SOLSONA


Solsona is the capital of the comarca (local district) of El Solsonès (Pyrenees).
Indications have been found that suggest that this area was already inhabited in Neolithic times, perhaps as early as the year 3000 BCE. However, the origins of modern day Solsona date from about the 10th century, when the town grew up around the castle and monastery. The bishopric of Solsona was formally established in 1593, the year in which King Felipe II of Spain officially granted the settlement the title of city.
Solsona still maintains the same basic structure as when it was a walled city and also conserves its three original entrances; the gates called del Pont, del Castell and de Llobera. It has also maintained parts of the city wall at Vall Calent and the pou de gel (ice well), where ice used to be stored for conserving food.The cultural heritage of Solsona has also been well preserved by its Diocesan and Comarcal (local district) museums and by the museum of Knives and Cutting Tools. Solsona also has a number of buildings of great architectural value. These include its Gothic style cathedral, which conserves the three apses and belfry of the original Romanesque temple that was consecrated in 1163.

Those visiting the old centre of Solsona (el Solsonès - Pyrenees) should take their time as they stroll through its narrow streets and squares, such as the Plaça Sant Joan. As they go, they should look out for small details of craftsmanship on its cressets (or torch holders), shields and the carefully worked beam-ends of the eaves, all of which give tell their own stories. Solsona is rich in folklore, with its dances of giants, cavallets (people dressed as small horses), eagle, dragon, mulassa (another dragon-like monster) and stick dance. All of these traditions have been conserved with the same essential character as when they were first established, which in most cases was in the 17th century. The trabucaires (blunderbuss carrying militia men) also have a firmly established place in the folklore of Solsona.
The Carnival of Solsona is one of the most important in Catalonia. It differs from the other carnivals celebrated in the territory in that the traditional fancy-dress disguises have been substituted by smocks of different colours, while the gegants bojos (crazy giants) and the penjada del ruc (hanging of the donkey) are unique and irreplaceable elements of the Carnival of Solsona.






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