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Monday, November 3, 2014
Selfies from Manresa -old bridge and A Handbook for Travellers
The Old Bridge illuminated over the Cardener river with the Cathedral in the background in Manresa.
The Old Bridge illuminated over the Cardener river with the Cathedral of Manresa in the background in Manresa, Spain. Saint Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Company of Jesus, arrived in Manresa in March 25, 1522 crossing the Cardener river along the Old Bridge after leaving his sword and knife at the altar of Our Lady of Montserrat. He stayed in a cave outside the town for 10 months. He spent hours each day praying and working in a hospice. It was in that cave where he wrote the Spiritual Exercises, a compilation of meditation, prayers and contemplative practices guiding to find God in all things that is one of the central characteristics of Jesuit spirituality. Pope Francis has been the first Jesuit elected as Pope.
tourists were travelling through Europe in increasing numbers and the need for
guidebooks was beginning to be supplied by publishers like John Murray.
In 1845 Ford, who had gained tremendous knowledge of Spain by extensive travel
on horseback, wrote this
charming account enlivened by humour and anecdotes.
From the convent to
Manresa is a picturesque ride of the
descent is alpine, amid rocks,
pines, and aromatic shrubs. After entering
a vine-clad country the road
ascends the Llobregat: at Castellgali, near
its junction with the Gardener, is La Torre
de Breny, a fine Roman monument,
the origin and object of which are
unknown, for the interior evidently was
never destined for habitation: the
masonry is solid and well preserved.
Observe the frieze and cornice richly
adorned with flowers and scrollwork, and
two lions in the act of pouncing upon a
human figure. Manresa soon appears :
it was the Ro- man Minorisa and
capital of the Jace- tani : the Posada del
Sol is very com- fortable. Manresa, the
central and one of the most
picturesque cities in Catalonia, is the
chief town of its fer- tile well-irrigated
district: it contains 13,000 busy
cloth-making souls, and a See, which, without
being a cathedral, is in dignity higher
than a colegiata, being presided over by
a Pavorde, a dig- nitary equal to four canons.
The See is a noble
church, although the invaders smashed
much of the su- perb painted glass,
overturned the pulpits, and made the
chancel a cavalry barrack. The edifice
is built of a brown stone with a
fine belfry-tower and open crown-like
termination ; the exterior of the Coro
is divided by Gothic niches and
painted with bishops and saints in a coarse
fresco. The high altar, with its jasper
crypt chapel, and the usual Saracens'
heads under the organ, repeat the
Barcelonese type. The font is very
elegant : observe the tomb of Canon Molet
and that of a dying monk in the
cloisters ; notice the rose window and
painted glass with the Ascension of the
Virgin : the rich red and blue colours are
splendid. Manresa is a quaint, picturesque,
scrambling town, with tortuous
streets and old- fashioned houses. The
views are charming ; from the
narrow old bridge the cathedral rises
grandly above gush- ing cascades of &e
Cardener, amid ravines, rocks,
gardens, cypresses, walls, and Prout-like
The Cueva de San
Ignacio is the great lion, and the view
from the esplanade is glorious. The
jagged Monserrat towers in the
distance, from whence the Virgin smiled
continually at the Jesuit saint while
doing penance in his cave. The convent
built over it is of the bad period of
1660, with Ionic decorations — clumsy
angels and cor- rupt architecture. The
portal of the Cueva was,
however, left un- finished in
consequence of the expul- sion of the Jesuits.