La Casassa de Ribes
La Casassa de Ribes is an 18th century Catalan masía (typical country house or farmhouse) in Ribes de Freser (El Ripolles), an exceptional spot in the Ribes Valley. The farmhouse offers four luxury apartments equipped for maximum comfort with high quality services comparable to a five star hotel and extensive gardens for walking and enjoying the area, surrounded by meadows and against the backdrop of Mount Taga. Come and enjoy your stay in the Ribes Valley.
Food service, from bed and breakfast to half board (breakfast and dinner).
Luxury apartments in Ribes de Freser
At the La Casassa de Ribes de Freser masía you can choose to stay in one of four luxury apartments sleeping four, six or eight people; three of these with their own covered balcony. All have high quality services comparable to a five star hotel. The apartments have a fireplace, DVD player and music system, fully equipped kitchen, bedrooms with flat-screen TV, ADSL and WiFi connection, desk with computer and printer, bathroom with hydromassage shower and anti-fog mirrors. The Sala de Forn (“Oven Room”) is a private room available for meetings and family celebrations, luncheons and dinners.
The house is located on the thousand-year-old site of Pedrera, where records show that around the year 1000 there was a small populated centre made up of a number of peasant houses. This place became extremely important to the area, with the whole of the Ribes Valley even coming to be named after it; in texts predating the year 1000, the valley is referred to as the Pedrera valley.
During feudal times, the canons of Urgell and the monks from the Sant Joan de les Abadesses and Ripoll monasteries were lords of the masías built here. With liberation from feudal servitude from the 16th century onward, the Camps family were very influential. The family were well-to-do notaries and clerks from the veguería (Catalonian feudal land division, similar to a county) of the Town and Valley of Ribes. In the 18th century, the Capdevila family, later Montagut, owners of the spa of the same name, acquired several properties in Pedrera and built La Casassa, possibly on the foundations of an already existing farmhouse.
In fact, it is known that stones were used from the Camps house, erected a few meters below La Casassa.
The Montagut family rented adjacent houses and lands to the Roma family who became the owners in the 20th century.
Life in the house revolved around agriculture, above all livestock farming. A son of the house, Nicolás Roma Tubau - killed in 1936 during the revolution which followed the outbreak of the Civil War - applied his studies in farming to improving the crops, coming up with imaginative combinations such as the tomato plant which also produced potatoes. In cattle farming, La Casassa introduced the Dutch black and white cow, a great milk producer, to the Ribes Valley. The house had a large flock of sheep - some 800 - which spent the winter in La Garriga and ascended to summer pastures in the Ribes Valley which La Casassa was obliged to rent, since it did not own land on the mountain as other houses in the valley did.
Agriculture and livestock farming came to an end at La Casassa in the 1980’s after Mercè Roma retired. Wishing to continue the site’s thousand-year-old history, Ramon Roma de la Iglesia - nephew of the house’s last inhabitant and son of her brother Joan Roma and María Teresa de la Iglesia - together with his wife, Concepción Lara Orriols, and their children Ana and Marc, began restoration of La Casassa in 2005 in order that it and the neighbouring area might continue to bring wealth, prosperity and life to the Ribes Valley, these days through rural tourism. Today, then, a new chapter has begun during which visitors will be able to enjoy a singular location charged with history and traditions linked to the origins of the Ribes Valley.
By Miquel Sitjar i Serra.