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The Interpretation Centre of Manresa demonstrates life in the 14th century

The new cultural facility explains how was life in Manresa, central Catalonia, during the Middle Age. The new centre aims to generate tourism for the city. It was unveiled last weekend.

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30 August 2011 07:24 PM

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ACN / Mar Martí

Manresa (ACN).- The new Medieval Interpretation Centre of Manresa, a town in central Catalonia, was unveiled last weekend. It offers visitors a journey through time to the 14th century, the golden age of the city. The new centre aims to boost Manresa's historical city centre and at the same time become the tourism "engine" for the capital of the Bages County said the mayor, Valentí Junyent. Located on the premises of an old Gothic mansion, the centre offers multimedia resources to help the visitors discover what Manresa of the fourteenth century was like. The Spokesperson for the Catalan Government, Francesc Homs, unveiled the facility last Saturday.


Homs stated that a facility like the Interpretation Centre of Manresa is not "a nostalgic look to the past" but a "reaffirmation of a pinnacle time in the country." According to Homs, "nowhere is it written that an episode like this may not be repeated." Meanwhile, the mayor of Manresa, Valentí Junyent, said the facility should be the "engine of tourism" in the city, the capital of the Bages County. Junyent underlined that a town that can recall its history "can build itself a forceful future."

The construction of the new Medieval Interpretation Centre of Manresa consisted of restoring the first section of the Balç Street and an old Gothic palace has been transformed into the interpretation centre. The historic site will now offer visitors an insight into this crucial historical period in the city, which at the time often played host to the Catalan king Pere III.

The visitor's centre will illustrate the world of the guilds, the oligarchs and the noble families of the city, how daily life ran, what a medieval street really looked like and how the city came to construct the irrigation ditch. The story is narrated by the figure of King Pere III, popularly known as \u201Cthe Ceremonial\u201D, the king responsible for building some of the main Catalan institutions and promoting the commercial expansion of the Crown of Aragon and thus Catalonia in the Mediterranean Sea.

Great religious and civil works that were built in the fourteenth century in Manresa (such as the Cathedral, \u201Cel Carme\u201D, the Hospital of Sant Andreu, the expansion of the city walls, the New Bridge and the irrigation ditch) have a prominent role in the Interpretation Centre. There are also characters representing members of the guilds and people of different social strata residing in the city ranging from a vendor selling his goods in the square or a craftsman working in his workshop, to lawyers or the city's authorities.  

Virtual museum

The museum tour begins with a series of audiovisual sequences projected in different rooms of the old Gothic palace, which introduce the medieval Manresa and King Pere III. In the basement, there is a multimedia animation that explains the growth of the city in the 14th century. The visit ends in a room that houses a virtual model of Balç Street in medieval times where you can see visual and theatrical resources illustrating the lives of the people from this period.

Balç Street

Balç Street  appeared in historical records for the first time in the year 1307 under the name Pere Sarroca and again in the second half of the fourteenth century as Goscemps street. This street was at the heart of the medieval city, cultivating a thriving market environment. It is a fine example of medieval urban planning.

The street passes under the arches rising from house to house and uses what little space there was inside the walled city. This space has been preserved thanks to the peculiar terrain which has conditioned the street to remain as a narrow and secondary road.

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  • Francesc Homs, last Saturday, in the new Medieval Interpretation Centre of Manresa (by M. Martí)

  • A room in the old Gothic Palace, just before the renovation (by M. Martí)

  • Francesc Homs, last Saturday, in the new Medieval Interpretation Centre of Manresa (by M. Martí)
  • A room in the old Gothic Palace, just before the renovation (by M. Martí)