We invite you to discover the history of beam heads, the wooden sentries that watch over from the roofs of the houses of Solsona.
Strolling through the solemn old town, we realize that splayed eyes spit on us from the heights, most of them are characters with grotesque faces. We propose you a route to locate them in less than an hour.
Beam heads are carved, large-sized faces, which are part of the structural beams that support the roofs and decorate the lateral end of the beam in some historic Solonin houses. In some cases, the ceiling beams of balconies or tribunes culminate. The façade of the houses has been a rejection of the idiosyncrasy of its inhabitants.
The appearance of the balcony as a substitute for the orchestra showed the desire to occupy the urban space and reflects the social position in a population of estates. Thus, the appearance of sculpted beam heads can be attributed to a desire to ostentate families. The oldest ones are found on the porches of Ca l’Aguilar, in the Plaza Mayor (dating from the 15th century). Later (1756) are the baroque elements of the house of the Morató sculptor’s estate (where the library is currently located).
Citizens’ sensitivity to the preservation of heritage led to the twentieth century the beautification of facades, adapting beam heads as a constructive visual solution to the houses that were reformed. Most of it is the work of the sculptor Manel Casserras i Boix (1929-1996), best known as a giant artist and author of a large part of the giants of Catalonia. Beam heads have been a distinctive element of the popular Solonin architecture, of uncertain origins.
Popular rumorology says that they aimed to scare evil spirits. Why, if not, would these faces be scary? This itinerary through the historic center makes up about twenty points.
On the right, you can see the beam head we have at Hotel la Freixera. We invite you to come and see him personally!
Below we show you the itinerary you can do to find all beam heads, will you be able to find them all?
- Start of the route. Just before entering the bridge portal we can see it again.
- We find a trio of guardians.
- We enter the Museum D.C., where at the entrance there is an 18th century head, formerly located on the roof of the cathedral.
- In the Plaza Mayor, under the arcades of Ca l’Aguilar, there are the oldest ones in Solsona (15th century).
- Here we can see five.
- In the house of August Font, a native architect of Solsona and the author of the chamber of the Cloister and the dome of the cathedral of Barcelona, there is a noble and serene look, carved in accordance with classical canons.
- You have to leave the portal and look up: will it be a king?
- One of the three heads reminds us of one of the crazy giants of Carnival. Do you know what?
- We face some jewels of the Baroque, surely built by the same sculptor Carles Morató in 1756 – author of the colossal altarpiece of the sanctuary of the Miracle -, which denote a great sculptural mastery. Restored in 2011, they have markedly baroque formal features: caricatured shapes and with a tendency to grotesque, realistic details, such as the curls of beards or whiskers, the teeth, the neck of the time …
- Below the bell tower there are three small dimensions.
11. We stop at the studio where the artist Mayra D’Amore has painted some of the solomon beam heads. Open Saturdays in the afternoon and Sundays in the morning (for more information: 617 443 330).
12 and 13. Tremendously grotesque, with mouth, nose and disproportionate ears, there are beam heads that guard the most emblematic place of Solsona. In the center, there is the Major, gothic fountain, with gargoyles and stone lions.
14. Before leaving the square, we find another baroque, probably from the time of construction of the house, but it is from 1876 or 1860? how slow are we doing?
15. These are the most recent, of the 21st century. Curiously, one of them is the only polychrome specimen in Solsona.
16. Now we have the opportunity to see them closely and appreciate the details.
17. Here we look at it behind the glass of the hotel La Freixera, taken from the cover of the house located on Carrer de la Regata, no. 3. Its appearance is attributed to the Baroque.
18. Next to the other we observe three more.
19. About to complete the route, we appreciate here four more.
20. And finally, animal forms that honor the name of the street.
We hope you like the route.
For more information, go through the Tourist Office or visit its website: www.solsonaturisme.com
As we said in the previous post, we started with the series of informative blogs where you will find: routes, activities, what to do, guided tours, opinions and everything you need to know to spend two days in Solsona and do not miss anything!
Solsona, is a city located very close to the geographical center of Catalonia (Pinós), it has approximately 9000 inhabitants and is more known as “the city halfway to everything”, since, from Solsona, there It has more or less the same distance to the most popular capitals: Barcelona – 115km, Lleida – 79km, Andorra – 88km, Tarragona – 127km.
Solsona is a city that preserves the old medieval city in very good conditions that, over the years, the families of former owners have been returning their lives by reforming it.
At the moment, it is a historical city woven with tradition jealously guarded; It is a city where the olive grows and the flourish blooms, full of life and restlessness that, located in the center of Catalonia, struggles to be present and active in the history of today’s Catalonia.
Today, we will focus on bringing the history of the city to life by visiting its streets inside and outside the walls. Some interesting routes in the surroundings with scent landscapes and we will soak in the Sant Ponç reservoir.
Keep reading and find ideas for these two days:
We get up early with the cool breeze that accompanies this small mountain town, take lunching forces and head towards the entrance of the old town, at the Portal del Pont.
On the right, we will find the Ice Well, where we can take a guided tour, which is very worthwhile (visit www.solsonaexperience.com for hours and rates!). We continue up the street until arriving at the square of the Cathedral where we can admire the current Gothic building superimposed on the Romanesque church and the image chapel of Our Lady of the Cloister, from the 12th century.
We continue climbing and we will run into the Plaza Mayor, where we usually celebrate the events of the city and where we will find the “Can Massana” pastry shop founded in 1964, At present, it is preserved, if it does or does not do the same, the origin of the recipe of the famous croissant cake (you can not leave Solsona without trying!).
Take a little breath, because the rise has just begun!
If we continue on, we will find the “Tower of Hours” where we hang the Solsonins donkey for Carnival (a fake one!), And then the town hall.
The slope is over, and as you can see, it has been worthwhile, from the front of the Town Hall we can admire the final section of Carrer Castell, with the Castle portal at the end, which creates a very unique and peculiar depth effect . We have reached the end of the main street of the old town, but there are many more little ones, perhaps not so well-known, but with the same charm as the latter for which we have walked.
It is about enjoying each of the streets that have their own charm and get lost in the walls of the old town.
After enjoying the wonderful paths and streets of the old town, having visited historic sites and having done some tourism, it is time to fill your stomach with a good home-made lunch (you will find some options here www.solsonaturisme.com/ca/on-menjar ) And have a good nap. We are waiting for a busy afternoon!
As soon as digestion is done, we will head to Castellvell, a very old castle dating from the year 1217 that is currently a viewpoint from where we will obtain spectacular views of all the Vinyet de Solsona and much of Of the region.
Before that, we will pass through the Mare de la Font Park, a beautiful place surrounded by forest and small waterfalls.
If we follow the following route on foot, we will arrive to Castellvell:
If after completing the route and having the best views of Solsona, you are not tired, you can stop taking the fresh air at any of the bars or restaurants with terrace. There are many to choose from!
Get a swim at the Sant Ponç swamp
We had a pretty busy first day, it is likely that we will even have pittances!
So this second day we will take relaxation and enjoy the Solsonès landscapes.
Taking advantage of the good weather, we carry our backpacks with towels, swimsuits, sun cream and everything we need to spend the day in the swamp!
The Sant Ponç reservoir is located between Solsona and Cardona, we can access both by car or by bicycle.
- To go by car: (from the Hotel la Freixera)
- Northwest direction from Sant Llorenç Street to Travessia Sant Roc
- Continue on Carretera de Manresa and C-55. After passing a few roundabouts … Take the exit towards Sta. Susanna from C-55.
- At the roundabout (yes, another), take the third exit and head towards the Pantano de Sant Ponç. It’s a narrow road but it’s okay.
- To go by bicycle:
Once we reach the reservoir we have two paths, cross the dam and look for a good place to extend our towels or stay near the Campsite, where there is a bar, just next to the dam.
It’s time to relax, soak up the sun or enjoy a dip in the swamp until noon. We take the picnic baskets, and good profit!
After dinner (food is much better in the middle of nature!), It seems that we have nothing left to do with the same routine in the morning, but calm, that we do not get bored!
Just in the other corner of the dam, we have the booth of the marsh, a small shop, where we can enjoy aquatic activities such as canoeing, paddle stand …
For more information about schedules and activities, click on the following link: Caseta del Pantà.
At Hotel la Freixera we have discounts for some of the activities mentioned in the Blog, for our clients.
Take advantage and stay with us! –> Reserva!!
Information provided by:
Follow us every Monday!
Hotel amb encant a Solsona, casa artesana del segle XIV