The industrial past of the Solsonès district | Cultural Heritage. Goverment of Catalonia.


1) Salí de Cambrils (Foto: Ajuntament d'Odèn) / 2) Pou del Portal (Foto: mNACTEC) / 3) Molins de la Vall d'Ora (Foto: mNACTEC)

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The industrial past of the Solsonès district

Take a stroll amongst the mills, salt mines and ice houses to rediscover the district's industrial origins.
Why not take a tour through the district's industrial heritage? There are saltworks, saw mills, flour mills, ice houses and much more besides. And they all tell the story of the first industrial production in Catalonia.

In the 18th century ice became a product of primary necessity and it became necessary to build new ice houses in order to store it and ensure a regular supply. The Pou del Portal in Solsona has a diameter of 8 meters and is 9 1/2 m tall. It was used to store ice from Bòfia, in Port del Comte, and from the river Negre. Today, because of its excellent restoration and conversion into a museum, it is one of the finest examples in Catalonia for understanding the procedures that were used for the storing and marketing of ice.

A 40-minute car ride from Solsona takes you to the Cambrils saltworks, which were in production until 1963. It is located in the municipality of Odèn. Salt production started there in 1780, taking advantage of the emergence of salt water from the Ribera Salada. Part of the complex has recently been restored. You can take a guided tour to find out more about how the saltworks used to work and the process for extracting salt, or you can enjoy some of the therapeutic activities available around the salty water. There are also five mills, two salt mills, a flour mill, a fodder mill and a grain peeler.

Water-powered flour mills, for which documentary evidence exists from the 12th century, form a central part of the economic and social activities of the Solsonès and Berguedà districts. Today, just half-an-hour's ride from Solsona, you can visit the restored Molí de Ca l’Ambròs in Navès, in the Vall d’Ora, as well as the sawmill with its adjacent vertical wheel, the medieval bridge over the river Aiguadora and the former school of the Vall d’Ora, where there is now a small ecomuseum.

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