Sant Serni de Tavernoles

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We will look at the parts of the project that the architect Francisco Pons-Sorolla Arnau (PS) presented and that were not executed or were done poorly. The detail is made following the project mentioned and which can be found in the monastery book on pages 163 to 168. We will also mention a few quotes in the critical study carried out by the architect Dr. Joan-Albert Adell Gispert, (pages 169 to 178). The corresponding plans are located between pages 192 and 193 (in a photographic group).

The critical points about Pons-Sorolla (PS) are:

POINT 1: Where it says (page 167) II - CONSOLIDATION AND RESTORATION PROJECT AT THE HEAD AND IN THE HEART OF THE CHURCH…. In this phase of the work, the current situation of the sacristy will also be preserved... The restoration completely eliminated the sacristy of Sant Serni...!

POINT 2: (Pg.168) Where it says Complementary but essential work for the conservation of the monument is the construction of the land retaining wall and isolation of the farm in the O-NE sector. With a water diversion channel from the hillside, taking advantage of the slopes at the head of the wall by adapting to the topography of the land, all according to the layout marked on the plans and the details that will be provided during the work given the nature of the subsoil. . Its construction will be made of stone and mortar typical of the region in its visible part, flattened with concrete. It was not done either. Based on the critical comments of Dr. Adell, (pgs.169-178, op. cit.) we will add:

POINT 3: Regarding the botched opening to the transept to access the closed parish cemetery, we agree in the observation of the afore mentioned: We must ignore the open door in the center of the apse that fits the south end of the transept, which in its current form responds to the restoration work and is out of place.

POINT 4: At one point in Dr. Adell's report the following is cited and which we highlight because we consider it to be the side door to access the sacristy: The current doors to access the headboard have no relationship with the original doors, of which one is preserved on the north wall, framed by the first arch, counting from the east, open with a lintel, and with a discharge arch with a solid tympanum. Near this door are preserved the vestiges of the lower part of another opening that, due to the restoration carried out, we cannot specify if it was a door or not, nor to what time of construction it belongs.

POINT 5: PS does not include any cloister in its study; That is why Dr. Adell rightly states that “The restoration consisted of the elimination of these loops... and the global organization of the entire header complex, without advancing in the exploration or consolidation of other remains of the monastery, such as the cloister The cloister and the rooms. The cloister was located on the south side of the church, and must have been accessed from it through a door that was probably located in the sector of the south wall, now collapsed. Of its structures, only the capitals kept in museums and a corner pillar, still in situ, remain today. From what we have seen, the monastery of Sant Serni de Tavèrnoles organized its structures around the patio, porch, and cloister, and this arrangement was already fully defined in the reconstruction of the 11th century, if it was not already so in the previous monastery. Of this monastery prior to the reconstruction of the 11th century, we can attribute only the wall section that makes up the south façade of the complex, while the essential part that has been preserved, the church, clearly belongs to the work consecrated by Bishop Eriball”.

.................................COMMENTS and CONCLUSIONS..................... .......

POINT A: The Romànic Obert program, financed with funds from Obra Social de La Caixa, included many actions that, again in Sant Serni, were not fully executed. The renovation of the roofs and the carrying out of the work to eliminate all humidity from the surroundings of the current temple were carried out once completed after the archaeological survey directed by Òscar Augé Martínez whose completion was presented in Anserall on 10/30/2014. Only about ¾ of the entire perimeter of the church was excavated prior to the subsequent drainage works mentioned. We asked him for a copy of the resolution report, which he did not want to give us in any way. The ditches from these works, once completed, were covered again... The Romànic Obert program said that the planned works would be: Transfer of the road, protection environment (north side), review of roofs, drainage of the head and cleaning of facades. Partial restoration of the church naves. Nothing more... With all this, we only want, even if we are not asked, to help improve actions in favor of St. Serni to any public administration involved that wants to listen to us. Without misunderstandings, without wanting to hinder or intervene in the normal behavior of each person. However, we also do not want to stop hearing our voice everywhere, without offending anyone. With the belief that the connectivity between the Valls de Valira City Council and the Bishopric of Urgell with everything that corresponds to Sant Serni de Tavèrnoles and its protection is very positive and necessary, we dare to advise whoever wants to listen to us:

POINT B.- With the prior authorizations from Culture of the GdC, we should first begin by definitively closing the exit to the old parish cemetery, remembering what is said in “Point 3”. And we cannot remember any Romanesque transept with an original door to the apses... Naturally, the exposed stone and mortar should be identical to the existing environment.

POINT C.- Surroundings and road that crosses the demolished naves in which the church is surrounded. If we consider level 0 at the original entrance - at the very end of the central nave -, behind the main apse it would be point 3 of unevenness. We mentioned it before and added that, surely, excavation would have to be done to remove the supervening earth from around the temple, which would require the transfer of the road that runs through the ruins. It is assumed that a consultation with the residents of Anserall would be required to find out their opinion, mainly those affected who use it to go to their homes, higher up and also to access the current municipal cemetery. Our recommendation is to activate the improvement of the section of the GR7 or Camino de Santiago de los Valles de Valira, also formerly called Camino de Civís, between the Anserall or Estelareny ravine and up to Can Ferrer, below the Baix orchards despite be a flood zone for some; However, to be sufficiently narrow and single-lane, traffic light sensors would have to be placed at both entrances in order to adequately regulate road traffic. Alternatively, access through Cortingles could be enabled for resident vehicles between that area and St. Serni. The closure to motor vehicles on the paved section that separates the Dalt orchards and the Baix orchards in the direction of the monastery should then be applied in order to begin excavating to find the foundations of the cloister, in the area adjacent to the closed parish cemetery. We should also begin to recover the remains of the cloister that are visible to everyone and reserve them in a suitable place away from all plunder and plunder. Later, permission could be requested to reproduce the capitals that are in Barcelona and Sitges.

POINT D.- Our final proposal is that both administrations that intervene on the monument should begin a reconstruction project of the three naves, taking advantage of the ruins that remain standing, improving and/or completing them - even if it were only at the level of plans and other documentation and permits-from the transept wall to what is currently the road to be removed those passes over the ruins. When the time was right, the sacristy would be replaced in the nave on the North side with transparent methacrylate walls so as not to clash with the ensemble and would have access through the side door that exists today in said nave. The small square that is in front of the second section of the nave I, which completely hides it and of which only the partially cut trunks of its columns can be seen, immediately followed by the road to be removed, up to the houses superimposed on its end next to the fractions of the wall on the south side of the first church of the 16th century. IX-X will have to be the subject of new attention later. Therefore, in the same way as it has been done with the Collegiate Church of Sant Pere de Ponts, with St, Perede Rodes, with Sant Benet de Bages, with Santes Creus, with Sant Martí del Canigó and/or with San Miquel de Cuixà, and so many others, we advocate this project because the territory deserves it and, without false illusions, we must firmly believe in its viability, especially if we all go together. One of the reasons we think we could have financial support from our government is that we continually receive from the Generalitat's cultural services offers of scheduled subsidies for cultural activities of all kinds, although with a time limit that, sometimes, is very fair. if they have not been prepared in time and adequately coordinated. We will have to anticipate and be on the lookout. Another solution would be for the aforementioned administrations to constitute their own subsidiary body with some external organization such as: Works Board of..., Reconstruction Commission of..., etc. And apply for grants and fundraises at all levels.


+Contributions and collections from individuals

+Public and private subsidies

+Functions and Charity Concerts

+Sale of the Monastery book


+Various patronages.


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