The Vall de Boi is a further narrow, steep-sided valley and a small municipality in the province of Lleida; in the autonomous community of Catalonia, northern Spain. Moreover, this place lies in the northeastern corner of the comarca of Alta Ribagorça, on the edges of the Pyrenees. It is indeed the largest municipality of the region, with its main town being Barruera.
The valley is further best known for its nine Early Romanesque churches; making it the site of the densest concentration of Romanesque architecture in Europe. In addition, it was designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO on November 2000. The valley also includes holiday and amazing places to visit like the highest ski resort in the Pyrenees, at Boí-Taüll; and borders the Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park which lies to the northeast.
History of Vall de Boi
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.
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. 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), near to Parc de Montjüic
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. On the other hand, for the active and adventurous amongst you, there is the opportunity to have a go at skiing in the area at Boi-Taüll resort
. Also, 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 get there
Address: Lérida, Spain
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.
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