The last section takes place in the heart of a mid-mountain landscape, in an increasingly ambushed terrain. A last long enough climb leads us to Sant Julià de Saltor, followed by a more or less gradual descent, a progressive “dive” to Ripoll that closes the stage and the route.
Most important village in the municipality of Ribes de Freser, it was a municipality until the middle of the 19th century. Located at the foot of the western slope of the Taga mountain, at the head of the Bruguera stream, a tributary of the Freser.
Bruguera is a group of farmhouses and rural houses, distributed around the parish church. This is a representative configuration of a fairly significant and very old agricultural and livestock past. Thus, the Romanesque church of Sant Feliu and its massive bell tower, already mentioned in 1092, enlarged and transformed in the 18th century like many churches in the region at this time, is its main built heritage.
The microclimate of Bruguera, warmer than in the rest of the valley, has allowed the existence of the cultivation of some types of fruit trees that are not common in the valley.
Origin of the name: “Bruguera” derives from the vulgar Latin brucaria, and designates in Catalan a bush of heather, indicating its abundance in this place.
Sant Julià de Saltor
Former parish added to the municipality of Ogassa, known for the exploitation of coal mines, now closed. Located at the foot of the Puig de Sant Amand, at the top of the Torrent de can Maiols, in the western sector of the municipality.
The place of Saltor, very old, already belonged in 890 to the monastery of Ripoll. The church (originally from the 11th century), with a Romanesque vault and a small bell tower, open and abandoned, is attached to the rectory that the Club Excursionista Pirinenc de Ripoll turned into a mountain refuge in 1959. Formerly, Sant Julià de Saltor was not only a religious center, but its parishioners met in assemblies to deal with matters affecting the whole term. In the same way, the medieval castle of Pena, which crowned the neighboring Puig de Sant Amand, was then the historic center of the area.
Origin of the name: “Saltor” would derive from the sum between the Basque sintçorr and the latin saltus that are almost synonymous, designating a mountainous, steep and ambushed place.
“Between the dry land and the wetland, like the town of Ripoll in the middle of two waters”. Canigó, Cant VI – Jacint Verdaguer
Here ends the Camí dels Orígens that connects the counties of Conflent and Ripollès. Capital of the region, at the mountainous confluence of the rivers Ter and Freser, Ripoll is a crossroads town with a very rich and emblematic past in the history of Catalonia: it is considered one of the cradles of the country, the nerve center of the so-called Old Catalonia, the medieval Catalonia of its origins. Peasant life and livestock on the one hand, and the iron industry, the Catalan forges, on the other hand, have endowed it with a more than remarkable ethnographic heritage.
Count Guifré el Pelós, a guardian figure shared by the twin counties of the Camí dels Orígens, born in Rià and buried in Ripoll, founded in this town, in 879, the Monastery of Santa Maria which guards his tomb. The building, a very important example of Catalan Romanesque art, reached its maximum splendor in the hands of Abbot Oliba, who also directed Sant Miquel de Cuixà to the Conflent. The monastery stands out especially for its 12th century portal, also known as the “Stone Bible”, to represent different biblical scenes and characters (Moses, kings David and Solomon, the prophets Jeremiah and Daniel). A candidacy has been submitted for the portal to be declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Origin of the name: “Ripoll” would derive from the Latin Rivus populorum (poplar river) or Rivus pollens (mighty river).