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ESCALÓ ROUTE - SANT PERE DE BRUGAL MONASTERY


HISTORY:


Known for being one of the most unknown corners of the Pallars Sobirà region, the monastery of Sant Pere de Brugal is one of those large buildings that have been affected by the passage of years automatically turning it into a unique place, full of history and even, for many, almost mystical. The legends speak of repeated battles for the conquests of ancient Occitania and of hiding places of great bishops and fugitives from the medieval to the romantic era, persecuted by the power of the moment. Its current location means that it remains hidden by anyone who wants to attack it. However, the reason for its decline was precisely a massive looting carried out by the last ones who were able to take advantage of it around 1787, thanks to the fact that texts that helped to give this information are still preserved.



Architecture


As the origin of the monastery must be placed before the 9th century, the church that has reached our days is a work towards the second half of the 11th century, fully conceived within the parameters of the Pallares school of Catalan architecture of its time , totally dominated by the forms of the Lombard style. At the same time it can be considered as a paradigmatic work of its time, but it presents a peculiarity that makes it a totally exceptional Catalan Romanesque building, which is the presence of a double head, with an apse from east to west, and even this, divided on two floors, I have made that the Catalan Romanesque is only repeated in the church of the monastery of Santa Maria d'Artés del Ter.



The church arrived in the 20th century in a state of ruin and abandonment, practically reduced to the central apse of the east end. In the restoration carried out during the years 2012-2013, the general structure of the church became apparent, recovering the system of doors that communicated it with the enclosure and the monastic cemetery, and above all completely reconstructing the section east of the naves, to cover the paintings and allow the vision, even if partial, of the architectural reality of the basilica church of the monastery of Sant Pere de Burgal.


Hermitages


The hermitages were very small individual habitations, where the monks, or solitary anchorites, retired to live in prayer, solitude and the most rigorous asceticism. The grouping of several hermitages often gave rise, during the first centuries of monasticism (IV-VIII centuries), to the establishment of monastic communities. The hermitages of Burgal are artificial caves, with difficult access, located on the slope of the plane where the monastery is located. They are probably the origin of the first monastic community of Burgal, in a historical moment prior to the year 859, when a monastic community already existed in Burgal, fully established, under the government of Abbot Deligat, the first known abbot of Burgal.




ROUTE FROM ESCALÓ (1.35 KM):

Along the trail we find totally different landscapes. From bridges, rivers and farms to paths with incredible views of the area, this is what we will find when doing this signposted route, suitable for even the most inexperienced.

We start our route leaving behind the town of Escalò where we will have to leave our car parked to start the route. On the other side of the town we find a bridge that crosses the river near the CastellArnau hotel. After crossing it we will have to take the fork to our right. At the beginning, the path is wide and you can even take a dip in the river on your right. We continue up a path that gradually narrows. At km 1.33 you will find a small downhill trail that takes you to the more accessible "Eremitoris". In order to reach the monastery, you will have to go back to where you started going down to continue with the same path we left before seeing the "Hermits". In less than 5 minutes you should be able to see the great monastery spread before your eyes. In the center is the church, to your right several viewpoints and to the left the vestiges of the old annexes to the building.





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