We love travelling abroad and learning different cultures, but we also like to enjoy our own land, Catalonia, which is full of hidden jewels that remain far from the crowds. We will have fulfilled one of the main purposes of this blog if we manage to encourage you to spend some days in Catalonia out of its capital, Barcelona, discovering the beauty of the rest of the country. So keep reading and let us guide you towards one of the most interesting regions of Inner Catalonia: Osona.
Osona is a county (comarca) mainly located within the province of Barcelona, in the centre of Catalonia. Osona is well known for its farming activity. Its capital, Vic, has around 44,000 inhabitants and constitutes an important medieval site. Vic can be easily reached from Barcelona by bus or train. However, when visiting other parts of the region it is advisable to use a car. In Osona you will find stunning villages such as Rupit or Tavertet and also a good number of Romanesque buildings such as the Monastery of Sant Pere de Casserres, located in the village of Les Masies de Roda.
The Monastery of Sant Pere de Casserres can be reached by driving less than 1 hour and 30 minutes from Barcelona and only 30 minutes from Vic. You can also arrive at the Monastery by walking from the Parador de Turismo de Vic-Sau. We have already written about Paradores in this post. Paradores are a set of high-end hotels distributed among Spain and Portugal which are placed in historical buildings or which have been selected due to their historical, artistic or cultural interest. Paradores are managed by a Spanish public company and are also renowned thanks to their gastronomical offer.
The Parador Vic-Sau and the Monastery of Sant Pere de Casserres itself have a unique location. They are placed in the Sau reservoir, which, together with the reservoirs of Susqueda and Pasteral, creates a group of three reservoirs that joins the counties of Osona and La Selva. The reservoir was inaugurated on 1962 and covered the former village of Sant Romà de Sau, whose bell tower can still be seen today if the water level is low (in fact, you can spot the bell tower in the cover picture of this post!). In case of drought, the entire village may be uncovered and visitors could walk around it.
And there, just over a cliff, you will find the Monastery of Sant Pere de Casserres, one of the most important Romanesque buildings in Catalonia. Sant Pere de Casserres is the sole Benedictine Monastery in the region of Osona and was founded on 1053 thanks to the funds contributed by the noble family of Osona and Cardona. During our visit to the Monastery we specially loved the church, which has three naves and is (surprisingly) wider than longer, and also the cloister.
If you are planning a visit to the Monastery or the region of Osona, you can find useful information in those websites. Tickets only cost 3 euros and give you access to the Monastery, which houses an exhibition on the history of Sant Pere de Casseres and the day-to-day life of the monks that lived there centuries ago. Guided visits in several languages are available for groups upon prior booking.