To visit Cardona is to feel history in the making: you can walk around a medieval town, contemplate the grandeur of roman and gothic temples and relive sieges and battles at the most impregnable of castles. To visit Cardona is to experience finding yourself inside a salt mountain that is unique throughout the world and to enjoy routes through an exceptional natural and rural setting.
To visit Cardona is to have a good time at festivals, traditional fairs and cultural activities held throughout the year and enjoy the local trade, gastronomy and products sold in its historic centre.
Salt Mountain Cultural Park
The tourist site you’re visiting today became one of the most important potassium salt mines in the world, called Mina Nieves de Cardona (1929-1990). Nowadays, the old mine is the Salt Mountain Cultural Park, a cultural facility aiming to spread the importance of salt, the geological uniqueness of the site and the explotaition of this natural resource for centuries.
Beneath the imposing feature of the winding tower of the old mine shaft Maria Teresa lies themuseum area: an open-air area that explains the history of the explotation of salt, the geology, the minerology and botany of this Area of Natural Interest, the Salt Valley of Cardona.
The visitor can also see the shaft’s mining machinery, which is a very good example of industry archaeology dessigned by Alsthom (currently Alstom) during the 1920s. A photographic exhibition can be seen in the basement.
The old carpenter’s workshop and the room where all the machinery used to be repaired house the Salt Handicraft Centre, Art-Sal and the exhibition Memory of the women from the mining neighborhood. We can also find there “La Cafeteria” with outdoor seating. At the reception, you can find “La Botigueta”, a little shop with a wide selection of products and bibliography about Cardona.
The Cardona Castle tour provides the opportunity to look around the modern fortress and the old parts of the count’s castle, such as the Minyona Tower and the exceptional collegiate church of Sant Vicenç, jewel of Catalan Lombard Romanesque.
Cardona Medieval Centre
The Cardona Medieval Centre was created in 2005 as an interpretive resource for explaining the birth and growth of the town of Cardona, following council policy on protection and promotion of the old town centre.
This centre is located directly opposite the Old Town on a square called Plaça de la Fira (Fair Square). It is an interpretative centre for the town and its history. There are a wide a range of activities for visitors, such as a guided tour of the town’s historic centre and an audiovisual presentation on “Cardona and its Lords of the Salt”.
Cardona and its historic county form part of the tourist-cultural Pyrenean Counties Route (dating from the birth of Catalonia) an initiative from the Department of Culture of the Generalitat. That route brings us to the heart of the formation of the country, in which Cardona played an important role.
OPENING HOURS AND TICKETS
More information. http://cardonaturisme.cat/en/