This route forms a small itinerary of four ancient bridges that were already in use many years ago. We invite you to go through the itinerary and take a selfie in each one of them! In addition, the routes can also be done with snowshoes.
On each bridge there is a comparison with old photos, a historical note so that you can get to know them better and a small set of clues to be able to do as a family. If you read the information and observe the environment, you will be able to answer the final riddle and thus, they will make the route more interesting.
The bridges are part of Núria's current landscape and also of its history. The existence of two torrents, which surround the sanctuary plain, meant that they were built to allow the comfortable circulation of processions, pilgrims or authorities.
They date back to Romanesque times, when the semicircular arch was the most common architectural form for doors, windows of monasteries, churches and castles of that time. The origin of this style is with the Romans, and it is believed that they may have arisen from the evolution of false vaults. It was the system with which shepherd's huts were made, in which with each new row of stone a little more was placed inwards; in such a way that when the final closure was made with a large slab, the whole set gained in solidity.
To build the semicircular arch, was first made on the stone blocks. Which blocks joined by the pressure by each other were kept fastened firmly and strongly once the hanger was removed.
Some of these bridges are still standing, others have been replaced by bridges built with shapes that are no longer the semicircular arch, and more advanced techniques and materials such as wood, iron, cement or concrete. However, in Núria the Romanesque semicircular arch wanted to be remembered by the architect Josep Danés i Torres in various parts of the new sanctuary that he designed and built throughout the 20th century.
St. Gil was a person in love with animals. He didn’t want anyone to hurt them. Even once Gil saved the life of a deer that was being chased by a hunter.
In Núria, Gil lived with shepherds and was able to love the mountain dogs that kept the cattle, and he saw other animals there, such as the Catalan guarana, which served those shepherds. Having to leave Núria hastily for a persecution, the saint left hidden in the cave of the chapel of Sant Gil the carving of the Virgin, a cross and a bell. Discovered these treasures a few centuries later, the shepherds took them in procession from the saint’s chapel to the church, crossing the Finestrelles torrent by this bridge.
On this bridge is repeated every year, on September 1, this procession that revives the foundation of the sanctuary. Everyone who crosses it begins the adventure of feeling, participating and reliving the mysteries of Núria’s past.
QUESTION: We have already seen that shepherds and pilgrims passed through this bridge but also animals, could you tell which animal passed through this bridge, with the intention of protecting other animals?
CLUE: If you are heading 325 ° from here, as many meters as the years of the second millennium, you will find it with your back to you.
The first essential services of Núria were established near this bridge. First there were some woods installed next to the river, which, known as nocturnal, were used for washing clothes, there was also a small mill, then the building of the first cafe, which dates from the last years of the 19th century and finally the Cremallera services, which allow, among many other things, Núria to be an accessible place all year round, even in the harsh winter months. Thanks to the Núria Cremallera's, the valley soon became a renowned and popular ski resort.
The name of St. Ignatius is a reminder to the community of Jesuit religious, who had been founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola. These Jesuit religious had taken advantage of Núria's peace and tranquility to take Christian formation courses and retreats, the famous Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.
Everyone who passes by should not forget how necessary and important it is for Núria and for everyone it has been the rack railway and the associated services.
QUESTION: Life in Núria took a 360ª turn with the arrival of the zip line, could you tell when this big change happened, in what year did the zip line arrive in Núria?
CLUE: If you look around you, not too far from here and related to the zipper, there is a very basic, covert, 4-digit number, add 697 to the number and you will know the answer.
This bridge is the beginning of some of the excursions from Núria following the course of the torrent of Nou Fonts towards high peaks, where the vegetation and the orography change and the hiking and the excellent are experienced in an excellent way. In the high mountains everything changes: the rivers are very close to their source, and flow down fast and downhill, and are often called "torrents".
The Mulleres torrent, the Eina torrent and the other Núria torrents are part of the tributaries of the Freser river. The need to come to Núria on a pilgrimage from France, or the Camprodon valley via these bridges, is already reflected in the History of Núria by Francesc Marés in the 17th century.
With the arrival of the s. XX, Núria will see how hiking is born in Catalonia, first with a more scientific, humanistic aspect and later with a more social and sporting one.
Even if you only stop for a while on this bridge, you can imagine from here the greatness and beauty of the mountains of Núria passionately contemplated for many years by hikers, whose teachings and experiences continue to be beneficial and health for everyone.
QUESTION: We have seen that scientists, shepherds, or pilgrims and hikers often had to cross rivers and streams by bridges like this. What do we call these streams?
CLUE: "you need to change the start of the current", if you look at the shapes you will see that the signal is the signal, you will see the letter you need.
The Eina torrent and the valley of the same name, which gives its name to this bridge, evoke the memory of the large numbers of people who, in one sense or another, used these mountain passes as a meeting point between people and cultures, and also as an escape to freedom in times of persecution and war.
It is worth remembering, although he did not pass through this bridge, the figure of Monsignor Ventura Carrera, who fled on foot to France with the carving of the Virgin, escaped from certain death and saved the carving of the goddess of the attacks and destruction of the Civil War that began in 1936. Three years later, this bridge and others of Núria, which lead to the border with France, witnessed the flight of many other people fleeing the war.
Nowadays and always, a bridge like this one is also an opportunity to escape the routine of the city and reconnect with nature as so many poets of Núria as Verdaguer and Maragall teach:
Pirinenques, Joan Maragall 1902
A dalt del Pirineu
les flors són esblaimades,
les flors són d'un blau clar,
blavoses o morades:
són tristes dels alts monts
les crestes emboirades,
i tristos els ramats
estesos per les prades,
i la del dret pastor
El sol esblanqueït
no treu color ni escalfa;
el bosc mesquí i llenyós,
i l'herba curta i clara:
pedrosos i grisencs
els cims de les muntanyes,
tots ditejats de neu
d'eternes clapes blanques,
i fumejant arreu
la boira corre i passa.
Al tard, de dins les valls
la boira va aixecant-se,
i amb ella emmantellant
se va solemnement l'alta muntanya.
QUESTION: If you’ve read or listened well now you know that many of those fleeing this and other bridges were looking for it, and currently a lot of people fleeing the big cities are also looking for it, what are we talking about?
CLUE: The animal that is the symbol it represents, you will never find it in these mountains; but if you listen to your surroundings, you will feel it.
If you have been able to solve the riddles of the historical bridges you will be able to know which of these sentences is correct:
1. The Catalan stallion ceased to be used from 1931 with the arrival of the zipper and was dedicated to wandering the torrents enjoying the pastures.
2. The Pyrenees mountain dog was waiting for the shepherd who, from 1931 onwards, did not go up on foot but with a zipper and went back up the torrent together crossing bridges like these, to check that the cattle were grazing in peace and no beast threatened them.
3. The Pyrenees mountain dog accompanied the shepherd, who since 1930 was no longer required to climb on foot from Queralbs, and followed the Nuria torrent crossing bridges like these. Allowing him to have a trip in which he enjoyed the peace of the mountains.