Friday, 10 August 2012

Solsonès, Catalonia

The old quarter of this charismatic Catalan town is still partially enclosed by its high stone walls, which date from the eleventh and sixteenth centuries. Built right next to the fortifications is the Gothic cathedral with its eyecatching blue dome decorated with white flowers and yellow stars.  If you park in the car park on Carreterra de Bassella next to the river and walk through the heavily-restored, imposing Bridge Gate, you will find yourself in a warren of medieval streets, which frequently open out into appealing squares lined by golden stone buildings. In the square next to the cathedral, you'll find an attractive circular fountain, surrounded by flowers, and topped with wrought iron lamps. The surprisingly-extensive and largely-pedestranised old quarter, with its elegant merchant houses and traditional shops, is seeped in history, making Solsonès a pleasant place to wander round, before stopping for a drink in one of the pavement cafes. 8/10