2. Gósol: Visit to the Castle, a place of refuge for the Cathars or Bons Homes
ITINERARY: This circular route begins and ends at the Meeting Point of the Cadí Vacances campsite. From there we head towards Plaça de Gósol. We begin to climb the Castle along the street that heads west. Halfway up we have the opportunity to make a stop at a fountain on the left. Along this route we will see some of the oldest houses in the village such as Ca l’Antonet, Cal Tinent or Cal Masover, where we will be able to discover decorative elements from that period made by artisan workers.
Once we have reached the hermitage of Our Lady of the Roser, in front of it is the Mirador de Gósol from which we can enjoy a panoramic view of the village. From here we are already inside the medieval enclosure and we have the possibility to reach the Castle of Gósol, existing already in the 11th century, by the dirt track or trekking paths in the middle of the ruins of the houses of the old abandoned village. We reach the highest point of the hill where there is the old square with a small cemetery and the remains of the church of Santa Maria with its bell tower, an old defense tower. The church of the Castle was worshiped until 1892. From this church there is a carving of a Romanesque Virgin, from the 12th century, in the National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC), but we can admire a copy in the church of Gósol.
“I have to start with the old village, piled on top of the hill with the ruined manorial tower and the lost remains of the church. The people of Gósol had a bad time living there, they built a house in a flatter place, they took advantage of the rocks of the old village and now only a few ruins remain that are not a meter high but mark a small, brave village surrounded by walls and living narrowly in dark rooms with low ceilings defending themselves from winters”.
Josep Maria Ballarín i Monset
The Castle Tower is pre-Romanesque and we can see the horseshoe-shaped windows. It was a watchtower, square and irregular in plan, built before the church. A restored interior staircase allows us to climb to the top and enjoy spectacular 360-degree views of the valley. In the past, this was a strategic point used to signal and anticipate the onslaught of enemies.
The Cathars or Bons Homes took refuge in this castle during the 13th century. The Cathars, faithful to a more austere doctrine of Christianity, fled Occitania persecuted by the Crusades and the Inquisition and found refuge in these castles in the Catalan Pre-Pyrenees. After contemplating all the corners of this magical place we will be located on the bench in front of the castle overlooking the campsite, and just on the left side begins our path with a slope that will take us through the different terraces, always zigzagging in the direction at the campsite.
Feast of the Return of the Cathars
Medieval festival that remembers the passage of the Cathars or good men through Gósol. It is held on the last weekend of July. More than 700 years ago, Gósol was a land of Cathars. It was one of the places where the
y hid from the Inquisition and where, today, several routes remember their passage.
Among the most recommended events are theatrical performances, workshops of ancient trades and the night climb to the castle of Gósol with torches.
Way of the Bons Homes
The Way of the Bons Homes is a trans-Pyrenean tourist itinerary of approximately 200km that goes from the Sanctuary of Queralt (Berga-Catalonia) to the Castle of Montsegur (Ariège-France). This itinerary can be done on foot in stages and recalls the exile of the Occitan Cathars, otherwise called Good Men and Good Women, who promoted pure and simple Christianity, based on spirituality and against the authoritarian, corrupt and ostentatious. 13th century Catholic Church.
Stages of Gósol
- From the Sanctuary of Queralt (Berga) to Gósol: between luxurious troubadours and heretical villagers. Very long stage (29.36 Km.)
- From Gósol to Bagà: between the magical Pedraforca and the soft face of the Cadí. Long stage (23.80 Km.)