Ogassa-hidden Romanesque gems


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Getting off the paved roads in the mountains above Camprodon and Ripoll is not generally recommended in winter with snow on the ground but if you have the right vehicle (a Land Rover in this case) and good maps it can be the perfect way to discover some hidden gems. As well as seeming to step back into a time when people lived in close proximity to their animals and the way of life revolves around these very animals, weather, seasons and church which is what is so different and appealing about this area.

The churches that are found in some of these remote places are some of the best preserved, at least from the outside, in the whole Pyrenees. It was really in the 12th Century that the existing churches were built at a time when there was peace and prosperity in these parts on top of older more basic structures that date back to the 10th Century and earlier.

Near the tiny village of Ogassa (pop 46 alt 1,200m) we find two particularly fine examples in Sant Marti Surroca and Sant Marti d"Ogassa. The first gets its name from the massive outcrop above it as it means under the rock in Catalan. These mountains later became famous for their mines, especially coal and lead in the 18th and 19th Centuries.Now the mountain scenery is the main attraction and in summer it is a great place to escape the crowds and heat of the coast.


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