Vallfogona and Roca Guinart

September 14, 2006 at 12:19 pm 2 comments

It’s amazing the way we thread our way through various interests. Where one thing leads to another and another and another……… until we find ourselves in a place that has no common links to where we started from. In this sense, this post is probably an intermediate step.

Yesterday I posted some Catalan poetry I had picked from a booklet given to us on September 11 to celebrate a Catalan holiday. I understood the context of one of the poems but didn’t know the first one. Antoni, a phtographer from Sant Pol de Mar explained that the poem was about a famous Catalan bandit, Roca Guinart. Of course I had to look into this. It’s difficult to research because I do not speak Catalan and almost all of the references were in Catalan, after all he is part of Catalan folklore.

Well, I found reference to the author, Francesc Vicent Garcia (Rector of Vallfogona) and the town Vallfogona.

Vallfogona de Riucorb is a pueblo of 130 people. It’s roots go back before 1038 with the Queralt and Cervallo families (they have a history all to themselves) and it was known as Vallis Alfedi or Vall d’Aleu until the 12th century.

In 1193 the Knights Templar established a Templar castle there and, after the order was dissolved in 1312 it was taken over by the Hospitalers. In 1416 the castle was restored and in 1811 became the house of Vallfogona de Comalats. The town was surrounded by a fortress with towers and had a hospital that cared for pilgrims and the sick. There are still ruins from the chapel of Sant Pere dels Bigats dating back to the 13th century.

As I mentioned, one of the towns citizens was Francesc Garcia Torres ( Tortosa 1582-Vallfogona 1623,) and also known as Rector of Vallfogona. He studied in Lleida and Vic and, in 1607, he came to Vallfogona where he befriended Rocaguinarda and wrote the poem. In 1951, the town erected a monument in his memory.

The famous “bandoler” Perot Rocaguinarda (Roca Guinart) was born in December 18th 1582 in Oristà, Catalunya. He is also refered to as the gentleman bandit Roque Guinart in Don Quixote. The Castilian writer Miguel de Cervantes imagined the Catalans as being fearsome natives. He writes: “More than forty highwaymen suddenly surrounded them and told them in Catalan to stop and do not move until the captain had arrived.” The captain was Perot Rocaguinarda, and Don Quijote and his attendant spent three days and three nights with that Catalan highwayman, hiding themselves together through the woods around Barcelona. Just as a point of interest he was one of a a very few highwaymen who escaped the gallows. His house of birth can still be seen (at least the ruins) inOristà.

Entry filed under: academic, Alan's Blog, Blog, Catalan, Culture, General Medieval, History, knights, Poetry, Spain.

Some Catalan Poetry Catalan language and poetry

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Cody Kline  |  September 15, 2006 at 5:05 am

    Cool.. Check out my blog, Codykline.wordpress.com

    Reply
  • 2. Pere  |  September 16, 2006 at 10:43 pm

    Catalan is not a difficult language to learn. Actually probably without you realising it you arlready have a leg-start, if you already have some notions of another latin-derived languange like Spanish, Portuguese or Italian. If you live in Catalonia learning catalan will allow you to discover the real country, beyond what the “tourist” guides tell you about this “region” of Spain. The good think with the catalan language and Catalonia is that by the simple think of speaking language many people will consider a local. If you only learn Spanish you can leave 20 year in Barcelona and still be considered a guiri (foreigner).

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


September 2006
M T W T F S S
« Aug   Oct »
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930  

Flickr Photos

Blog Stats

  • 124,463 hits

%d bloggers like this: