We discover the fascinating surroundings of Queralbs and the different nuclei that make it up.
We start the itinerary from Plaça del Raig de Queralbs and start our way following Carrer Pla and the steep Carrer de l’Església, until we reach the church of Sant Jaume, one of the jewels of Romanesque art. municipalities.
The church of Sant Jaume was consecrated in the 10th century, and two centuries later it was rebuilt to coincide with the increase in population in the area. The building, with a single nave, is covered with a pointed vault, replacing the previous one that was damaged by the earthquakes in 1427 and 1428. Later, the bell tower, the sacristy were added and the nave was lengthened; it is also enlarged with two side chapels forming a small transept.
The most interesting element of the church is the portico formed by six arches supported by blue marble columns. It is one of the best preserved porches that has come down to us. On the capitals, human, animal and fantastic figures can be seen, which show a clear influence of the Roussillon sculptural school.
We continue along the path to the left of the Church and after a few meters we find a first turnoff, we continue along the path on the right. A few meters later we find a second turnoff, this time we go down the path on the left until we reach the Boscàs bridge, a beautiful stone bridge that helps us cross the river Tosa.
We start the climb along the path that enters the Boscàs, a beautiful, shady place with lush vegetation.
We are gaining height following the yellow marks we find along the way. Further up, we skirt a large pattern to the right to continue along the winding and steep path.
A few meters higher we find a huge pine tree, a good place to rest and regain strength.
We continue uphill until we find a track, which we follow to the left. We cross the torrent of La Mina and a few meters further we find the Serrat de la Llosa, a place where the forest clears and shows the village of Queralbs surrounded by its imposing mountains.
We follow the path until we find the town of Vilamanya, a quiet place that offers a fabulous view of the town of Fustanyà and the Ribes valley, located at an altitude of 1,250 m.
Once we have enjoyed the excellent views, we resume our way down the road to Vilamanya, as indicated by the sign on this route.
We go down and we find the Mina la Rèplica and further down with a level crossing where the Cremallera de la Vall de Núria circulates, we cross with caution.
Finally, the Vilamanya road joins the road from Ribes de Freser to Queralbs, where we see the signposted route that tells us to follow to the right. We pass the road carefully and cross the Pont Nou, from where we can see the views of the village of Queralbs.
We reach a turnoff that takes us to Mas de la Casanova, our itinerary continues here, going up the paved track.
We continue along the path until we are surprised by the church of Sant Sadurní de Fustanyà, another jewel of Romanesque art in Queralbs.
The church dates from the late 10th century. The perfection of the stones contrasts with the country’s rustic architecture; for this reason the legend must have been born that it had been built by the fairies, or by the witches, who lived in the nearby caves. Men would have made only the bell tower, which is why it is much more imperfect.
Of the door, the Romanesque ironwork stands out, a decoration made of wrought iron and distributed on both sides with a very original composition.
We continue along the track and pass by the beautiful town of Fustanyà, already mentioned in the 10th century, where we find an indicator of the route that leads to a path that is to the right of the track.
We go up the path following the yellow markings until we reach the Serrat road, which we skirt carefully and about 100 meters we take the turnoff to continue up the path that takes us to the village of Serrat and shortly before reaching the village we find a small chapel dedicated to Sant Isidre.
In the bucolic village of Serrat we can see how their houses are distributed in stages, to save the steep slope of the land and almost all of them have the main façade facing south, in order to take advantage of the light and heat of the sun.
One of the most characteristic elements of Serrat is that some houses still retain their own ovens. We can identify them because they have a semicircular shape and are attached to one of the side facades and covered with a slab roof.
We continue along Carrer de Sant Isidre until we find a signpost for the route, which leads us to the left, along Carrer del Calvari, climbing a cemented ascent that leads to a fork in the road.
We follow the one on the left, a fairly flat path that will take us to Plans d’Escuira, where we will have a impressive panorama of Fontalba, Puigmal, Torreneules and the town of Vilamanya and the town of Queralbs.
Our path continues to the right, as marked by the route sign, entering a splendid forest following the yellow markings.
During our passage through the forest we cross two torrents, the one of La Plana and the one of Serradal, until we are going to leave to a forest track by which we advance until arriving at a retaining wall.
At this point we see an indication of the route that takes us down a path that is on our left, following the Torrent del Forn. Pay attention to the first section of this descent, as it descends sharply.
We descend parallel to the Torrent del Forn through a humid and shady environment until we reach a lock.
We cross the torrent and continue down the path, where after a few meters we find another signpost on the route that leads us to the left.
We continue down the track and cross the Freser River by the Ielles bridge, where just before we find the Ielles power station, one of the various hydroelectric power stations in the municipality.
We continue carefully along the road that leads to Queralbs and at the entrance of the village we find a chapel dedicated to the Virgin of Núria.
Finally we arrive at Plaça del Raig, the starting point and destination of this itinerary.
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