A walk through forests to visit three Romanesque jewels of the valley: Lligordà, Sant Sepulcre de Palera and Santa Maria de Palera, built between the 9th and 12th centuries.
Lligordà and Palera route. Route 5 Palera
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We begin the route to Sant Pere de Lligordà.
Twelfth century temple, although its existence is recorded from the end of the 10th century. The first documented reference of the temple dates back to 1079, in which Uralard, viscount of Bas and his wife Ermessenda gave the Sant Joan les Fonts church to the monastery of Sant Victor de Marsella, to establish a Benedictine monastery, among which the Sant Pere de Lligordà church was found.
We find the B4 crossroad and head to Sant Sepulcre de Palera following the yellow marks. After about 10 minutes, we find another crossroad, B5 can Lletanis, and continue towards Sant Sepulcre through the Palera woods, where we find another crossroad, the B6 and 10 minutes later we will be in Sant Sepulcre de Palera, B7 crossroad.
The first news we have of Palera is in a will of the Bishop Count Miró Bonfill, from 979. Another document from 1075 also mentions the Sant Sepulcre church. In 1085, a new temple was consecrated with the assistance of various bishops and the abbot from Santa Maria de la Grassa, which makes one think that in 1075, when the church was mentioned, it must have been under construction or a new one was built between these dates.
The construction of that church was financed by the Palera Lords, Arnau Gonfred and his wife Bruneguida, who in 1107 gave it to the La Grassa abbey, which made it into a priory dependent on that Occitan house. This donation was confirmed in 1119 by Pope Gelasius II.
Thanks to the indulgences given to the priory, it became a centre of popular devotion and pilgrimage.
At some unknown time in the 16th century, this house severed ties with the La Grassa abbey, it is known that in 1558 the Prior of Palera was a monk from Sant Esteve de Banyoles. In the 18th century it is recorded that the place was in bad condition and work had to be done, at the end of the same century it suffered the effects of occupation by the French army. From 1816, it became a dependent of Sant Pere de Besalú; the priory was kept as such until 1835. The church was restored during the second half of the 20th century,
Following the yellow marks, we now head to Santa Maria de Palera, this section also coincides with the GR2, we reach it in 10 minutes. We found G107 crossroad
The small, 11th century temple, documented as a parish for the first time in 1085, in the consecration document of the monastery. At the end of the 16th century, it lost the category of parish, becoming a subordinate of Sant Pere de Lligordà.
It has a single nave with a barrel-vault roof reinforced with two transverse arches. The nave is finished with an undecorated apse, which has a splayed window and a splay in the centre.
Under the window is a replica of the Mare de Déu de Palera (Mother of God of Palera), kept in the Museum of Art in Girona. It is an image of the Virgin Mary holding a child on her lap, carved at the beginning of the 15th century.
The bell tower is built on an initial gable. The door, on the west façade, was repaired in 1834, as can be seen by the date engraved on the wall, although it still has some of the old Romanesque ironwork.
Inside, there remains an extremely simple baptismal font from the end of the 11th century or beginning of the 12th,
We leave Santa Maria and return to Sant Pere de Lligordà along a circular route that will lead us to Quintans de la Masó, the B8 crossroad, where we leave the GR2 and following the yellow marks we go towards Can Prim and Cal Sant, B9 crossroad. From Cal Sant, within 15 minutes we reach Sant Pere de Lligordà where we started the route.