Located at 1,215 meters high, it repeats its 300 inhabitants between the villages of Saldes, Maçaners, l’Espà, Feners and Molers.
Its municipal term is divided along two valleys: the Saldes River Valley bounded by the Ensija mountain range, the Pedraforca massif, the Pedragrosa mountain range and the Gisclareny mountain range; and the Vall de Agua de Valls or the neighborhoods of Espà and Feners.
The first remains that speak of population in the area are in the Dolmen de Molers, located in the center of Maçaners. And suppose that the birth of Saldes as an urban center did not occur in the High Middle Ages, when the earliest references to a small population center consisting of five or six families settled around the church of Sant Martí are found.
By the mid-nineteenth century the lords of the Castle of Saldes are already mentioned in the documentation of the Barony of the Pinós de Bagà. Throughout the centuries, the inhabitants of the area lived under a subsistence economy based on agriculture, livestock and forestry. And it is not until the beginning of the twentieth century that the course of economy in the area begins to change the region begins to industrialize and after the civil war Saldes undergoes the economic and social transformation that involves the implementation of mines.
In the 1930’s the Pedraforca mine was opened, which would later become one of the most important in Catalonia. Unfortunately, the coal that brought so much of it to the area also marked one of the bloodiest episodes in its history, on April 10, 1944 the accumulation of gray coal in the mine exploded, causing 34 deaths. ‘most serious mining accident that had occurred before in Spanish mining.
Over the years, mining in Catalonia has been losing momentum, so in 2007 and with the closing of the Mine Nova de Saldes, the end of this economic activity was written.
Castle of Saldes: the first references are found between 1068 and 1095 in which this castle is mentioned in the documentation of the Barony of Pinós in Bagà. Currently the whole wall that surrounds the remains of the castle and the church of Santa Maria is preserved.
Sant Martí de Saldes: As we have said, the first documented center of Saldes, the current church was built in the second half of the 17th century and is the fifth building in the same place. Inside is the carving of the Virgin of Gresolet, a 12th-century carving that once a year returns to the old town of Gresolet to preside over its collection.
Gresolet Sanctuary – This is the place of worship of the Virgin of Gresolet, in fact the legend says that the carving was found by an ox under a large balm of rock that is still preserved near the sanctuary.
ACTIVITIES IN THE NATURE
Hiking: The first hiking activities in the area began in around 1870, when at that time the Pedraforca mountain was very attractive. In fact, in 1949 the Lluís Estaen Refuge was inaugurated in the Jaça dels Prats. Years later the Serra d’Ensija Shelter will be added.
This area is exceptional for small and long hiking, as well as enjoying nature while discovering the flora and fauna of the Cadí – Moixeró Natural Park.
Climbing: Climbing in the area of the Valls del Pedraforca begins in the 1920’s at the hands of one of the pioneers of mountaineering in Catalonia, Lluís Estaen. There are currently more than 100 inventories and new ones are often opened. It is in winter but when the north face of Pedraforca allows for winter climbing (activity that requires a lot of technique and physical preparation). Within this modality stands out the spectacular of the vertical ice climbing.
Palomera Adventure Park: one of the first nature parks in the forest that has become a true attraction in the middle of nature. With several levels it is an activity that can be done from the little ones at home to the most daring. The park has more than 60 different elements: zip lines, lianas, Tibetan bridges, swings, stirrups …
HOLIDAYS AND TRADITIONS
The major festivals of Saldes, Espà and Maçaners are usually the most popular in the area. Also, the feast of Santa Barbara, patron saint of miners, is one of the most loved by the Saldencas and Saldenes.
Maçaners accordionists gathering: What started years ago to keep using this very common instrument among pastors in the area has ended up being an international pageant where musicians from all over the world come to worship. to this instrument.
Artisan Market: It is celebrated around the feast of All Sants and fills the streets of the village with crafts and crafts.
Gresolet gathering: Each September 8, the Gresolet Campmasats organize one of the most popular gatherings in the area, the arrival of mountain livestock, the solemn mass, the brotherhood lunch and the afternoon dance are one of the traditions of families in the area.