Protective Routes

Discover Bossòst and their heritage across their protective routes.

Info Tourist Bossòst

We are in Eth Grauer, the new avenue of last century, which has been always the meeting point and laundry on the Garonne of the village houses, before the river closed and now, since the opening of borders 1948, the arrival of tourism and the conditioning of this new as N-230 avenue open to the shops and center Garonne tour of the town. Parallel to Calle Mayor, old Camino Real, had the mill and two bridges of the Garonne to move to Lana and Bocard now sports area of the town. Here we will find the beautiful legend of six chapels.

The Legend of the Chapels of Bossòst

The Legend says that there was a time, around the 19th century, where the plague was threatening the villages of the Val d’Aran. One day, a young shepherd from Bossòst was headed to the high pastures and he run into a monk. The shepherd told the monk about the fear that the residents had of the infectious disease. The hermit told the shepherd to go back to the village and advise the residents to build six chapels surrounding the village in order to protect themselves. That’s exactly what the young man did, but nobody listened to him, so he went back up the mountain to see the monk. The monk ordered that he took his shirt off and with his five fingers pressed on his back told him: “Now they will listen to you and, furthermore, you will tell them to build them facing the village to avoid the plague from entering”. And that’s exactly what they did, they built the six chapels: Sant Fabian and Sant Sebastian, Sant Ròc, Sant Cerat, Sant Joan Crisòstom, Sant Antòni and la Pietat, and according to the legend, the plague could not reach the village of Bossòst. There’s another version that accounts for 7 chapels, referencing the one that’s located at the entrance of the cave Soala Casteràs. Around the Portilhon area we can find a place which name provides reminiscences of the legend, el Arriulet deth Monge.

The Route of the Hermitages

The itinerary will show us some of the hermitages which, according to the legend, were built by the residents of Bossòst to protect themselves from the plague. The route has two well differentiated parts — first we will exit the village passing through the Lana de Bossòst, the plain, and then we will return to the village to enter the urban itinerary and get to see some of the town’s hermitages located on the hills of the village.

Soala Casteràs

The itinerary will guide us to the area of the Bossòst estate, the Bossòst castle which was a strategic point to control the crossing of enemies and to visually communicate with other castles or lookout towers nearby. From the castle you could control all the population and their fields, as well as the 7 chapels that protect the territory, and also, in this route we will discover the remains of the oldest hermitage right on the entrance of the Bossòst cave, named Soala Casteràs.

The Portilhon’s Trails

Through the ancient trails. The itinerary will guide us through ancient trails, where the residents of Bossòst would hike the mountain to obtain wood, harvest the fields or take the herd to higher pastures. Likewise, it was used for contraband, the exchange of basic food supply such as coffee or sugar. In 1877, a new path opened, the “Rota vielha”, to make it easier for foreign visitors with calash to access the cattle track located right before the Portilhon de Bossòst, where the Aran Park is currently located, the Pyrenees’ park with autochthonous fauna.


Chapels of Sant Fabian and Sant Sebastian

In the Sant Fabian neighbourhood we find the protective chapel of this side of the Garona river. We know it went through a restauration in 1870 but it was in the last one that it lost its old lime protection from the main façade. In the 17th century, Sant Sebastian (exclusively) is documented as one of the four churches of the village and in the 18th century we know of the presence of two saints in the chapel.


Church Square

Center of village life, where the Village Council met under the old elm centennial of all main squares, to link both social issues (marriages ...) how labor issues (purchases, etc.). Here was the old Crasta or bailia, and today the town hall, dating from the s. XVIII, rebuilt in the same period. Burnt by the accident in years forties of the last century, its facade had a female image marble with an open book, donated to the bailia by the General Banal Halen, I took her from Majorca in s. XIX; missing since 1910. Torre recovered in this century its original location, against Pl. Mayor or church, where a stone linking the thieves, the "petra vindicta" and where the Village Council met under the old elm centenary of the people. Part of the old marble fountain missing is within the church.


Church of Purificacion de Maria

The Sta. Maria de Bossòst is the best well preserved religious construction in Aragon from the 6th and 7th centuries. It’s composed by the church and its bell tower and its part of the Aranese Romanesque Path, which is included in the Bibliographic Database of the Conservation Information Network (BCIN) since 2015 (previously considered an historic national monument). In the past, the main Mass took place on February 2nd, the Purificación de María, but it now takes place the 15th of August during the town’s festivities, la Asunción de María.


Chapel of Sant Ròc

Inside the old village with the same name, separated from the town on the north side by the gazetteer or demographic census of the 19th century, today it’s a new neighborhood. It was the epidemic protector and its image was preserved in Casa Lúcia, the main house of this neighbourhood.


Chapel of Sta. Eulària

The remains of this chapel are found at the foot of Soala Casteràs, beneath the castle, it was one of the seven protective chapels of the village, four of them as religious buildings that are already in a list from the 17th and 18th centuries.


Chapel of Sant Joan Crisòstom

Since it’s located in the western and upper part of the village, it has been hit by avalanches, the last one was in January 1981, when the snow fell with strength from the Pales d´Estiuèra. One of the five chapels according to the inventory from the 18th century.


Chapel of Sant Cerat

Located in the highest part of the village, the construction is perhaps the oldest still standing of the six that surrounded the village. The legend of the six chapels of Bossòst, seven counting the church, tells it was a spiritual cord or action of grace.


Chapel of Mair de Diu dera Pietat

Known as the Virgin of the Snows (Virgen de las Nieves) in other places, here La Piedad is located in the south entrance of the village or at the end of the Camin Reiau or Royal Path, which gives name to part of the main street of Bossòst.


Chapel of Sant Antòni

The furthest out of the village, in the old path to the Portilhon, it was always a tradition to visit it by foot on the 13th of June. From its privileged oriel we find the three first images done of the history of Bossòst from the 19th century.


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