Vic - Tavertet

 1 Day


Vic is the capital of the comarca of Osona, in the province of Barcelona,. Vic's location, only 69 km far from Barcelona and 60 km from Girona, has made it one of the most important towns in central Catalonia.

Vic is of ancient origin. Vic, in past times, was called Ausa by the Romans. Iberian coins bearing this name have been found there. The Visigoths called it Ausona.

During the 8th and 9th centuries, Vic sat in the Spanish Marches that separated Frankish and Islamic forces. It was destroyed in 788 during a Muslim incursion. Afterwards only one quarter was rebuilt, which was called Vicus Ausonensis (vicus is Latin for city borough), from which the name Vic was derived. It was repopulated by Wilfred the Hairy in 878 who gained control over the high part of the city and gave up the lowest part to the bishop to construct the episcopal see. From then on, the city was ruled by the count of Barcelona and by the bishop of Vic.

At a council in Toulouges in 1027, the bishop of Vic established the first Peace and Truce of God that helped reduce private warfare.

During the 18th century the city was the first focus of the rebellion against the centralist policy of King Philip V of Spain. The conflict became the War of the Spanish Succession, which resulted in Catalonia losing its freedom as a nation.

In the early 20th century Vic had 9500 inhabitants, and in 1992 it hosted Roller Hockey events of the Barcelona 1992 Summer Olympics.

It is disputed whether the Church of Sant Pere Ap˛stol or Sta. Maria la Rodona [1] was the first cathedral church. For centuries the bishops celebrated the first Christmas Mass in this church, and the third in that of Sant Pere.

The ancient Church of S. Maria was rebuilt from the foundations by Canon Guillem Bonfil in 1140, and consecrated forty years later by Bishop Pere Retorta. In 1787 it was demolished to make room for the new Cathedral. Bishop Jordi (915- 38) reconsecrated the Church of Ripoll and also consecrated that of Sta. Maria de Manresa.

The original cathedral, which had but a single nave, thick walls, and few windows, was replaced by that built by Bishop Oliva. As early as the thirteenth century Bishop Raimond d'Anglesola wrote a pastoral letter exhorting his people to contribute towards repairing the cathedral. In 1401 Bishop Diego de Heredia added a transept, and in 1585 the door of Sant Joan was added, but the necessity of a complete reconstruction was soon recognized, and towards the end of the eighteenth century the building was torn down, and the corner stone of the new one was laid on 24 September, 1781. It was consecrated on 15 September, 1803. It is classic in design, a combination of Doric and Tuscan, with a facade of white stone enriched with a beautiful balustrade. It has three entrances, corresponding to the three naves, and colossal statutes of its six patrons. The interior is Corinthian. All the monuments and altars were destroyed when the old church was demolished, except the high altar which is of alabaster, in the Gothic style, and was given early in the fifteen century by D. Bernat Despujol. Among the chapels that of St. Bernat Calvˇ (1233-43), who assisted James I of Aragon in the conquest of Valencia, deserves special mention. The two-storied Gothic cloister is exceedingly beautiful. A handsome Gothic doorway leading to the chapter house has been preserved.

The conciliar seminary was begun in 1635 by Gaspar Gil and was finally finished, by command of Pope Benedict XIV, by Manuel Mu˝oz in 1748. The modern seminary is located in the former Jesuit College. It has sent out many famous men, among them Balmes and the poet Jacint Verdaguer, author of "L'AtlÓntida". The episcopal palace was destroyed in the wars of 1640 and rebuilt by degrees, being completed by Bishop Veyan. The archaeological museum is in this building.

Manresa, where St. Ignatius Loyola wrote his Spiritual Exercises, is situated in the Diocese of Vic. His memory is venerated in the Santa Cova, which has been converted into a church, and a magnificent college of the Jesuits built near it.


Tavertet is a small town above some cliffs, 900m above sea level, in the area known as Collsacabra in the comarca of Osona in Catalonia. Below the cliffs is the "Sau" reservoir which dammed the waters of the river Ter in the 1960s. Tavertet is a lovely touristy town, with many second homes and home to Raimon Panikkar, who is an Indian/Catalan philosopher. Tavertet is linked by a main road to L'Esquirol and the C-153 and to Rupit by a minor road which runs north above the cliffs which also links to the C-153 closer to Rupit.