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Because of my works on the history of the Priory of Covet (PJ) and the monastery of St. Sadurní de Tavèrnoles (AU), asking me to make an approach to the possible links between high monastery of Urgell mentioned and the monastic community of Sant Sadurní de Castell-Llordà. (=Saint Saturnine of Llordà Castle).

One of the difficulties one can encounter when wanting to know the facts in some way meets the great documentary dispersion and lack of many of the original. The other challenge is to find out whether the copy that has survived the lost original document which was made after the facts times cited documentary is a real or apparent falsehood. We think that some documents (original copies) in different time reference in calligraphy can make us doubt the document. Other times, writing can be fully false; but explains a fact and, therefore, is drawn; and also it collects and serves as a base in subsequent documents.

Next, we must refer to the monastic community Llordà Castle and its interaction with Sant Sadurní de Tavèrnoles and later with Sant Pere d’Àger (=St. Peter from Ager). Usable data collection is quite extensive; It affects some places as Isona , Llordà, Abella de la Conca and its castle, Conques, Benavent, Toló Castle and Covet. For obvious reasons of space, we will just Llordà and, exceptionally, in Isona and elsewhere. Those wanting more information can be found extending to the literature cited in the foot and localizable in Isona and elsewhere.
In fact, the events listed below, could prove the dependence of the monastic Llordà community from Tavèrnoles or Ager as the successive epochs.

Tavèrnoles receives between 912 and 914 of the count Seniofred and the bishop Nantigis, several churches and monasteries: these are the monasteries of St. Vicent d’Isona, St. Martí d’Albet, Sant Martí de Bescaran, Sant Esteve d’Umfret, Sant Sadurní Aganense, Sant Jaume d’Engordany and Sant Andreu de Castellbò (or Tresponts before named also Sant Iscle de Sentelles), in the past instituted under the Benedictine rule and now demolished and abandoned, to restore monastic life, redo buildings and beware of their heritage. The bishops Nantigis d’Urgell and Adolf de Ribagorça and the Count Seniofred along with many nobles, clergy and religious County Urgell give their freeholds, tithes and first fruits, parishes and underlying villas in the monastery of Sant Sadurní and it was Baldric abbot.
This territorial reform in favor of Sant Sadurní could be related to the consolidation of branch pilgrimage, from Foix, passed through Tavèrnoles and Anserall and Sant Esteve del Pont splicing the main trunk of the Saint James path of Segre. The same happens in some of the subsequent donations received by the monastery and covering the route of the Andorran road to Santiago de Compostela.
Recall that this Jacobean branch of Segre, before the Christian conquest of Balaguer, reaching to Nargó, Bòixols, Isona, Conques, etc., to Ager and Huesca connected by land with the stretch coming from France and went to Compostela. Remember also that this was an area facing the Andalusian Brand occupants.

Let's also say that for the first time the term of Covet (= Covecetus) cited on 22 June 949 with Isona, Llordà and elsewhere in the consecration of the church of Saint Cristobal from Salinoves (Barony of Rialb - La Noguera) and mention of the various boundaries.
Thus we find the existence in those ancient times of places that were already active and probably to their former places of Christian worship, despite the Saracen raids; Arnau Mir also spoke to his resurgence and resettlement.
Private donations also continue and we can see that the area of influence of the monastery spans Castellciutat and, by way of Taravall, to Llordà and Isona, since Borrell I of Barcelona and II of Urgell expanded in an area It should have been established by the county of Pallars. From the port of Bóixols throughout the Conca Dellà, a frontier zone was established between the two counties was in the mountains of Carreu and Noguera Pallaresa while to the south, the area of influence in the current Pallars came up in the Montsec.
On 12 July 973, Borrell, Count and Marquis, and Wilfred, blood relative of his, given to the monastery of Sant Sadurní and the abbot Ameli (962-973) the church of Sant Vicenç d’Isona qui fui destructa asarazenis, qui deserta fuit per annos multos, in the county of Urgell, in the castle of Abella, in above mentioned Isona place. Also they give the freehold they have and that was Llobeta and his brother Oliba, noting the confrontations of the church and the freehold.
Now it's time to talk about the famous document dated July 30, 973 and corresponding to the donation that made the count Borrell with his brother Jofre, or Guifré that is awarded to the monastery of Sant Sadurní de Tavèrnoles different churches and monasteries from Conca Dellà. Although there have been bibliographic database of many historical works, it is a forged document, although it is a copy of an earlier twelfth century and therefore it is very difficult to say with property that the original document lost was not real. Possibly drafted the XIII century, it is quite useful when released data on Isona and elsewhere in the Conca Dellà. This is a false document certainly, but this relative forgery does not represent precisely explained the facts are also false; not least because this donation is confirmed by the will of Count Borrell and church property was also cited in the act of consecration of the monastery church in 1040. We say, then, that writing was created to certify documented facts which went from historical truth; This does not mean that certain economic rights that perhaps there were to be included. The document mentions us near Isona -of which is repeated several times than est destructa-, church Castle Llordà, fair. The document says that the donation is that Borrell II, Count and Marquis from Barcelona, and Jofre (or Wilfred) brothers make the monastery of Sant Sadurní de Tavèrnoles and the abbot Ameli churches, old established in the last end of Marks at Castle Llordà and Isona city, destroyed by the Saracens, Sant Sadurní de Llordà, Santa Maria and Sant Vicenç from Isona, which was monastery near the fountain named Clara (why some historians talk about St Vicenç de Fontclara or Clarà). The give their freeholds and property, tithes, offerings and oblations, mark the limits, allowing them to imprison workers to recover and bring vacant and dwell therein. Also they granted the monks thems to make aprisió of a term, on-site Calcina, the boundaries are set where they have to build a church in Santa Maria, and you will have everything tot sub manu et fidelitate them and their children and descendants. The reason for these theoretical donations lies in the prestige at that time already reached the monastery from Tavèrnoles with ultra-county influences, albeit within the limits of the county of Urgell. Looking at a map of the Conca de Tremp and, mostly, the subzone Isona and Area, we can verify the number of times that the name Sadurní/Serni repeats, mainly in churches. The then existing primitive castle and church -San Llordà would Sadurní de Castell-Llordà- by monks from Tavèrnoles. Somehow he represented the hegemony of this monastic community in a church in a remote area in the county of Urgell capital but strategic control of the routes that connected the dividing Montsec with the Alt Urgell and Andorra and roamed the valleys of Segre and Valira. And also the restoration of the moors and the repopulation of Meià and Montmagastre.
The evangelizing action and repopulation of the monks of SST and its influence in the territories that were the Urgell county is evident by the frequent pattern names that have many churches. We quote some, following the inter-county route linking Nargó with Isona and Tremp: Gavarra (Alt Urgell, road Bóixols) and exceeded Isona, Conques (castle church almost disappeared and the same completely), Suterranya (Parish Church), Sant Serni (the town itself and its parish church).


Al Mansur races 985 and his son Abd-el-Malek 1003 partially destroyed these activities.

A document that is believed to be above the 993 but with theoretical date of July 25, 1036 which states that Borrell, Count and Marquis gives the monastery of St Saturnine from Tavèrnoles some orchards, of which marks the limits, which He was in the village of Isona in ipsas fontes, at a place called Tudus.
On 24 September 993 and in the will of Count Borrell II of Barcelona-Urgell is confirmed a donation that he had made in the monastery of Sant Saturnine de Tavèrnoles cor some Llordà freeholds.

The November 13, 1009, Ermengol I, Count and Marquis gives the monastery of San Saturnine ancient city called Loris, in the county of Urgell, and Castle Llordà term for remedy of his soul and his father Count Borrell.


The January 17, 1010, Ermengol I, again, gives the monastery and the abbot Ponç of St. Saturnine the county freeholds located within the terms of the castles of Llordà, Abella and Benavent, of which marks the limits, including ancient Loris Subixano and Isona villas, who had been city in the past. We stress this final detail on Isona: agrees with the words of the previous document from 973 where it was said that it had been destroyed; the fact of being classified as a village seems to show us that the reconstruction was complete after all these forty years.

Count Ermengol II of Urgell and his wife Constance sold Castle Llordà to Arnau Mir married Arsenda for two thousand drams. Ager was conquered by the count, and his right hand Viscount Arnau Mir, 1034 and the race would not end ...

Arnau Mir de Tost think was the founder of the former canonical of St. Peter Ager. The first community, once such Benedictine, was established on 1037. The 1048 already on record of a community governed by a canon, which Arnau Mir obtained from the Holy See on the Episcopal privilege of exemption, making it a unique religious enclave . In 1112 he adopted the Rule of St. Augustine, leaving the aquisgranese who had followed until then.
The constitution of the canonical and his subordinate priories, with Covet, have complete Arnau Mir got their hands full control of the territory, at all levels: military, political and religious ...

Caresmar was an act of consecration of the castle church if Llordà in 1040 file Ager. Has not come to us any documents. We can believe that depended on Tavèrnoles and, further, what would coexist with the canonical depending Ager? 


Testament of Arnau Mir de Tost, Viscount of Àger, which leaves a vineyard in the Llordà  term of two condominiums to the monastery of St Saturnine de Tavèrnoles, to remedy his soul (August 11, 1.071).

Arnau Mir dying, jurisdictional disputes between the counts of Urgell and the Ager abbey cause the second (or third?) Consecration of the church of Saint Saturnine de Castell-Llordà be held in 1085 and, at the same time established in this church a community of canons, which tries to return the canonical bishop of Urgell domain, through the community of canons of the Cathedral of Urgell. Solved the litigation against the interests of the bishop, Sant Sadurní became the domain of Sant Pere d’Àger, and the community of canons 1092 moved to Santa Maria de Covet, which was a possession of the Bishop of Urgell. This office, however, does not agree anything with records from which it follows Ager citing his Covet as a priory.


Thus, May 2, 1080, the abbot Ramon, with the advice and will of the entire community of the monastery of Sant Sadurní de Tavèrnoles, granted the church of Santa Maria d’Isona to Ermengol Bernard, cure Llordà castle church, designated by the count Ermengol, provided they do celebrate the Liturgy by a cleric in the year, and recognizes the direct and sole ownership of church to above monastery of Tavèrnoles.

Also between 1316 and 1319 Abbot William of Tavèrnoles received an order from the pope, then John XXII, in which he was sending that along with the priors of Sant Jaume de Frontanyà and Organyà, would contribute to meeting the amount of four thousand Barcelona's pay pounds remained of Llordà and Isona castles, which were priced at Barcelona's nine thousand pounds. The sum due shall be provided the tithes of the Holy Land, and handed the bishop and the Chapter of Urgell; it follows that these castles, churches which were the monastery, were now in ruins.

Can we believe that Sant Sadurní de Llordà Castle was a dependency of Sant Sadurní de Tavèrnoles? We think that there is no conclusive or sufficient documentation certifying it definitively, given the successive changes of influences at different times historical evidence. It must be said, however, that such territorial possession of churches by Tavèrnoles and implicit alliance it had with the counts of Urgell allowed at all costs be an important development in fact monastic Llordà factor. 

JOSEP-MARIA NOGUÉS i TORRE – Barcelona, 20.09.2012


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