Stage three: Solsona, a land of traditions and giants

The Grand Tour of Catalonia continues with another riddle. On this occasion the verses of poet Josep Maria de Sagarra lead our contestants, Carles and Sofía, to the next destination: Solsona. Following the famous beam heads that decorate some overhanging roofs, you can go on a thrilling trip around the old quarter of the town. Its charming narrow streets conceal historical façades and deep-rooted traditions.

A stroll around the city’s monuments

The route around the mediaeval part of the old town is comprises more than twenty key landmarks. Saint John’s Square, which Sagarra refers to in his poem, is not the only one on the trail. There are many more, with numerous popular fountains, wooden portals and mansions. There’s also the famous Solsona Cathedral, which combines and preserves Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque features. A wealth of architecture waiting to be discovered.

A festive schedule

They take their celebrations very seriously in Solsona. You can see for yourself at the Carnival, when the “mad giants” take over the streets and dance to the beat of the crowd accompanying them, raising their huge arms at every turn. Or the Fiesta Mayor held in late summer, when you can marvel at the giants with other characters, such as the “big heads”, the eagle and the dragon. It isn’t a dream, it’s the folklore of Solsona.

A fusion of modernism and nature

Most of Antoni Gaudí’s creations are to be found in Barcelona. However, some of his disciples scattered other modernist jewels throughout Catalonia. The San Roc hotel is one of them, with an impressive fairytale façade in the old quarter of Solsona. Another example is the spectacular modernist cemetery in Olius, designed in 1916 among the fallen rocks and surrounded by holm oaks.

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