El Pont de suert

El Pont de Suert, which is the capital of L’Alta Ribagorça, is also the main commercial, administration and service centre of the region. The municipal area, which is divided by the river Noguera Ribagorçana, contains a set of 24 associated nuclei. The village stands at an altitude of 841 m and has 2,290 inhabitants.

The historic area of the village, which dates from medieval times, includes the Plaça Major (Main Square), Plaça Mercadal (Merchant’s Square), Palau Abacial (Abbot’s Palace) and Església Vella (Old Church). In this Baroque-style church, which is built on the foundations of an earlier Romanesque church, it is possible to see the Col·lecció d’Art Sacre de la Ribagorça. This collection of religious art includes a series of Baroque-style altarpieces and an exhibition of gold and silver work, paintings and a historical reference to the monastery of Lavaix, dating from the 9th century.

The New Church of L’Assumpció, the most emblematic modern building in El Pont de Suert, dates from the year 1955. This work was designed by the engineer Eduardo Tarroja and represents an inverted nave. The Centre de Fauna (Wildlife Centre), which is located in part of the fish farm, houses otters and European mink and is open throughout the year. The Escales reservoir and the river Noguera Ribagorçana offer ideal locations at which to enjoy all types of water sports. All of these attractions make this capital a perfect place for tourism and provide the territory with its most important source of income.

Established local traditions include celebrating the festival of the Confraria (fellowship) de Sant Sebastià (celebrated on the 19th, 20th and 21st January). This dates from the year 1503 and was founded by the Rector of Cirés, Aparicio Navarro. It began as a ceremony for burying the dead and now brings together more than 500 men and heads of their respective families, who combine the religious tradition with a celebration of gastronomy.

The Fira de la Girella (Girella Fair), which is held in October, is an exhibition that focuses on the way of life and old traditions of the mountains as well as modern commerce and tourism. Every year people make and taste the girella, a cured sausage made with lamb’s meat and rice, which has been made since the 15th century and which used to be kept for celebrating special occasions.

The Ball de Bastons (stick dance) is held at Malpàs on Sant Pere’s (Saint Peter’s) day. This is the only settlement that conserves this age-old tradition in which only the men of the village take part.Information provided by: Consell Comarcal de l'Alta Ribagorça

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