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.
Autumn is a perfect season for bohemian people. Most of us live in big cities surrounded by cement and asphalt. If we don’t go out from the cities we don’t realise about the season changes as others do in the countryside. For this reason nature has become a value for the modern society. As you know we live in Barcelona, one of the densest cities in Europe where parks and gardens are not so often as we would like. We need to connect with nature sometimes and we did it this week by going by car to one of our favourite places for having a walk and a great lunch with magnificent views. Do you want to discover this place just one hour and fifteen minutes from Barcelona?
Montserrat was once a delta of the Tetis Sea. It was before the growth of the Pyrenees, before the actual Iberian Peninsula and the rest of Europe merged. But then the tectonic forces pushed the Iberian plate towards the north and the land started to compress, fold and grow towards the sky. The Pyrenees were created and other mountains appeared where there used to be sea, plains or deltas. Nowadays Catalonia stands on the land that once was under the water and in the center of the country; Montserrat is still the light that guides the Catalans. It is our sacred mountain and a must-see place when you visit Barcelona.
There is one day in Catalonia that everyone agrees it is the best day of the year. Sant Jordi’s (Saint George) day (23rd of April) is maybe the most international celebration that Catalans have. All the country has a special atmosphere. In this day we commemorate Sant Jordi’s legend giving away roses and books. Sant Jordi is the Catalan Valentine’s day.
Once upon a time in the small village of Montblanc people were living with fear. In the near mountains there was a dragon and for many years it was devouring people and destroying houses and yards with its fire.
One day the King decided that the only solution was to make the dragon stop feeling hungry by giving to him one person each day. This person had to be chosen at random.
The coincidence made that the first person to be chosen was his daughter, the princess. Everyone in the village was sad because they loved their princess but the King, faithful to his decision, brought her daughter to the dragon cave.
The sob of the princess, alone in front of the dragon, stopped when a knight came with a white horse and nailed the spear in the dragon. He killed the dragon and saved the princess. His name was Jordi.
The King, thankful to the knight, decided to offer his daughter for marriage. But Jordi didn’t accept and left.
There, where the dragon was killed, the blood leaked out into the soil making a rosebush to grow with the reddest roses in the world.
Since then, the tradition is that the man gives away one rose to the beloved woman and the woman gives away one book to the beloved man. (Giving away books was added to the tradition in the 30s). Nowadays many men buy also a book for their beloved women but men still don’t receive a rose.
This is the excuse to make the biggest day of the year. The streets are crowded with people searching for the best rose or the best book among hundreds of stands in the street. Cultural performances and contribution from all the Catalan society can be found everywhere in different manners. We have tried to catch the atmosphere and feelings of Sant Jordi’s day in the Catalan’s capital: Barcelona.