Start the journey from Barcelona in a comfortable coach to the municipality of Cardona where is sited the old salt mine. The Mountain of Sal of Cardona is a diapir that grows every year, occupying a depression of the terrain with elongated ellipse shape with an area of 1,800 m long by 600 wide and an area of 100 hectares, with natural characteristics that have it a fact deserving to be included in the Plan of Spaces of Natural Interest of Catalonia. Salt outcrops are located within this depression, so it was formerly known as the Saline, and today it is known as Valle Salino.
After the closure of the mines the tourist exploitation of the area began, creating the Cultural Park of the Mountain of Salt, a cultural equipment that was inaugurated in 2003 inside the enclosure of the Mine Nieves. In it you can see the history of the industrial exploitation of the Valley. You can also see the machinery of mineral extraction from the well, as it was when it was fully operational and you can visit the interior of the galleries of the Salt Mountain on a guided tour at 86 m depth.
You will continue to Cardona Castle. You’ll have the opportunity to visit the modern fortress and parts of the old Castle of Cardona, built in 886 by Wilfredo “el Velloso” (the Downi); Of Romanesque and Gothic styles, includes the so-called Golden Room and the Sala dels Entresols. Its jewel is the tower of the Minyona (from the XI century), with its 15 meters of height and more than 10 meters in diameter, and the Romanesque church of San Vicente de Cardona.
During the fifteenth century, the dukes of Cardona were the most important family of the Crown of Aragon, only after the Royal Family. The members of this ducal house were known as “crownless kings,” because they had extensive territorial dominions in Catalonia, Aragon and Valencia, and dynastic ties with the royal houses of Castile, Portugal, Sicily, and Naples. In 1714, after a siege that largely destroyed the walls of the castle, Cardona was the last stronghold to surrender to the Bourbon troops of Philip V during the War of Succession. His citadel could not be taken, later, by Napoleon’s troops.
After the visit to the castle you will go to a room where the brunch composed by local food, one glass of wine and one of cava will be served.
Later on you will drive to Montserrat Mountain. Montserrat is a multi-peaked rocky range formed of sedimentary rocks shaped by the wind and rain. The popular imagination has seen human and animal shapes in some of these peaks, giving those names and inventing legends to explain their fantastic origins. This trip to Montserrat will give you the opportunity to enjoy the wonderful and breathtaking views of the Montserrat Mountain, one of nature’s special creations.
You will go up to Montserrat with the cog-wheel train, which leaves you in the middle of the Monastery. It is a 15-minute trip with a privileged and spectacular view of the mountain. The train has panoramic windows which make the actual journey an interesting attraction. The train is air-conditioned and completely wheelchair-friendly.
You will visit the Royal Basilica of Montserrat, which holds the famous 12th century Romanesque carving of Verge Moreneta (the Black Madonna). You will be able to see this famous statue of the Black Madonna from a distance. The Benedict sanctuary of Montserrat was founded in 1025 and provides a mystical backdrop for the Virgin of Montserrat, the patron saint of Catalonia who is enshrined in the monastery’s Royal Basilica. The little monastery soon began to receive pilgrims and visitors who contributed to the spread of stories of miracles and wonders performed by the Virgin. Today, Montserrat has been modernized to continue attending the pilgrims need, one thousand years after it was originally founded.
You will also be given some free time to visit the audio visual exhibition about the history and creation of Montserrat and taste typical liquors of Montserrat.
Julia Travel Office at Carrer de Balmes 5, Barcelona