushroom tastings to competitions, conferences and exhibitions, as well as all kinds of mushrooms and artisan food products for sale. And the little ones can enjoy the children's festival "Tocats del Bolet", where these future mushroom lovers are guaranteed to have a good time.

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Castelltallat Astronomical Observatory

The Castelltallat Mountain Range, a quiet and almost uninhabited place, is home to an astronomical observatory located at an altitude of almost a thousand metres. This privileged location, far from the light and noise of the cities, offers an ideal setting for exploring the universe. The observatory proposes a series of activities designed for all ages and levels of interest in astronomy.

Discovering the universe is an activity that can be carried out by business groups, families, couples or friends. It lasts two hours and is divided into two groups of 15 people, and it can include different objectives or goals. In addition, theme nights are organised to observe particularly impressive stars or space phenomena. A recommended way to get started in the world of astronomy is to attend a Sky Baptism, an activity that takes place every Saturday night, where you get to do a basic exploration of the universe.

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The surroundings

To enrich your stay and knowledge of Cardona and its surroundings, we have selected a number of key places where you can make the most of your visit to the Bages region and beyond. From cultural and nature discovery routes to food and wine tours, these resources will allow you to plan each excursion in detail.

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Bages

It must be said that Bages, the region in which Cardona is located, has an extraordinary natural, cultural and historical heritage. We can find iconic monasteries such as that of Montserrat or Saint Benet, a large number of Romanesque and Gothic churches, picturesque places such as the Iberian settlement of Cogulló, and even the certainty of well-known legends such as the Drummer of El Bruc ("El Timbaler del Bruc").

The National Park of Montserrat and the Natural Park of Sant Llorenç de Munt i l'Obac are two essential natural sites. These are places of unquestionable beauty that can be discovered through a wide variety of hiking itineraries. They are part of the UNESCO World Geopark of Central Catalonia, which includes a total of 29 Bages municipalities, among others, highlighting the area's biodiversity and variety of interesting geological elements.

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Solsona

With its medieval charm, Solsona preserves the Pont, Castell and Llobera gates, as well as parts of the old city walls, which bear witness to its history as a walled city. The Ice Well ("Pou de Gel") and the tranquillity of its streets are also notable, offering a journey into the past that invites you to remember the ways of life of yesteryear.

On the other hand, a visit to the Miracle Sanctuary reveals the history of some unique Baroque altarpieces, from the miraculous apparition of the Virgin to the construction of the monument. Key areas such as the Bassadòria, the church, the Santísimo chapel, the sacristy and the cloister are visited, offering a deep dive into the evolution of the place and its spiritual and artistic richness over time. We also recommend a visit to the monumental complex of Sant Esteve d'Olius, a spectacular example of Lombard Romanesque architecture that was consecrated in 1079 at the behest of the Count of Urgell and its inhabitants.

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Manresa

Manresa, rich in history, boasts medieval streets, baroque mansions and modernist buildings. The Sanctuary of the Cave of Saint Ignatius, where Saint Ignatius wrote his Spiritual Exercises, is particularly noteworthy, as it was converted into a monumental sanctuary with views of Montserrat, a symbol of the city and of Jesuitism. On the other hand, the Collegiate Basilica of Saint Mary, popularly known as "La Seu" and designed by Berenguer de Montagut, preserves Gothic altarpieces and other valuable pieces of art that take us back to a different era.

After these cultural visits, we recommend ending the day with a stroll through the Parc de la Sèquia, either on foot or by bicycle.

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