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Pedraforca Berguedà

Enjoy Pedraforca and the mines with a getaway to Berguedà

You’ll also discover the largest paleontological site with sauropod footprints in Europe

Written by
Xavier Amat

Pedraforca is the best known mountain in Berguedà and is one of the most emblematic in Catalonia. So you’ll want to enjoy a brief getaway to the region to wander around its surroundings and take photos from every angle. But you’ll leave this until the end: first you’ll explore coal mines that are closed today and find footprints of some very special inhabitants that lived in these lands several thousand years ago...


Cercs and Fumanya

Cercs and Fumanya

We’ve prepared the perfect morning if you’re doing this trip with children. But if not, you’re sure to enjoy it anyway! You can go to Sant Corneli de Cercs. Here, at an altitude of 920 metres, the mine exploited for over 140 years by the company Carbons de Berga, SA filled this place with life. Life, and also death, because as everyone knows the working conditions of miners were harsh and many lost their lives underground. The visit to the Mines de Cercs remembers and pays tribute to them, and reveals a lot about coal mining and life in the colony. It was one of the most important colonies in Catalonia: around 3,000 people lived there at its peak. Today, it still has around one hundred residents.

Before you enter the mine, you can explore the museum, which has a wide-ranging and informative exhibition. It reproduces areas of the mining colony such as a school classroom and a dispensary, and right next to the museum you can enter a worker’s house from the 1940s. And now the time has come to put on your helmet, jump on the train and enter the mine!

When you’ve finished, we invite you to go even further back in time: to the era of dinosaurs! Only 7 kilometres from the mines is the paleontological site of Fumanya, the largest European site with sauropod footprints from the Upper Cretaceous and one of the most important in the world. Visiting the Interpretation Centre you’ll discover that the relationship between these ‘little animals’ and coal is much closer than we might first think: the open-pit mining carried out here between 1975 and 1986 uncovered dinosaur tracks, over 3,500!, and showed that dinosaurs disappeared over 65 million years ago, at the end of the Cretaceous, the period when the lignite was formed and the geomorphological formation of the Pyrenees developed. The Fumanya site, located in the municipal district of Fígols, is a Cultural Asset of National Interest and aspires to be listed as a Natural World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

A giant M

It’s time for lunch at a restaurant that probably has one of the best, if not the best, panoramic views over Pedraforca. Naturally it’s called Hostal Pedraforca and is on the outskirts of Saldes. With this treasure in mind, the dining room is well served by windows and as you eat you can enjoy the magnificent M formed by the two peaks linked by a saddle. As well as the views, they serve good food, based on seasonal and traditional cuisine.

And to round off the getaway, as we promised, you’ll walk around Pedraforca, this gigantic and solitary massif that forms part of the Cadí-Moixeró Natural Park. If you are expert hikers, Pedraforca is one of those peaks that you must do at least once in your life. But if not, we suggest a far gentler hike to discover the streets and heritage of Saldes while enjoying the massif. You’ll see the church of Sant Martí, the remains of the castle, the shrine of Santa Maria, and, from there, you can follow the boundary stones that take you into the lavish nature at the feet of Pedraforca. Some ideal spots to round off your getaway might be the Gresolet viewpoint and the Lluís Estasen refuge.


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