Berga is known for its Patum festival, but it's a great place to take the time to explore in depth. The capital of the Berguedà region has experienced plenty of hard times since it was founded in the 12th century. It was damaged in the Reapers’ War, the War of the Spanish Succession and in the Carlist Wars, but it's always managed to bounce back, especially after industrialization began in the late 19th century, when it became the dynamic centre of the region – a role it preserves today. Visitors can follow a walking route called Un tomb per Berga, which will take you around the city’s main sights. You can download a fact sheet or pick one up from the Tourist Information Office located in Carrer dels Àngels. The walking route starts there and then calls in at the medieval Plaça de Sant Pere, the old Sant Bernabé Hospital, the remains of the town walls, the Torre de les Hores, the Sant Francesc Convent and the Carrer Major, among many other places.
And if you want to find out more about the history of Berga, go back to Carrer del Àngels and call in at number 7, where you’ll find the Berga Study Space, which is open every day from 6pm to 8pm. For fans of the Patum festival, which has UNESCO immaterial cultural heritage status, you can soak up a little of the atmosphere of the event, even when it isn’t Corpus Christi, by visiting the Casa de la Patum, located in Plaça del Dr. Salón, where you can see the costumes and figures used in the traditional dances.
And since it doesn't get dark until late at this time of the year, you can now head up to get a bird’s-eye view of the city and the region from a place known as The Balcony of Catalonia, the Sanctuary of Santa Maria de Queralt, which as well as fantastic views can boast a long history and a wealth of heritage. The sanctuary houses an iconic image of the Virgin Mary called the Mare de Déu de Queralt, while an adjacent building, which was once an inn, is now a restaurant. La Cova church is, according to legend, where the image of the Virgin was first discovered. The short funicular trip that takes you from the car park to the sanctuary is another of the place’s attractions.