General Vista of Montferrer. (Clicad to see the greatest image).
The municipal term of Montferrer and Castellbò is most extensive of all the Alt Urgell. Located to the northwest of the region, it includes the territory between the right border of the Segre and the Port of Cantó and from the low part of the river of Pallerols to the one of Romadriu, or river of Santa Magdalena, and the flat one of Conques. The rivers of Aravell, Castellbò and Pallerols drain the term, in addition to several torrents and the reguera of the "Quatre Pobles". The low part of the term is crossed by N-260 (Eix Pirinenc), from where it leaves the highway that raises the valley of Castellbò and until the refuge of Sant Joan of l'Erm. To the towns of valleys of Pallerols and Guils of Cantó one goes away from Adrall by same N-260, that raises until the Port of Cantó.
The present term of Montferrer and Castellbò belonged to the vizcondado one of Castellbò, that, with the marriage of vizconde Arnau with Arnaldeta de Caboet, happened to also have the valley of Cabó. Their dominions extended by the terms of Organyà, Fígols, Coll de Nargó, Adraén and valleys of Sant Joan, in addition to the pallaresas possessions of the valley of Àsua, vall Ferrera and Gerri of the Salt. The marriage of the daughter of Arnau, Ermessenda, with vizconde Roger Bernat II of Foix united both satately houses. Of the confrontation of the Foix and the Castellbò with the bishopric of famous Urgell they were born "the Pariatges", origin of the independence of Andorra. Agriculture and the cattle ranch stay like the main economic activity of the municipality, even though the sector of services has grown considerably these last years. This increase is reflected in the hotel establishments and of restoration, located to the lowest part of the term, and in the Nordic ski resort of Sant Joan of l'Erm. Also it counts on a golf course, located in Aravell. Within the term the most important power saw of the region is located simultaneously that in his industrial estate it is an important company of clothes and sport material.
Montferrer and Castellbò are also the municipality with more population centers of the region: Alvet, Aravell, Avellanet, Bellestar, Canturri, Carmeniu, Cassovall, Castellbò, Castellnovet, Guils of Cantó, Montferrer, Pallerols, Sant Andreu, Santa Cruz, Sarcèdol, Saulet, Seix, Solans, Turbiàs, Vilamitjana and Vilarrubla, in addition to the depopulated ones of You are, Sendes, Sallent de Castellbò and Solanell. As almost all the municipalities of the region, Montferrer and Castellbò have suffered, from half-full century XX, a strong reduction in its population. Even so, these last years one has begun to recover in the nuclei located to the lowest part of the term, whereas in the rest the regressive process has stopped. 
Sant Andreu de Castellbó

Ski i golf. One of the attractiveness of the municipality of Montferrer and Castellbò is the possibility, without leaving the term, to practice two sports as different as the cross-country skiing and golf. In order to enjoy first, you have the tracks of Sant Joan of l'Erm, first in its modality of all the Spanish State, with than thirty kilometers of tracks more signalized. And if you want to do a mouthful, to have lunch, or to have supper... or simply to enter heat you have to your reach, in the same ski resort of Sant Joan of l'Erm, the refuge of the Basseta. One is the cosy premises where also you can spend the night, since it has rooms with bunks where often they are possible to be seen groups of students, with or without snow. In addition the zone has one extends land strip with tables and barbecues. With respect to golf, in 1997 the first nine holes of the field of Aravell were inaugurated Andorra Golf, which completed the eighteen holes in 1998. The installation has been designed by the professional player Jose Maria Olazábal. 

The Romanesque one. The colegiata of Castellbò contains románicos elements, like the apses, and other gothic, specially visible ones in the cover. Within the term we can also visit the ruins of the old priorato of Santa Maria de Costoja, where they were buried vizcondes Arnau and Ermessenda, despoliation of which were unearthed, forty years later, by the Inquisición, that accused them to have practiced the catarismo. In this same page we have added one more a more careful information on this important colegiata, as well as on the rest that are still on of Costoja, and its history. 

The cátaros. From in 1996 they are celebrated, at the beginning of August in Castellbò and Josa of the Cadí, days on the Cátaros Refuges of the Alt Urgell. The acts include round conferences and tables, but also routes, animation, concerts and theater, with the representation of the work "Cercamón", of Lluis Racionero, year after year in the same ruins of Costoja. Lately they are had including other elements that make of this celebration an event that you cannot be lost none, medieval matches to horse, theater in the street, market cátaro... etc. 



Extension 177.46 km2 Aravell 1r Sunday of May
Population 730 inhabitants Bellestar The last Sunday of October
City council Tel. Castellbò 15 of August
Firemen 085 (Recommended) Guils of Cantó 3r Sunday of August
Medical doctor's office Tel. Montferrer Penultimate Sunday of August
Pharmacy Tel. Vilamitjana The last Sunday of July
Recreational areas: Castellbò. St. Joan of l'Erm The Trobada Monday of Passover Florida
* Pallerols. Forest House Sant Marc, (Bellestar) Domingo closest to the 25 of April
MARRY OF  "PAYES" Sant Joan of l'Erm 24 of June
Castellbò I ground of the Pau, Sant Joan of l'Erm Domingo closest to the 25 of August
Guils of Cantó The Paller of l'Antonet, 
Days of the Cátaros refuges Principles of August
Montferrer Ca l'Ignasió, * *
Castellbò Lime Segú, * *

The vizcondado one of Castellbò, one of the more important political centers of the medieval Catalunya, also extended by ample territories of the Alt Urgell and the Pallars and comprendia the valleys of Andorra. The colegiata of Santa Maria was founded on 1436. In the present church, of a ship, several constructive moments are clearly perceivable. The three correspond to the románica time absides round, very high and constructed upon podios, with perceivable holes of affluent construction in the power station. The facade, however is of gothic style, with arcs pointed in degradation crowned by friso decorated with flowers and human heads. The work of forge of the cover is specially remarkable.

The place of Costoja appears documented year 1015 for the first time. 
He was priorato of the order of Sant Joan de Jerusalem. In this church they were buried vizcondes of Castellbó, Arnau (1228) and Ermessenda (1230), and its rest were unearthed and burned year 1261 by the Inquisición, that accused the noble to protect and to spread the catarismo. 
Of the church they are left only fragments of the apse, of semicircular base, and the facades the west, with a row of opus spicatum , and this, where a aventana of prismàtica section is conserved. The front door, in the wall the west and nowadays tapiada, is of arc of average point.

To return to the principal page

Extracted data of the book " Via Romànica of l'Alt Urgell ",   and of the opuscule " Els colors of the Pirineu ", both published by the Local Consell of the Alt Urgell.