In our studies on the Andorran St. James path, always we take advantage of the excellent bibliographic data and, sometimes, partially extracted from an article published in 2008 in the journal Portaveu del Segre Mitjà, Ponts, by professor and historian Mr.Manuel Gabriel Fons, with collaboration of Mr. Francisco Alcázar Domingo, current president of the Association of Friends of the St.James Path for the Segre, also of that population of Ponts. We say, then, that these data mentioned are one of the sources of this paper.
Recall some typical characteristics of the pilgrimage to Compostela as was the social origin of the pilgrims: while to St. James were bourgeois, merchants and craftsmen of the cities, and some nobles, in the Holy Land could say anything conclusively but that only They were the nobles and the clergy, as the same Ramon Llull, which previously had also been to Saint James.
Let's also say that for some current researchers, called the Catalan St. James path is just a pipe dream; this, however, is to do justice to the historical reality. In fact, we should speak of a network of roads and pathways which, although they are not attributed a particularly Jacobean function, the truth is that were traveled by pilgrims from the tenth century, and that during the Middle Ages They were the only possible ways to reach Santiago de Compostela.
As the stages were long and tiring trip, it was necessary throughout the course had covered places where pilgrims reception, sick, poor or not, and other travelers could rest and eat something. The path of the Segre no record of some points of welcoming pilgrims, as the hospital of Santo Domingo in La Seu d'Urgell and more back in time, the monastery of San Andrés de Tresponts near Organyà.
Therefore, we can say with some confidence that the stretch of the Catalan way to Santiago de Compostela passes by Sant Serni de Tavèrnoles and Anserall is actually a very important branch of the main road through the valley of Segre, used since centuries X -XI and throughout the Middle Ages by the pilgrims mostly on foot walking about 30 or 40 km a day off as the terrain at a rate of 7 or 8 hours per day. We can also say that it is the old Roman road linking these places and now part of the GR-7.
Recall that one of the earliest known of these Pyrenean lands pilgrims was Bishop Ermengol who pilgrimage to Galicia shortly before his death in 1035.
In addition to their religious functions and as we said before, Saint Sadurní de Tavèrnoles represented not only a toll booth for trading with Andorra but also a place of general housing, changing horses and host of pilgrims in particular where both if they were sick or not, they are eating and they would be cared for in a place free of monastic enclosure that hospital. This same could also be said of its dependent priories and other establishments throughout the course of the Way of St. James.
One of the most long-haul routes of ancient Catalonia was the so-called Segre Path, ranging from the Roussillon to the Ebro river, passing through the port of Perxa and the counties of Cerdanya, Alt Urgell, Noguera and Segrià. In the gorge Tresponts still some interesting vestiges of this mule track built above the riverbank are.
This Catalan way also gives news a French map published in 1648, during the war of separation, which also point out the main French road and the coastal alternative through the Basque Country and Cantabria, makes special mention of the roads coming and They started from Catalonia to connect with the main route through Aragon. In this map also it gives evidence of the branch that connected Puigcerdà, Seu d’Urgell, Ponts and Lleida and through the valley of the Segre and (before the Christian conquest of Balaguer) the traveler could move towards the west through road Conca de Tremp, through Montmagastre, Conca de Meià, the valley of Àger and Montsec d’Estall in the Aragón gaza.
We know the extensive inventory of monasteries and churches dependent Abbey Sant Sadurní de Tavèrnoles made at the time of its maximum splendor (XI-XII centuries); classified by counties, towns and/or updated municipalities. It is large enough to detail you here word (accompany an annex); its magnitude was not only road coverage of the pilgrims but also as Pyrenean cradle of monasticism and then ally of territorial policies of the counts of Urgell.
We have seen how the monastery of Saint Sadurní was weaving a safety net of the way of pilgrims through the various monastic establishments to protect the pilgrimage route at all times and under the border with Al-Andalus necessary; since part of the emerging Eastern Pyrenees Brand in the early days of his life as a monastery.
The pilgrimage route in the valley of the Valira:
We highlight follows the alternative route that ran along the current principality of Andorra and coming from the city of Foix: FOIX → PAS DE LA CASA → ENCAMP → RANSOL (Canillo) → ESCALDES → ANDORRA LA VELLA → SANT JULIÀ DE LÒRIA →Borda de Canturri →Farga de Moles → RIVER VALIRA RIGHT → (Cabanelles →Civís Path and Cortingles) → Sant Serni de Tavèrnoles →Anserall → d Parrota path→SAN ESTEBAN DEL PONT → Castellciutat → and connection to the main trunk to St.James path of Segre → SEGRE down ...
In this section, we find, for example, the church of Sant Jaume dels Cortals in Encamp; Sant Jaume d’Engordany, Escaldes; Sant Jaume de Ransol, Canillo. Valira on, we must mention the St. James of Llirt, (former annex Calbinyà 'Across the river) and Sant Jaume and St.Miquel de Casa Trullà, to Ministrells (former annex of Ars), populations of Urgellet which currently they belong to the municipality of Les Valls de Valira. Near La Seu d’Urgell, the Tower of St. Jaume and two side valleys of the Segre later we must mention the church of St. James de la Vansa (about Montargull) and St.Jaume de Les Masies de Nargó, it also known as St.Jaume de Remolins.
Landslides, correction of a section of the N-145 who moved to the right side of the Valira, the improvement of existing roads, irrigation renewals (Bellestar and 4 towns) etc, makes the recovery of this old way of pilgrims and ancient Roman road is quite difficult. Anyway, we started from the Centre for Studies SST-Anserall contacts to whet the old layout dimensions. Some stretches are whole: from Cortingles, on the old road of Civís, by the municipal cemetery and the bottom of St. Sadurní de Tavèrnoles to Anserall ravine and bottom of the main street of the village; walk up to the old bridge and down to Anserall discontinued work on the new bridge. From this point you should make a connection with hardly choppy sections of the old road of Parrota and to connect with the route leading to the Borda de Sant Esteve and St.Eseve del Pont and purpose of the journey to the N-260 to terminate the connection (in the area of the Hotel El Castillo) with the main trunk of the Camino del Segre in Castellciutat the old term.
We have informed all the respective administrations (City Council, County Council) and also in Andorra with a view to a public project recovery, preservation or maintenance of this path, which is classified as a greenway and alternatively walk starts the N-145 road with the aim of promoting knowledge of this area and, at the same time, can serve to revitalize the culture and economy of the territory.
Our partnership makes fieldwork data search and support of civil society of the environment with the intention of receiving patronage to adequately develop this project. For this, we express no doubt are receptive to anything you want to give us your feedback on these tasks and contribute data to be asked.
ANNEX I - INVENTORY OF MONASTERIES AND CHURCHES UNDER THE ABBEY OF SANT SADURNI DE TAVÈRNOLES made at the time of its maximum splendor (XI-XII centuries); classified by counties, towns and / or updated municipalities.
Alàs – Santa Maria
Albet (Castellbò) – Sant Martí – monastery
Aravell – Santa Leocàdia
Arfa – Sant Jaume
Bellestar – Sant Pere
Campmajor – Santa Eugènia de la Torre
Canals? – Sant Martí
Cassovall – Santa Cecilia d’Elins – monastery
Castellbò – Sant Andreu de Castellbó monastery
Castellbó – Sant Jaume – monastery (in the Castellbò Valley)
Castellciutat – Sant Feliu
Castellciutat – Sant Esteve del Pont
Castelló – Santa Maria
Coll de Nargó – Sant Climent de Nargó
Coll de Nargó – Sant Esteve de Nargó (your current location is unknown)
Estamariu – Sant Andreu de la Quera – monastery [i]
Estamariu – Sant Vicenç
Iel (Bellestar?) – Sant Pere
La Llaguna? – Santa Susanna
Ponts[ii] – Sant Miquel
Serra? – Sant Pere
Torrents – Sant Martí
Tost – Sant Iscle
Cercs – Sant Salvador de la Vedella – monastery
Fígols de les Mines – Sant Cebrià
Fonogedell (Casserres) – Sant Miquel
Llinars d’Aiguadora – Santa Coloma
Mata – Sant Salvador - monastery [iii]
Vallcebre – Sant Julià
Alp - Sant Esteve i Sant Hilari d’Umfred (o de Riufred) - monastery
Ger – Sant Pere
Sagramorta (Alp) – Sant Vicenç
Alòs de Balaguer – Sant Feliu
Balaguer – Sant Sadurní
Balaguer – Santa Maria
Bellcaire d’Urgell – Santa Maria i Sant Sadurní
Gerb – Sant Sadurní (al castell de Gerb)
Les Avellanes – Santa Maria
Malagastre (Foradada) – Sant Salvador
Ponts – Sant Sadurní (al castell de Ponts)
Santa Maria de Meià – Santa Maria de Meià – monastery
Casserres – Sant Pere - monastery
Isona – Sant Joan
Isona – Sant Vicenç de Clarà - monastery [iv]
Isona – Santa Maria
Isona – Santa Susanna?
Llordà – Sant Sadurní de Castell-Llordà
Castellarnau (Farrera de Pallars) – Sant Esteve
Castellarnau (Farrera de Pallars) – Santa Maria
Escàs (Rialb de Noguera) – Sant Julià
Sant Romà de Tavèrnoles (Llavorsí) – Sant Pere de Vellanega - monastery
Sant Romà de Tavèrnoles (Llavorsí) – Sant Romà de Tavèrnoles
Serret (Farrera de Pallars) – Sant Pere
Ardèvol – Sant Sadurní
Caslarill? (Vall de Lord?) – Sant Martí
Cellers – Sant Celdoni i Sant Ermenter – monastery
Cellers – Sant Martí
Cellers – Sant Salvador
Cellers – Santa Maria
Les Cases de Posada (Navès) – Santa Eulàlia
Les Cases de Posada (Navès) – Santa Maria
Linya (Navès) – Sant Andreu
Lladurs – Sant Martí
Lladurs – Sant Miquel
Lladurs – Santa Maria
Lord (St.Llorenç de Morunys) – Santa Maria
Lorediano? (Vall de Lord?) – Sant Sadurní
Montcalb (Guixers)– Sant Pere
Ollers (St.Llorenç de Morunys) – Santa Creu d’Ollers
Ovesa? – Santa Maria[v]
Sant Llorenç de Morunys – Sant Llorenç de Morunys – monastery
Sant Sadurní de Llanera (Llanera de Solsonès) – Sant Sadurní[vi]
Sisquer (Guixers) – Sant Esteve
Sisquer (Guixers) – Sant Lleïr
Sisquer (Guixers) – Sant Quirze
Solanes (Lladurs)– Santa Maria
Toltern? (Vall de Lord?) – Sant Iscle
Valls (Guixers) – Santa Maria
Vilamantells (Guixers) – Sant Sadurní del Grau
Bages - Callús – Sant Vicenç
Baix Empordà - Corçà - Sant Vicenç
Baixa Ribagorça – Lasquarri - Santa Maria, Sant Pere i Sant Martí de Lasquarri
Urgell – Agramunt – Santa Maria
Sant Julià de Lòria – Sant Andreu de Tolse
Engordany – Sant Jaume d’Engordany
Santa Coloma – Sant Vicenç d’Enclar
[i] Do not confuse with the monastery of Saint Vicenç de Pinsent.
[ii] As already mentioned in the chapter of general history, this name has led many authors’ errors. We must not locate the place in the region of Noguera because in the Urgellet: formerly corresponded to the current interlock Farga de Moles, adding Arcavell border with Andorra, as cited C. Baraut: L'Església de Sant Miquel Ponts....
[iii] It has been identified with the La Mata Sanctuary in Llinars d'Aiguadora, i also ruins north of the Espunyola, within the parish of Coforb, ranging from Castellar del Riu and Corbera.
[iv] It is also known as St.Vicenç de Fontclara or Sant Vicenç d’Isona.
[v] Possibly the case of the old parish of Santa Maria d'Ossea to 2km al northern of Navès , in the current farmer house of Can Feliu. The parish was added to that of Linya. (GEC)
[vi] It is also known as Sant Serni de Llanera or Sant Serni del Bosc
ANNEX II - LIST OF JAUME (=JAMES) NOMS THAT CAN BE FOUND ON THE SAINT JAMES PATH IN ANDORRA AND PART OF THE ALT URGELL.
+Patronymic of Sant Jaume dels Cortals ENCAMP
+Sant Jaume i Sant Miquel, patrons of Can Trullà, to the deserted of Sant Joan de Ministrells (Valls Valira)
+Patron of the deserted of Llirt to the Valira River left margin near Calbinyà (Valls Valira)
+Sant Jaume Tower, near La Seu d’Urgell
+Big Party of Coll de Nargó – Sant Jaume July25.
+Segre down, Sant Jaume de la Vansa (near Montargull) and Sant Jaume de les Masies de Nargó, also anmed Sant Jaume de Remolins
+Sant Jaume de Tuixén
ANNEX III - DETAILS OF CHURCHES AND PLACES CALLED SERNI AND/OR ITS DERIVATIVES→ (*)
+ There are dedicated 120 churches are joining sant Serni in Catalonia
+ JURISDICTION OF SAN ZATORNIL - Church dedicated to this patronymic equivalent to our Sadurní. It is located in Valdegovia Valley of Alava although it administratively is Burgos.
CANILLO – Sant Cerni de Canillo
NAGOL – Sant Cerni de Nagol
ORDINO – Sant Cerni de Llorts
Alt Urgell :
ANSERALL – Church of the closed monastery of Sant Serni de Tavèrnoles
BASSELLA – Sant Serni de la Salsa
CABÓ – Sant Serni de Cabó
GAVARRA – Sant Serni de Gavarra
ENVEIG - Sant Sadurní d’Enveig
TARGASONA - Sant Sadurní de Targasona
ESPERAN (Pont de Suert)- Sant Sadurní d’Esperan
BIESCAS DE BARDAIXI – Sant Sadurní de Biescas de Bardaixí
Era Val d’Aran:
CANEJAN – Sant Sernilh
BARONIA DE RIALB – Sant Serni de Bellfort
VALL·LLEBREROLA – Sant Serni
CONQUES – ruined church of the disappeared littel castel of Conques.
GAVET DE LA CONCA – Sant Serni church on the town as same name.
LLORDÀ – Sant Sadurní de Castell·Llordà.
SUTERRANYA – parish Church
ALINS – Sant Serni de Noris
ALT ÀNEU – Sant Serni d’Àrreu
LA GUINGUETA D’ÀNEU – Sant Sadurní de Cerbi
LLAVORSÍ – Sant Sadurní de Baiasca
(*) Some data come from churches JOSEP URPÍ I PARELLADA Blog - St. Sadurní d’Anoia http://esglesiessantsadurni.blogspot.com/2010_07_01_archive.html :
ANNEX IV - DISTRIBUTION OF VILLAGES OF LES VALLS DE VALIRA WITH THEIR RESPECTIVE PATRONYMICS:
VALIRA RIVER RIGHT:
+Anserall Sant Serni de Tavèrnoles
+Arduix Marededéu d’Arduix (small church and santuary)
+Argolell Santa Eugènia
+Ars Sant Martí
+Asnurri Santa Eulàlia (it was suffrage of parish of St. Joan Fumat)
+Civís Sant Romà (outside the village, ruins of the Chapel of St. Barnabas)
+Cortingles (1) (3) (Currently, it is home to the inn Can Valenti)
+Estelareny (2) (3) (it depends of Santa Agnès de Farrera dels Llops)
+Farrera dels Llops Santa Agnès
+La Farga de Moles Meritxell Godmother (2) (previously St Roc and St Michael)
+(Sant Joan de)Ministrells (3) Sant Jaume
+Morters (1) (3)
+Ós de Civís Sant Pere
+Sant Joan Fumat Sant Joan
VALIRA RIVER LEFT:
+Arcavell Sant Andreu
+Baixos de Calbinyà (2)
+Bescaran Sant Martí
+Calbinyà Sant Tomàs (ruined roman church of St. Marguerite)
+Cervós * (1) (3)
+Escàs (1) (3)
+ Feners, les Torres de (South of St Andrew of Calbinyà) (1) (3)
+Llirt Sant Jaume (3)
+Sant Andreu de Calbinyà (2) (3) Ancient village on the path from Calbinyà to Llirt
The most no populated places are: Cervós, Cortingles, Escás, Estelareny, Llirt, Ministrells, Morters and Sant Andreu de Calbinyà.
* Cervós cited in the 1860 census with a place in which there was a hostel and a flour mill near Anserall. (Wikipèdia→Feners)
(1) No own local church
(2) No church known
(3) A remote area and, in some cases, in ruins.