Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Santa Helena archeological dig


European Heritage weekend. Saturday and we were really looking forward to visiting the open house at the church, Santa Creu de Rhodes also known as L'eglise de Santa Helena and the medieval village surrounding the church. This summer  students from the University of Barcelona have been restoring the village atop the mountain where we live. But this was not to be. It was a day of very heavy rain and high winds.

Today we thought that there might be someone at the dig or at least information about a rescheduled open house. We made the journey up the mountain by car and climbed the last part up to the church. What a difference from almost a year ago. Although we couldn't get into the church we could see through a tiny window that quite a bit of restoration has been carried out. The surrounding village of Santa Creu de Rodes probably had more than thirty houses, some two stories high. The earliest buildings have been dated to the 900s, with the village being abandoned in the sixteenth century coinciding with the decline of the nearby monastery. This year more houses have been restored. Some are quite large and the theory is that they were used for hotels for pilgrims. The gate leading into the town has been also restored and is quite imposing.

I sat down on the little stone bench at the back of the church admiring the view over El Port de la Selva, with all the windsurfers, as well as the surrounding countryside.

We returned to the car happy that we had visited the dig. Unfortunately, there was nothing to indicate if there will be another open house. It would be really informative to talk to someone working on the dig. Perhaps they may even give me a trowel and a brush so that I could work on the excavation!

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