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Trail along Sant Pere de Rodes monumental ensemble
This itinerary is made up of a general route of about 7 km and a more detailed visit inside the Monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes (without signposting on the ground). We will start the tour in La Vall de Santa Creu. We can access it by bus to the intersection with the Llançà road or by car arriving at the entrance of the town, going up the path that leads to the Monastery. After approximately an hour and a quarter of climbing, we will arrive at the Font del Raig, and then the Monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes. Then we will follow the path that leaves from the side of the Monastery and 25 minutes uphill later, we will arrive at the castle of San Salvador. The last point of the route will be the hermitage of Santa Elena and the medieval town of Santa Creu. We will undo the path to return.
1. LA VALL DE SANTA CREU
We will start the excursion arriving at the town of Vall de Santa Creu, where there is a small church dedicated to Sant Fruitós. The first indications of this church indicate that it would have its origins at the same time as the Monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes (9th century). We can take a walk until we reach the source of drinking water. Then we will go up the path that we will find signposted to go to Sant Pere de Rodes.
2. LA FONT DEL RAIG
We will make a stop at the Raig or dels Monjos (of the monks) fountain. The top of the Verdera mountain is full of streams that were supposed to supply water to the monastery. This fountain has very old origins, since in its decoration you can read an inscription from the XVI century.
3. THE MONASTERY OF SANT PERE DE RODES
Key piece in the evolution of Catalan art. It is a monastery of the order of Sant Benet that was occupied from the IX to the XVIII century. Declared Cultural Asset of National Interest in 1993.
4. THE CASTLE OF SANT SALVADOR
Next to the entrance of the Monastery is the path that goes up to the castle, in 25 minutes. The path can only be done on foot, due to its unevenness and rocky characteristics. First we find a cistern located outside the castle walls, with a rectangular structure and a pointed turn. From there came a conduit that carried water to the monastery. Next we cross the wall and we will see the defensive structure that alternates circular and square towers, which adapt to the terrain, bordering the entire castle, except in the Salt de la Reina Mora area where there is a cliff. From that point you can see a beautiful view over the Massís del Cap de Creus and the Mar d'Amunt, and also over the Empordà plain. Inside the wall we will distinguish two constructions, the oldest remains are those of a Romanesque church from the XI century, very simple and poorly preserved, dedicated to Sant Salvador. The other constructions are the remains of a castle of the XIII century.
5. THE CHURCH OF SANTA HELENA
It is the best preserved building in the town, of pre-Romanesque origin, initially it had a trapezoidal nave and apse. Later, in the late-Romanesque period, two side naves and an atrium were added. It is worth mentioning its bell tower of great singularity.