Lleida: a journey to discover the traditional trades
Interior of the Oil Theme Park. Les Borges Balnques, les Garrigues. Photo by: Selbach, Arthur F. 2004
Interior of the flour mill. Alt Urgell
Torrons d'Agramunt (l'Urgell). Photo by: Sansen, Laurent
Fulling machine at the wool factory in Pont d'Arsèguel (l'Alt Urgell). Photo by: Souto, Nelson
If you're thinking about a trip to the area of Lleida, in Catalonia, we propose an interesting and different journey: visit unique areas related to traditional ways of life such as the Museo de la Lana Museum or an old flour mill, and sign up for agro-tourism activities in which you can participate in the production processes in factories and then enjoy quality products. Are you coming?
The Tour of the Trades The “Tour of the Trades” is actually an ethnographic tour done by the various places and museums in the region of L'Alt Urgell. It is designed to acquaint you with the customs of the area, and as the distances between points are somewhat large, we recommend that you book several days for your trip. We will tell you what you will find and you decide how to organise it: In the town of Pont de Bar you can visit the Museo de la Viña y el Vino Museum. It is located in an old borda (cabin that housed the shepherds and cattle) and in it you can learn interesting facts about the world of wine (home remedies, popular sayings, etc.), and see items related to vine cultivation. In Arsèguel you will find the Museo de la Lana Museum, a former factory more than a century old, where you will learn about the processes of production of wool fabrics and see textile machinery and an old seventeenth-century churn in operation. The Museo del Payés Museum is located in Calbinyà in an old manor house and is the perfect place to discover what life was like in a peasant residence in the mountains. In Coll de Nargó you can visit the Museo de los “Raiers” Museum (rafters) to learn about this trade which consisted of transporting wood across the river. The next suggestion is the old La Trobada flour mill, in Montferrer. The grinding mill operated until 1963. Now you can discover its secrets. In Oliana you will find the old ice well, a curious underground construction with a circular floor, approached through a tunnel that extends some 13 metres. Finally, don't miss the Museo de las Trementineras Museum in Tuixent. It is a special place where you can discover the trade of the trementinera (turpentine makers). There you'll meet the women who produced turpentine, a kind of juice that was used for pain. On your visit you will discover the curiosities of this exciting trade and learn about numerous medicinal herbs. Many of these museums offer guided tours in English and in French. For schedules and contact details of each place, we recommend you visit the official Tourism of Lleida website.
Agro-tourism. If you find the Tour of the Trades interesting, we would also encourage you to do any of the agro-tourism packages offered in the area of Lleida. Through these packages, you can participate directly in the production processes of various companies and then try some of their products. There are many options to choose from depending on the sector (food, crafts, livestock, hydraulic and hydroelectric power, packaging, herbalism, leather apparel, etc.) you are interested in and the locality of travel. Just to give you an idea of what you can experience, here are some examples: On board a recreational boat in the town of Lleida you will learn about the origin and brewing of beer and then enjoy the product. In Noguera you can walk through vineyards, wineries and an ecological plantation. In Les you can visit the first Spanish company dedicated to the captive breeding of sturgeon to produce caviar, the "black gold of the Pyrenees." In Pallars Sobirà you can visit the Interpretation Centre of the Hydroelectric Plant of Tavascan and Montamara. Would you like some more suggestions? In Segarra you can visit the facilities on board an electric train and see the site for the manufacture of meat products or learn how nougat and chocolate are made. In Verdú you can watch folk pottery demonstrations. In Taüll a craftsman will explain the different techniques for treating suede, nappa leather and double face leather. In Les Borges Blanques, what better place to visit than the Oil Theme Park? As you can see, there are many interesting and, above all, entertaining packages. You will find details of all the companies that offer activities on the official Tourism of Lleida website. Here you can also find out how to arrange visits (some are free), how long they last and what audience they are targeting. Enjoy your trip to the fullest. Come to Lleida.