El Batlliu

Enviny

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Municipal area of Enviny (El Batlliu)

Enviny is also a typical village of El Batlliu, with large houses many of which are still roughcast in white. As soon as you get to the village, you will be able to see the Church of La Purificació and the rectory next to it. At present, the village is trying to replace a Gothic altarpiece that the village decided to sell in 1905 (a decision taken at a meeting, with the opposition of only two residents of the village) with a reproduction of it. The altarpiece was sold in two parts; one to the Hispanic Society of New York and the other to the Art Museum of Philadelphia. They also sold a Romanesque carving of a virgin, which has never been found. The original altarpiece was the work of Pere Espallargues and dates from the 15th century. He also worked in Abella de la Conca and in Son del Pi.

 

 

 

Castelleviny

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Municipal area of Castelleviny (El Batlliu)

The origin of Castellviny and of its name come from the old castle that overlooked Sort and its surrounding areas. In mediaeval times, the Castellum viciniae, or castle in the environs, must have occupied an important strategic position at the junction between the roads that led to Sort, Olp, Altron and Pujalt.

 

Pujalt

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Terme de Pujalt  (El Batlliu)

Pujalt

As soon as you get to the village you come to the church and the schools. The current church is a modern construction built in 1970 with "Moderniste" style influences (the architect was an indirect follower of Antoni Gaudí), and replaced the old church which was destroyed at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War, in 1936.

 Using the stones of the old church they built the Studio, which served as inspiration to the author to create one of the most emblematic scenes of his work, Les veus del Pamano. This school, in fiction, was transferred to the village of Torena, the literary name for Llessui.

 

The school now houses the Butterflies of Catalonia Museum, an important collection of the butterflies of Catalonia with information about their life and customs. In the future, the Museum will be moved to a new building in the same village.

 Many of the houses in Pujalt have been refurbished, but you can still see some traditional features. In Casa Beta, one of the well-off households in the village, there are still original building features, such as the impressive arcades of the corrals. If you walk round the back of the house, you can see several points to look at, windows that are narrower outside than inside, that allow people to look out without being seen.

 From Pujalt, you can observe something curious. This is the only inhabited village from which you can see the emblematic Pica d'Estats, the highest mountain in Catalonia.

 

Llarvén

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Municipal area of Llarvén (El Batlliu)

Llarvén is on the left river bank of Montardit Gully. You can see different houses there, roughcast in white, most of which are large. The village has a strange structure, with a group of houses in the lower part and another cluster higher up. The old people of the village say that in the past, next to the gully, there had been a mine. The mine submerged, burying a group of workers and the chaplain. As a result of the shift of the earth caused by this submergence, the river changed its course and created an artificial lake. It filled up, until it gave way, and produced a serious flood that washed away most of the houses in the village. Only the houses in the higher part remained, which now occupy the lower part. The houses at the top are the new houses that were built by the residents to replace the old homes.

Montardit de Dalt i de Baix

Municipal area of Montardit de Dalt – de Baix (El Batlliu)

The village of Montardit de Dalt is near Sort. If you go there, you will be able to see the recovered municipal cross, a piece of stone that was sculpted in the 14th to 15th centuries. The cross disappeared from its place during the 1920s. A photograph taken before its disappearance allowed it to be found again. It had gone to the Maricel Museum in Sitges. In 2008, the town recovered its cross and installed it inside the parish church, where it can currently be visited.

 

Olp

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Terme d’Olp (El Batlliu)

Olp

 

Olp was a village of well-off households and good crop land which the people from the surrounding settlements knew as the manor of Olp. Strolling through its streets, you can see how grandiose most of the farmhouses were, many of which are now uninhabited.

 Some years ago these houses were full of people and stable hands. When the price of labour increased, it was no longer feasible to keep on the workers. They changed their jobs and the owners went with them. In Mel i metzines, Maria Barbal gives an example of these wealthy homes: «Els parents d’Olp vivien en una casa desmesurada, d’aquelles que s’havien fet ajuntant-ne dos de qualsevol manera, qui sap el temps que feia.»

 It was said that before, in this village, the differences between those who had most and those who had least was noticeable. On the day of the Town Festival, when going to Mass or to Rosary, the rich and the poor always made two queues and never mixed with each other.

 Above the central part of the village there is La Força d'Olp. Its name indicates the strategic importance of the place, which in mediaeval times must have had a castle or a fort. In fact, Olp was one of the places which was protected, defending the Count of Pallars and Count Hug Roger III against the troops of Ferdinand II of Aragon and his absolutist monarchy, undergoing a siege that lasted nine days and ended on the 15th of August 1485 with all the residents being taken prisoner, five of whom were severely interrogated and hung from some trees in the municipality of Sort.

Heading towards La Força (literally the fort), you will see the old tower-entrance gate, which over time ended up being converted into a home.

Climbing the steep streets, you come to the Font del Frare (lit. The Friar's Fountain) which drips onto the rock and, in front of it, the public wash rooms.

 Joan Lluís remembers in his book El meu Pallars, a saying that he had heard when he was little: «Qui ha passat pels carrers d’Olp i no ha estat burlat, ha passat per l’infern i no s’ha cremat.» Another variant of this says: «Qui per la plaça d’Olp ha passat i no ha estat xiulat, ha anat a l’infern i no s’ha cremat.»