CARDONA’S CASTLE AND SALT COVES
Built on a hill from which the central basin of the Cardener River is sourced, Cardona Castle existed as the residential center of the lords of Cardona from the eleventh to the fifteenth century. The site today is divided equally between the seigniorial pavilions and the Canonical Church of Sant Vicenç. Its highlights are the Torre de la Minyona”(“Maid’s Tower”), the Ducal Courtyard, the defense bastions and the views over the Saline Valley. It was created to consolidate control over the conquered lands in al-Andalus. The importance of its strategic position can be checked from the top of the tower, where you can appreciate the visual domain above the valley of Cardener and the Saline Valley.
The fortified ensemble of Cardona is located on top of a hill more than 100 meters above the river Cardoner, northeast of the town of Cardona, in the region of Bages in Barcelona. The castle’s monumental ensemble was declared a State National Monument in 1949.
The passage of history has left its mark on every corner of the Castle of Cardona: the homage tower, where the count’s castle survives; the church as a witness of the canonical; the Gothic palace courtyard of the Dukes of Cardona; the walls of the War of Succession; and the Parador (Hotel) that converts the old military facilities into a hotel.
The visit to the Cultural Park of the Salt Mountain in the old Nieves mine, facilities give us the opportunity to see the saline outcrops of Cardona and the unique natural and cultural heritage that make this place unique in the world. Geology, mineralogy, botany and history converge in this enclosure in in a place where man has exploited rock salt since Neolithic times until the industrial age.
You will be able to visit the Mina Nieves enclosure, which was one of the most important potash salt mines in Europe until 1990. Watch a marvel of nature: the Mountain of Salt, diapir located in the Saline Valley; enjoy as well a museum area and the shafts (Alberto and Maria Teresa) and the machinery of one of them.
During the tour you will be transported with special vehicles to the Saline Valley descending a slope of 86 meters. Vehicles will leave you in the Saline Valley, where you can admire an incredible salty outcrop; the Salt Mountain Then you will be equipped with a mining helmet and go inside the mountain to walk about 500 meters of galleries, where you can enjoy the spectacular stalactites and stalagmites, as well as the different sat seams of sodium, potassium and magnesium.