Industrial tourism: a new attraction in the Pyrenees

Catalan Minister of Innovation, Universities and Business signs agreement with four towns in north-west Catalonia to promote alternatives to traditional ski tourism

CNA / Marta Lluvich

August 10, 2010 11:47 PM

The Catalan Pyrenees are not only a place to ski or trek. The region was once the heartland of Catalan industrialisation, and councils there want to promote this legacy. The county of Pallars Sobirà seeks to become a must-see for tourists interested in the industrial developments of the country.

With this in mind, the Catalan Minister of Innovation, Universities and Business, Josep Huguet, and representatives from four towns in the Pyrenees have signed an agreement to drive industrial tourism in the region. The town of Alins, for example, aims to specialise in the recuperation of development testimonies providing accounts of the early metallurgical developments in the region, between 1740 and 1875.

In the town of Esterri d'Àneu, the government intends to explore the history of Catalonia between 1875 and 1930, focusing on the rising of anarcism and catalanism, mostly related to the workers’ movements. There, the EcoMuseum of Valls d'Àneu will serve as the knowledge base for information relating to traditional trades and the way of life in the Pyrenees in the first decades of the 20th century.

Other attractions in the region include the salt mines in the Baix Pallars area. The salt industry was very important in the region from the middle Ages up until the last third of the 20th century.

The minister said that the promotion of the industrial legacy of the Pyrenees will help attract tourists to the region outside of the winter ski season.