Santa Maria de Merlès
Located in the east of the county, the municipality Santa Maria de Merlès borders on the counties of Lluçanès and Bages and is crossed by the Merlès torrent from north to south. The local economy is based on dryland cultivation of potatoes, vegetables and cereals and on cattle and pig farming; forestry complements the income of a population distributed between the hamlets of Santa Maria de Merlès, Sant Martí de Merlès, Sant Pau de Pinós, Terradelles and Pedrós on the Bages side (the village of Tortafé is now deserted).
Improvements to the forest trail which crosses the Merlès uncovered the natural beauty of this river basin, now designated an area of natural beauty. The banks of the Merlès, the focal point for the local population, have been settled since prehistoric times. Evidence of ancient settlement can be seen in the old castle, the ruins of which still proudly dominate the valley.
The Romanesque bell-tower of the church of Sant Martí and, above all, the Gothic bridge that spans the Merlès torrent to connect up with the church of Santa Maria, artistically define this landscape scattered with small churches and attractive farmhouses. The landscape here has the balance of fields and woodlands that is characteristic of Baix Berguedà. The Merlès area is of particular natural interest and has a number of breathtakingly beautiful secluded spots.
For further information: www.stmmerles.diba.es