Monastery of Santa María
Square and monastery
Located at the confluence of the Ter and Freser rivers, the town of Ripoll was built around the Benedictine monastery of Santa María de Ripoll, founded around the 9th century. This Romanesque monastery is considered to be one of the most important monastic centres in medieval Catalonia, especially because of their repopulating efforts. There we must point out a magnificent cloister, and the church, which has an extraordinary portico that dates from the 12th century, with interesting sculpted relieves that depict biblical scenes. In addition to the monastery of Santa María de Ripoll, we must mention the the church of Sant Pere, from the 12th century, with pre-Romanesque elements, which presently houses the Ethnographic Museum. The town's main industry between the 16th and 18th centuries was the manufacture of nails and weaponry, and it got to be one of the most important gunsmith's centres in Europe. With the arrival of the railway, the textile industry gathered momentum, financial boost that it still maintains today.