The Casal del Villar. From medieval origins to the present day
The toponym of the word “Villar” comes from Latin. The Roman houses of the rural món were called “viles”. Probably in this enclave in times prior to the Middle Ages, such as that of Roman rule, there had already been some type of settlement but there are no known remains.
The house is located in a hollow, next to the hermitage, and in a leafy place rich in water. It is not easy to know about its origin. If we listened to the “Goigs” of 1947 we could place it in the year 802. But we do not know the basis for this statement. Instead, we have documentary funds with a first written reference from the year 1007, in the repopulation stage of Vallés in the Middle Ages.
This house belonged to the Villar or Desvillar. In 1617 Pedro de Montagut y de Vallgornera, a widower, married Margarita Villar and since then the family name was Montagut. The last Montagut was Gertrudis de Montagut i Umbert. The saga la seva filla gran, Lourdes Nualart de Montagut, will continue in 1969 and since 2010 the seus fills.
From the house, we know that its origin is in a fortification, we do not know what it consisted of, but we have left the Tower of the eleventh century about fifteen meters high and five in diameter and consisting of two parts: a) the lower part with a door that is accessed by a staircase into a vaulted space, with a series of openings and a hole in the middle, of approximately three meters; and b) The upper part, which must also be accessed with a ladder. The function of the Tower was to watch over the territory.
The current house is made up of the main house and the masoveria, attached to the house. You can see how it was expanded over time and making different reforms, but they are poorly documented. Around 1648 a reform was made, of which two windows with Gothic decoration stand out and the sundial located above, between the two windows, with an inscription on the top of the clock that says: “Renovated in 1648 by Juan de Montagut”.
Already in the 20th century, in the 70s, new extensions were made. Next to the masoveria, a new stable for dairy cows and calf fattening sheds were built on nearby terraces. On the first floor, on the left, an old portico was covered and a room was built with two windows facing south and three facing west. On the ground floor, in the space of the old bunkers, a new dining room was built, the kitchen was renovated and modernized, and new rooms were built on the top floor. Also in these years the old stable was demolished and the kitchen and sinks of the masovería were renovated.
It should be noted at one end of the patio that is in front of the house, the garden. It is characterized by the abundance of vegetation in which lush hydrangeas that green every summer, a water spout and a large hundred-year-old lime tree that provide plenty of shade and give personality to the entire patio. At the entrance to the garden there is an iron gate that dates from the top in 1883.
“The repopulation of the Vallés regions in medieval times”
Let us place ourselves in medieval times, in the context of the Islamic invasion and the subsequent birth of Catalunya Vella. From the Islamic invasion of Hispania to 711, in a few years, the Islamic empire ended up dominating almost the entire Iberian Peninsula except in mountainous areas to the North. The Muslims reached the South of present-day France, however, the battle of Poitiers (732) stopped this push and the Frankish empire began a process of conquering this territory until reaching the areas of the Pyrenees where after different vicissitudes, for a On the other hand, they established a protection zone that became known as Marca Hispànica, divided into counties that would more or less coincide with the Catalunya Vella. The Llobregat river marked the bottom to the east of the Hispanic Brand.
In the 9th century a repopulating activity began in the Osona region. This repopulation was an occupation, first spontaneously by peasants of uncultivated lands and later another directed by nobles. A series of castles were built: 12 in the Osona region; 8 in the Ripollés; 6 to the Guilleries; 9 to Lluçanés; 2 to Moianés; and 5 in Pla del Bages. These castells formed a defensive line to avoid the Saracen razies.
At the same time, religious buildings such as that of the Bishopric of Vic were built or restored (around 886); or monasteries like those of Sant Joan de les Abadesses (887) and Ripoll (888).
During the 8th and 9th centuries, the two regions of Vallés were within the Marca Hispànica, a border area that, with a more or less wide space, served as a delimitation between two political units, the Frankish empire and the Muslim empire. It is surely from the first half of the 10th century that it began to repopulate, first the most mountainous areas and later the flattest areas: Caldes de Montbui (938), Sant Feliu de Codines (946). We must suppose that in this context El Villar emerged, the result of this repopulating activity. The Torre de la Masia del Villar, attached to the house, and the Ermita del Villar allow us to recognize the medieval origins of this complex.