Vall de Núria in the Ripollès region
A whole world of experiences from the start
Vall de Núria mountain resort, with a unique wealth of nature and landscape, is located in the Eastern Pyrenees, within the municipal area of Queralbs. It sits above one of the highest points of the Ribes Valley and it's surrounded by peaks of almost 3,000 metres from which flow a multitude of water sources and torrents.
We invite you to glory in this spectacular mountain landscape using an unusual form of transport: the rack railway. It covers a distance of 12.5 km and takes you up an incline of over 1000 metres.
Under the management of the Catalan Railways Tourism and Mountain Division, we have always taken great care in the upkeep of this wealth of natural heritage, introducing and maintaining an environmental management system in all the activities that have been developed. All that has been done in keeping with the requirements contained in the ISO 14001 standard. At the same time, the ski resort has been awarded a Q rating for quality, granted by the Tourist Quality Institute.
Discover an unparalleled environment where the waters of the Núria river can only run its course thanks to the deep narrow gorges that have been cut through this hard rock, until you arrive at the valley of the Freser, a river which flows into the great Ter at Ripoll.
The geographical location has determined Núria's history. The pastures of the valley were the subject of transaction between counts and monasteries; a fact that probably explains the origin of the sanctuary. Subsequently, the Treaty of the Pyrenees transformed Núria into a square border and put it in the military spotlight. In the early twentieth century Núria knows the beginning of mountaineering and winter sports in Catalonia. It was also the venue chosen by the Republican Catalan Government to draft the "1932 Statute", which is also called "Núria Statute". The image of the Virgin of Núria suffered exile, from 1936 to 1942 because of the Civil War and later remained kidnapped (1967-1972) by Catalan patriots.
The legendary origin of Núria
Núria has a rich legendary but certainly the story is the key finding of the Virgin Mary. According to the legend, San Gil, born in Athens, was appointed bishop of Nimes. He carved the image of the Virgin while living in the valley, between the years 700 and 703. With the bell he summonded the pastors and he evangelized them in front of the cross which he had carved, he gave them food cooking it in a pot. In this sense, the bell, the cross and the top represent the symbols of Núria. Preaching often was accompanied by persecution. When the persecution began he was forced to leave the valley and he hid the Virgin in a small cave.
In 1072, by divine inspiration, a man named Amadeu came from Dalmatia to the search for relics of Mary. Shepherds knew the tradition of San Gil and helped him to raise a modest chapel (the origin of the sanctuary). When Amadeu left, the shepherds rediscovered the image. They tried to carry it in procession Queralbs, but it was not possible "because it wanted to stay at Núria."
Núria's Rack Railway
1919 The transpirinenc railway of the Barcelona -Puigcerdà line arrive at Ribes de Freser.
1928 Begins the construction of the Rack Railway.
1930 30th December the first locomotive reaches Núria.
1931 22nd March the line is inaugurated.