The municipality of Saldes, located between the Serra del Cadí, the Serra d’Ensija and the Costafreda precipices, is dominated by Pedraforca mountain (2,497m at the Pollegó Superior ridge, 2,350 m at L’Enforcadura and 2,400m at the Pollegó Inferior) and crossed by the Saldes river and the Gresolet mountain torrent, each of which forms a narrow valley. Almost all this mountainous municipality is covered by pine forests, with the occasional fir and European beech copse and areas of pasture. Traditional farming and animal husbandry was largely replaced by lignite mining, but this industry has since fallen into decline.
Saldes, Maçaners and L’Espà, at the foot of the majestic Pedraforca mountain, are the parishes that make up this municipality, with most of the population concentrated in Saldes and, to a lesser degree, in Maçaners.
The small village of Saldes clusters around the church of Sant Martí and Saldes castle. Saldes was documented as early as the 11th century in the consecration ceremony for Santa Maria de la Seu d’Urgell. Saldes lands were owned by the barons of Pinós in the12th century and later by the duke of Alba in the 16th century.
The municipality reached the peak of its economic development and demographic growth with the arrival of coal mining in the 20th century. An impressive megalith in Maçaners (2000 -1800 BCE) is the earliest artistic representation in Saldes. Dating from more recent times are Sant Ponç de Molers, from the 11th century, which was saved from ruin in 1999, and the church of Sant Martí dating from the early 13th century, containing a 13th-century Romanesque statue of the Virgin of Gresolet and an 18th-century Baroque altarpiece. Dating from the 13th century is the castle, restored in 2001, with a hall covered by a pointed barrel vault.
Much of the municipality lies within the Cadí-Moixeró Natural Park. The landscape, dominated as it is by Pedraforca, attracts hordes of hikers and climbers.
A visit to the Pedraforca and Mining Interpretation Centre is a must for anyone interested in learning more about the area’s geology.
In 2004, the municipality opened a treetop adventure park, Parc de Palomera, which offers adults and children the opportunity to have fun while enjoying the beauty of nature.
For further information: www.saldes.diba.es