There are 1900 Romanesque churches in the region of Catalonia. Romanesque architecture refers to a type of architecture dating back to medieval Europe and is considered to be the first art style to spread internationally across the continent.
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Vall de Boi has the highest concentration of Romanesque architecture in Europe which was formally recognised in 2000 when the 8 churches and one hermit in the valley were named UNESCO World Heritage sites. It is a narrow, steep-sided valley and a small municipality in Catalonia.
The churches were built during the 11/12th Centuries at a time of increasing prosperity in the region. Using profits made during the reconquest campaigns, the Erill family built the churches in order to promote their power and social status amongst the communities. The churches provide a unique opportunity to view Romanesque architecture against the stunning backdrop of the hills and mountains surrounding them.
Today you can not only visit the churches but also the murals of the churches which can be found in MNAC (National Art Museum of Catalonia), located near to Parc de Montjüic in Barcelona.
What to do there
You will find more information on guided tours and visiting the 8 churches and hermit in the Romanesque Centre of Vall de Boi. Most of the churches are open daily 10.00-14.00, 16.00 – 19.00.
Besides admiring the Romanesque architecture there are also many other activities in the area to enjoy such as skiing, hot springs, hiking and water sports.
For the active and adventurous amongst you, there is the opportunity to have a go at skiing in the area at Bai-Taüll resort.
There are also many hiking routes around the area and the website of Vall de Boí offers 6 different itineraries for you to explore the beautiful scenery on foot.
After all these activities you may want to unwind and pamper yourself in the hot springs located in the valley. The hot springs Caldes de Boí have 37 fountains with water temperatures ranging from 4 ° C to 56 ° C. It is also possible to stay in hotels near the area to truly indulge yourself with a variety of beauty and therapeutic treatments.
How to arrive
It is possible to take the bus from Barcelona Nord station to Pont de Suert (4 hours) and then from here to Pla de Ermita (35 mins). It is best to check the ALSA website or visit Barcelona Nord station for up to date timetables and prices.
It takes approximately 3 hours 30 mins by car. Follow the A-2 and then once near Leida, turn onto the N-230 until the L-500 junction (Vall de Boí). Take the L-500 until the LV-502, which leads to the town Erill la Vall. You will find a public car park on the edge of Erill la Vall.
Many who visit Vall de Boi visit for a day or two whilst staying in Barcelona. If you need help in finding accommodation in Barcelona then visit www.barcelona-home.com.
- Vall de Boí, Lleida, Spain.
- By Bus - from Barcelona Nord station to Pont de Suert, then from here to Pla de Ermita