Sagàs

Sagàs

Sagàs is a small town and municipality located in Catalonia, in the comarca of Berguedà. It is located in the geographical area of the pre-Pyrenees.

infobox catalan city
title=Sagàs
arms=Escut24.gif
location_

province=Barcelona
comarca=Berguedà
population=135
population_year=2007
area=44.60
population_density=3.02
elevation=738
demonym=Saganès, saganesa
mayor=Joan Pont i Costa

About the Town

Sagàs is essentially a collection of farmhouses separated by low wooded ridges and cultivated fields. The municipality is made up of what were once five separate villages: Sagàs, El Carrer de Bonaire, Biure de Berguedà, La Guàrdia de Sagàs, and Valloriola. Traditionally, the people of Sagàs made their living from agriculture. While this is still true for most of the inhabitants of Sagàs, the increased mechanization of farming has led to a growth in rural tourism, as well as a drop in population--the town has a growth rate of negative 10.4 percent [ [http://www.idescat.cat/territ/BasicTerr?TC=3&V0=1&V1=08188 Idescat. Fitxes municipals ] ] .

The town has a number of important buildings, among them the Church of Sant Andreu (Saint Andrew) de Sagàs. This structure has origins in a church dedicated to Saint Andrew from the 11th century. It is in the pre-Romanesque style. It has a floorplan similar to that of a basilica, with three naves, each crowned separately by a semi-circular apses. The church was heavily modified in the 15th century, with major interior changes as well as the addition of the present bell-tower. The altar is also famous. Beginning in 1970, a number of locals started a movement to restore the church to its original 11th century glory. It stands today restored.

Early History

The oldest existing record of Sagàs is a document from the 16th of July, 903, describing the consagration of the Church of Sant Andreu by the Bishop of Urgell at the request of the locals, who built the church, and a priest named "Galindó". The church is described as being "in territorio Bergitanensi in locum vocitatum Sagasse" (In Bergan territory, at a place called "Sagasse") ["Catalunya Romànica. Vol. XII El Berguedà." Enciclopèdia Catalana. Barcelona, 1985] . The current church of Sant Andreu was built somewhat later, on the same site as the original church. Little remains of the original structure, but thirteen graves, the remnants of the original church's cemetery, have been unearthed inside the nave of the current church.

It seems Sagàs has always been a farming town, with little strategic importance, although a small castle (about three metres by six metres at the base) was built there between the tenth and twelfth centuries [ "Catalunya Romànica. Vol. XII El Berguedà." Enciclopèdia Catalana. Barcelona, 1985] .

The Fire and the "Caminada"

To raise money for the restoration of the church, the "Caminada Popular de Sagas" was organized. This was a hike through the spectacular countryside that makes up this town. The "Caminada" was an annual event for 11 years. However, in 1994, wildfires ravaged the town, destroying much of its characteristic forest. The "Caminada" has not been held since.

The people remained, however, and Sagàs remains a beautiful municipality. Today, when visiting Sagàs, be sure to visit "Els Casals" a good hotel and restaurant, accessible by helicopter.

Other Important Sites

*The Church of Sant Esteve de Valldoria

*The Church of Santa Margarida de Sagàs(abandoned)

*The Capella de Sant Jordi, a small chapel dedicated to Saint George

*The Church of Sant Martí de Biure

*The Church of Santa Maria de la Guàrdia, and its famous statue of the Virgin Mary.

*The Ruins of the Tower of Sagàs, a small fortress from the 5th century

*Further up the road is Sant Pere de la Portellà, another church which also has a cloister and other structures attached.

References

External links

* [http://www.ajsagas.org/ Official website] ca
* [http://www.hotelelscasals.com/en/ Hotel "Els Casals"]
* [http://www.municat.net:8000/omunicat/owa/mun_p01.dad_ens?via=1&cod=0818840003 Information - Generalitat de Catalunya] ca
* [http://www.idescat.cat/territ/BasicTerr?TC=3&V0=1&V1=08188 Statistical information - Institut d'Estadística de Catalunya] ca
* [http://www.gotsaga.com] real sagas of real people


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