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History and evolution of these Salinas

Geologically speaking, these saltworks are at the forefront of one of the Pyrenean thrust: Cadi’s Mantle
shift – Port del Compte. More specifically, within this one, the Sheet of land of Odèn’s mountain range.

Triassic Keuper materials have been used as a lubricant in these thrusts. And the surface water circulation
through them has been dissolving the salt, making possible this small industry from natural resources.

The most curious fact is that this is the only mountain saltworks in Catalonia, and one of the few continental,
since the vast majority of salt are exploited in the valley or in the sea in the marshes.

 

 

The human footprint

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View of the Cambrils’ saltworks running in 1960 and the traditional poster advertising the production of salt.

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Children play while some operators pile the salt in 1960.

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A truck arrives to transport salt to neighboring villages in 1960.

If instead of its geological history we talk about its
History at a human scale, it appears that the
properties of this place were already in use
in the Middle Age
, when ranchers and residents
of the town of Cambrils took salt as advantage for
both own consumption and livestock.
However, the saltworks began operating in
the late eighteenth century, with 1780 the first
time documented historically.

The first reference of the saltworks, we have found it
in the Madoz Dictionary. In this piece, when speaking
of the term of Cambrils it is referred to a salt source
that gives name to the Ribera Salada, saying that
«the water is so laden with salt, the company of this
branch maintains five men to prevent (might want
to say “hold”) its processing».

From then until the middle of last century, the
proto-industrial complex created by human hands
around this unique natural resource endowed salt to
several neighboring towns, through a Salt Route
covering the regions of Solsonès and Alt Urgell
.

Saltworks, as we know them today, they should
have been built between the late nineteenth and
early twentieth century
. Chronologically the Salí area
predates: a lintel of the Old House allows us to situate
around 1882. The area of Les Cabanetes, however,
can be attributed to the first third of last century.

It is also said that the construction of Les Cabanetes
cost seven thousand duros
(the previous Spanish
currency), of course, from that time.
Of these approximate one hundred years of saltworks, 
there are three known owners: Lorenzo Farràs, Seu d’ Urgell, the Fornesa, Barcelona (two generations),
and Josep Roca,
Oliana.

The latter is the holder of the saltworks since 1954,
one time he tried that exploitation wasn’t only seasonal.
To do this, he opened a mine, in order to expand the
possibilities of extraction. But the attempt was
unsuccessful. and 1963 was the last year it was
collected and produced salt in the place.

Generalitat de Catalunya Fons Europeu Agrícola de Desenvolupament Rural Ajuntament d'Odèn