Vall de Boí bell towers chime together for World Heritage

The town of Vall de Boí hosted a 10th anniversary celebration of their recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The mayor of Vall de Boí, Joan Peralada, hopes to promote more international exposure of the town’s many Romanesque churches.

Lluvich, M.

November 30, 2010 08:53 PM

La Vall de Boí (ACN).- The bell towers of the Catalan town Vall de Boí all chimed at the same time to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The snow did not stop churchgoers from getting together and eating the same breakfast they ate 10 years ago, hot chocolate and cake. Joan Peralada, the mayor of Vall de Boí, explained that while UNESCO does not provide World Heritage monuments with financial support, the recognition brings a lot of promotion. He said that before the recognition, 30,000 people visited the churches each year, and afterwards, more than 130,000. The region hopes to promote more international exposure to these Romanesque monuments in the future. In the last 10 years, 12 million euros have been invested in the Vall de Boí region.
During the past 10 years, the Sant Climent i Santa Maria de Taüll, Sant Joan de Boí, Santa Eulàlia d'Erill la Vall, Sant Feliu de Barruera, Nativitat de Durro, Santa Maria de Cardet and the Ermita de Sant Quirc de Durro churches have been restored. In 2011, the Assumpció de Coll church will be remodelled. The Romanesque churches of Vall de Boí are testimonies to the rich history of Catalonia. It is rare to find such a large number of churches in the same architectural style in such a small space. Joan Peralada highlighted that the UNESCO World Heritage recognition has spurred a sense of pride in Vall residents. The act brought many new visitors to the churches, going from 30,000 to 130,000 annually. According to Peralada, the majority of international tourists come from Australia, Canada, Israel and Japan.

The mayor hopes to promote more international exposure of the monuments for the future. The 10th anniversary celebration included a bell ceremony, breakfast and a mass. Afterwards, attendees had lunch in Barruera. A 1000 piece puzzle with the image of Sant Climent de Taüll’s Christ Pantocrator was presented to commemorate the event. The 10 oldest people of the village placed the first 10 pieces onto the puzzle and throughout the year, residents and local celebrities will continue to form the puzzle. The exhibition ‘Vall de Boí, World Heritage’ was inaugurated in Barruerra. Some activities were cancelled due to snow.