Tòtem ENG

Tòtem 1

Welcome to Fonollosa

Discover Fonollosa

Fonollosa is a municipality brimming with history and wonderful sites to discover. A place where you can enjoy heritage, history and traditions.

The municipality is made up of four towns: Fonollosa, Fals, Camps and Canet de Fals.

Do you know what frontier castles were?

The site of Torres de Fals provides a unique window into life in the borderlands during the Middle Ages. Take a trip around the site and visit the church, with prior appointment, to find out all about it.


Rectory of the Church of Sant Vicenç

Old Tower

Interpretation Centre for the Frontier Castles

New Tower



Site of Torres de Fals

Live Nativity of the Bages (Torres de Fals)

Church of La Santa Creu de Fonollosa

Church of Santa Maria de Camps

Necropolis of the Plaça de la Creu de Camps

Old chapel of Sant Mamet de Bacardit

Chapel of Sant Andreu de Comallonga

Chapel of Santa Justa i Santa Rufina (La Vall)

Hermitage of Sant Joan de Torrecabrera (Jaumandreu)

Sagimona Tower

Hermitage of Santa Maria del Grau de Fals

Aplec del Grau festival (with the “Dance of the Almorratxa”)

“Vesprades sota l’Alzina” concert, Querol

“Nit Viva” festival, Fonollosa

Crafts Fair (Camps)

Explore Fonollosa from top to bottom with our rambling guide.QR:



Tòtem 2

The Live Nativity of the Bages

The great Christmas event that attracts hundreds of visitors from all over Catalonia.

 The Live Nativity of the Bages dates back to Christmas 1977 when, after Midnight Mass at Torres de Fals, the people of Fals and Rajadell decided to act out scenes from the Bible, an activity in which everyone could take part. Since then this event, organised by the Cultural Recreational Association of Fals, has grown non-stop, becoming a unique spectacle involving grandparents, parents and grandchildren alike, all in an incredible setting.

16 performances every Christmas

260 participants

Each year a guest from the world of culture and tradition is invited to write the prologue

Youth Prize, Manresa Chamber of Commerce (2001)

Prize for the best popular artistic initiative, awarded by the Catalan government (1992)

Ateneus Award (1992)

El 7 de L’Escena Award, given by Regió7 (1991)


The Live Nativity consists of dozens of enactments representing different episodes in the birth of Jesus.


Old Tower

New Tower



  1. Introduction to the Nativity
  2. Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary
  3. The Census
  4. On the Road to Bethlehem
  5. The House of John the Baptist
  6. The Cave of the Nativity
  7. Annunciation to the Shepherds
  8. The Shepherd’s Cavern
  9. The Shepherds
  10. Living out in the Open
  11. Drawing Water
  12. The Enclosure
  13. The Virgins and the Procession
  14. Merchants from the Temple
  15. Presentation of the Temple
  16. The Three Wise Men
  17. The Orgy of Herod
  18. Escape to Egypt
  19. Slaughter of the Innocents
  20. Carpenter of Nazareth
  21. John the Baptist
  22. Village Life and Washerwomen
  23. The Market and the Pond
  24. Fuet sausage, a souvenir of Fals




Tòtem 3

 Church of Sant Vicenç de Fals

The church of Sant Vicenç de Fals was originally of Romanesque design, built in the 11th century. Over time it has been extended and remodelled, up to the construction of the Blessed Sacrament Chapel in the 19th century.

The earliest reference found to this church dates from 1012 and in 1040 it formed part of the legacy of Sant Vicenç de Cardona. The early Romanesque church, of which almost nothing remains today, had a single nave.

Throughout the 17th century two extensions completely altered the church of Sant Vicenç. In the first half of the century it was widened and, at the end of the century, another part was added to the nave.

Here we can see the first Baroque entrance, from 1647, which has since been bricked up. The present-day entrance dates from 1656 and the current belfry was built in the 18th century. Finally, in 1885 the Blessed Sacrament Chapel was added, on top of the old cemetery.


Blessed Sacrament Chapel (1885)

Entrance (1647)

Entrance (1656)

Rectory (1694)

Tomb (1651)

Northern Chapel

Belfry (first quarter 17th century)


Sacristy (1652)

The church of Sant Vicenç has been thoroughly restored, managing to return it to its former splendour.




Tòtem 4

 Old Tower of Fals

The Old Tower is one of the remains still standing of what used to be Fals castle, the highest in the Bages region. First mention of the castle was in a document from 979 but it might have existed before then, since the time when the Cardener river became the frontier for the Carolingian Empire.


19.6 metres


9 metres

Construction method:

Large, undressed stones joined with lime mortar

Entrance height:

8 metres

The entrance to the tower is located 8 metres up and faces north. The space has an opening at the top that provides access to the interior patio.

The entrance connects to the rectory.

The walls are 3 metres thick, necessary in order to support the rest of the building.

It’s a Romanesque tower with a circular floor plan that’s slightly deformed, especially at the base.

The site is protected to the north by a hollow within the rock and to the south by the ravine known as the “Torrent de l’Infern”, where there were walls with a gate known as the Portal de la Costa (of the coast), de la Vall (of the valley) or de la Font (spring).

From the castellan’s residence to a rectory

The former residence of the castellan, and later for the rector, was located right next to the parish church. Over the years, it adapted to the different extensions carried out on the church. The building was connected with the Old Tower.

As a result of the Civil War, it fell into disuse, in 1969 being bought by a family who have rebuilt and preserved the building. The rest of the site, including the old church, has been passed on to the Council, which is responsible for its reconditioning and conservation.

Photo caption:

Images from 1969 donated from the Documentary Archive of the Local Architectural Heritage Service, Government of Barcelona Province




Tòtem 5

New Tower of Fals

The imposing New Tower was built towards the end of the 13th century. It has three floors and was later extended with a protective barbican that contains several arrow slits. The entrance, 7 metres above the ground, has holes on each side where presumably there were beams to hoist up people, provisions and equipment.


19 metres


8.70 metres (base)

and 8.20 metres (upper part)

Construction method:

Dressed ashlars

measuring 40 x 60 cm

Entrance height:

7 metres

Rival towers

One of the most curious events in the conflict between King Joan II and the Catalan government during the Catalan civil war (15th century) took place here.

In the summer of 1468, between the 25th June and 10th July, the New Tower and Old Tower of Fals were occupied by different sides in the conflict. In order to take over the other tower, the Manresa councillors, loyal to the Catalan government, supplied a Manresa local, Bernat Obiols, with artillery but he changed sides and the people of Manresa ended up having to retreat.

Horizontal sections of the New Tower and barbican

North-south section of the New Tower and barbican

Development of the barbican


Photo caption:

Arrow slits in the bastion

The New Tower and the Old Tower, face to face




Plafó interior 1

The church of Sant Vicenç de Fals

The original church of Sant Vicenç de Fals was of Romanesque design, built in the 11th century. Over the years it has been extended and remodelled, up to the construction of the Blessed Sacrament Chapel in the 19th century.

It was first mentioned in 1012. The early Romanesque church, of which almost nothing remains today, had a single nave.

A church constructed over the course of ten centuries

The Romanesque church

The first church was Romanesque in style, built in the 11th century.  It’s believed the nave was 15 metres long and 3.5 metres wide. One capital remains from this time, which might have formed part of the chancel arch, as well as some small double columns with floral details.

The Gothic church

The Gothic church was as long and wide as the Romanesque church but two side chapels were added. Underground is the tomb of the Jaumandreu family, who looked after the chapel. There’s a skull in the centre with the following inscription: “1651 SEPVLTVRA DE PERA IAVME ANDREV I DELS SEVS” (1651 Sepulchre of Pera Jaume Andreu and his family)

17th century

Two extensions carried out in the 17th century altered the church completely. In the first half of the century the church was widened and, at the end of the century, another part was added to the nave. The main entrance dates from 1656.


In the 18th century the current belfry was built onto the north-east corner of the church and 1885 saw the completion of the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, the last extension made to the building.

First half of the 17th century
Second half of the 17th century

Rectory (1694)

Entrance (1656)

Sacristy (1652)

Blessed Sacrament Chapel (1885)

Belfry (18th century)

The church boasted Baroque altarpieces created by the best artists in Manresa: Pau Sunyer, Joan and Francesc Grau and Jeroni Soler.

“Rosary” altarpiece from the church of Sant Pere Màrtir de Manresa, created by Joan Grau

The roof was rebuilt in 1940 but the church was abandoned. In 1969 the Old Tower and former residence of the castellan, subsequently of the rector, were bought by a family that has rebuilt and preserved the properties.

The rest, including the old church, was passed on to the Council, which is responsible for its conservation and the extensive restoration work carried out to return it to its former splendour.

Images from 1969 donated from the Documentary Archive of the Local Architectural Heritage Service, Government of Barcelona Province

A project promoted by:

Co-financed by:

Consultancy: Ernest Molins

Conceptualisation: CatEmocions SL

Design and production: Grup Transversal


Plafó interior 2

Fals, a thousand years of history

11th century

The trial between the Viscountess and the Bishop

The Catalan military campaign in Cordoba in 1010 was disastrous for the house of Cardona, resulting in the death of Viscount Ramon and also his brother, Arnulf, the Bishop of Vic.

The bishop’s successor, Borrell, claimed the castle and municipality of Fals for the bishopric, although it had previously been administered by the recently deceased Arnulf. Viscountess Engonça of Osona-Cardona decided to defend the interests of her younger son and the dispute was brought to trial, which took place on the 1st August 1013. The judges ruled in favour of the Viscountess and Fals became forever associated with the Cardona family.

11th century

The castellans

The castle was assigned to knights who went by the surname of Falchs, these being responsible for defending the tower, collecting the rents from the territory and administering justice. The Falchs family were also assigned the forge and the flour mill. The surname of Falchs disappeared with Sibil·la de Falchs, who married Lluís de Rajadell.

Later on, there was a dispute between the Sentmenat and Cardona families regarding who should receive the rents. They finally managed to come to an agreement after more than two centuries of conflict.

14th century

Peasants in the 14th century

It’s assumed the first peasants had been “alouers” (owners) but they lost ownership of their land and became serfs or villeins. The earliest intact records of the population date from 1303. At that time there were 17 houses under the protection of the castle, 3 next to the mill and 52 isolated farmhouses. They paid duties to the Lord in the form of bread, eggs, straw, wheat, oats, wool, salted meat, wine and a little cash. They also provided labour for activities such as ploughing, weeding and transporting goods, as well as temporary accommodation.

14th century

The Black Death

From the 14th century onwards, successive epidemics and the misery they brought reduced the population. This severe economic and demographic crisis culminated in the disastrous Catalan civil war, setting neighbours against each other and causing most of the farms and houses to be abandoned to their fate. At the end of the war, in 1472, fewer than a dozen of the 72 houses registered in 1303 were still inhabited.

16th century


Once peace returned to Catalonia, the recovery was rapid. Early in the 16th century, the territory was divided up into sixteen properties or estates, an arrangement that would continue, almost unaltered, until the 20th century.

One factor aiding the recovery was the arrival of numerous immigrants from Occitania, helping to boost the farming estates with their labour. Farmhouses gradually became more elaborate and fields of crops replaced the woodland.

18th century


At the end of the 18th century, the price of wine went up because it was used to make a popular spirit known as “aiguardent”. Many peasants without their own land, coming from the hills of Castelltallat and other locations, settled in the town and the population almost trebled in half a century. Some landowners provided land to build on in return for rent and around a hundred small homes were built, some grouped into suburbs. The landscape changed.

19th century


The Carlist conflicts affected the region quite severely, whose population mostly supported Carlos de Borbón. In January 1837 there was even a battle at this very church, when a company loyal to the government was attacked by the troops of Rafel Tristany and took shelter inside.

20th century

Agricultural crisis

The vineyards were replanted after the Great Wine Blight caused by the phylloxera insect, but the Spanish Civil War led to many deaths and the destruction of religious assets, once again impoverishing the region. The church of Sant Vicenç burned for three days and the parish archive and altars were destroyed.

The population survived, however, albeit with a slight decline in the first half of the 20th century.  In the 1960s, the introduction of machinery and the low price of wine led to vines being replaced by other crops. A cooperative was set up in 1966 which, today, manages a farm and most of the plain of Fals. Over the last few years, vines have started to be replanted in the Jaumandreu estate, which currently owns around 60 hectares, as many as it had at the end of the 19th century, before the Great Wine Blight.


Plafó interior 3

Fals castle

We don’t know the exact date of when the castle was finished but it was certainly very important in terms of trade, as well as in defending the frontier.

When was the castle built?

Fals castle is first mentioned in 979 although some experts believe it has existed since the frontier of the Carolingian Empire was established at the Cardener river.

This site was chosen for the castle because it could monitor movements along the river valley (“riera”) and access to the plain of Fals, which connects with the route between Manresa, the capital of this borderland county, and towns still under Muslim control in the regions of Lleida and Balaguer.

In 986 Borrell II, Count of Barcelona, assigned the castle of Cardona and its lands, including that of Fals, to the Viscounts of Osona. In 1018, Viscount Bremon assigned a tower to Bonfill de Fals, almost certainly the predecessor of today’s Old Tower. Bonfill de Fals was the first castellan and this position was passed on to his heirs.

The inhabitants of Fals castle and its lands

The castellans

A castellan was the governor of a castle and its surrounding territory. The Viscounts of Osona appointed Bonfill de Fals as the castellan of Fals castle. As castellan, Bonfill was paid the duties proportional to the harvest (tithes and “first fruits”) as well as other fees for the right to mill and to pass through the territory. The castellans of Fals were also responsible for enforcing the law in minor offences.

Photo caption:

Last will and testament of Bernat Falchs, 1204. Archive of the Crown of Aragon


Boixadors castle


Castelltallat castle



Aguilar castle

Riera d’Aguilar

Sant Pere de Sallavinera

Aguilar de Segarra


Castellar castle



Rajadell castle

The Tower

Torres de Fals

Riera de Rajadell

Sant Joan de Vilatorrada


Sant Mateu de Bages

Riera de Fals

Cardener River

Fals castle

At that time, castles tended to have an outer wall and tower.

The castle was built at the top of a hill, surrounded by the river valley of Fals and the ravine known as the “Torrent de l’Infern”, making it almost impregnable. It could only be accessed from the west, where a tower was built to defend the entrance to the castle grounds.

The rectors

Parishes owned land and mainly lived off the crops grown there, as well as tithes.

The peasantry

Some farming families lived in a small cluster of houses and silos around the base of the tower. Peasants paid annual rents to the landowner, in kind (chickens, bread, eggs, firewood, etc.) and in cash. The main crops produced in the region were cereals, oil, wine, saffron, pulses and some fruits.

Millers and smiths

Very often castles also had other associated facilities, such as mills and forges.

Customs and languages

People’s beliefs were made up both religious and pagan traditions. Christianity encouraged believers to be terrified of eternal penance but also provided a sense of security, at least for the elite who could buy a divine pardon. As a result, churches amassed a large amount of assets.

The language spoken was Catalan, although texts and most documents were in Latin.

Romanesque church


Homes of peasants and trades people

Castellan’s residence


New Tower

Old Tower

The New Tower (13th-14th century) and the Old Tower (11th century) are the only part still standing of the old castle of Fals. A bridge was built between the two towers to join them. The site was made up of the two towers (designated of general cultural interest), the rectory and the church (local cultural interest).

Photo caption:

Remains of the bridge that connected the two towers


Plafó interior 4

Castles. Life on the frontier

 Borderlands were under constant threat; attacks were frequent and the best way to defend the frontier was to build castles. But why? And how were they built?

Raids in the county of Manresa

Fals lies close to the thoroughfares connecting the plains of Lleida, the plateau of La Segarra and the plain known as Pla de Bages. These were used as trade routes between Muslims and Christians. But not only that: they were also often used in attacks and raids (violent incursions involving pillage). Defensive towers, known as manresanes, became vitally important in the region.

Mapa 1:

to Solsona and Seu d’Urgell

to Berga

to Berga and Cerdanya

to Oristà and Olost

to Vic

to Tona and Vic

to El Vallès and Terrassa


County of Manresa

to Calaf, Balaguer and Lleida

to Martorell and Barcelona

Consolidated domain of the counties

Consolidated Islamic domain

Islamic raids (around the year 1000)


Oil mill or wine press


The fortresses and castles of the “Conquest”

With the definitive disappearance of Muslim raids, the county of Manresa expanded rapidly westwards. Land was conquered and fortresses proliferated in the region. Castles such as the ones at Castellterçol, Castellgalí and Castellbell took on the names of the nobles that had organised these conquests and their construction was authorised by the Count.

Mapa 2

County of Urgell

















Sant Mateu






Castellfollit del Boix
















La Roqueta












Santa Perpètua de Gaià





Tarroja de Segarra





La Molsosa







La Manresana


Montfalcó el Gros










Guàrdia Lada








Santa Coloma de Queralt

Les Piles



County of Berga

County of Manresa

County of Barcelona


Border of the county of Manresa

Border of the counties of Berga and Urgell

Real domain of the counties of Barcelona and Osona

(circa 1000)

Llobregat-Cardener line


1st period (878-993)

2nd period (993-1031)

From Wilfred, the Hairy to Borrell II: castles as protection

As from the time of Wilfred, the Hairy (878-897), the border of the county of Manresa gradually moved towards the south-west, where castles and watchtowers were built or reinforced in order to control all movements and also to protect the communities of peasants who were gradually repopulating the region.

But these were still violent times and the Muslim leader, Almanzor, devastated Catalonia on two occasions (982 and 984-985). Borrell’s requests for help from the Frankish king were ignored. Consequently, in 988 the Count refused to renew his vassalage agreement with the new Frankish king, Hugh Capet, making the territory under his rule de facto independent.

Mapa 3

County of Urgell

County of Berga

Muslim territory

County of Barcelona

County of Osona




Border of castle lands

Border of sub-demarcations

Llobregat-Cardener frontier in 900

Frontier in the year 1000








Pau de Balsareny










Pau de Moià








Camp de Bages













Camp de Segarra


Sant Mateu


Castellfollit del Boix








La Roqueta






Photo caption:

Castellbell castle, Calafell castle and Castellterçol castle.


Plafó interior 5

Fonollosa, borderlands

 As a result of centuries of conquests, battles and wars, Fonollosa became a borderland, affecting its life, culture and also its landscape.

From the Romans to the Franks

By the 5th century, the Roman Empire was in crisis and its territory split into two halves: to the east, the Byzantine Empire and, to the west, the kingdoms of the Germanic tribes from northern Europe. The Goths took over the Iberian Peninsula and established the Visigoth kingdom while the emergence of Al-Andalus brought a new power to the east and south of the Mediterranean.

Maximum reach of the Byzantine Empire (6th century)

Maximum reach of the Visigoths (7th century)

Maximum reach of the Islamic Caliphate (8th century)

Maximum reach of the Carolingian Empire (9th century)

Franks and Goths conquer Septimania, Urgell and Girona (732-798)

In 741, the Frank military leader, Charles Martel, managed to move the frontier with the Emirate of Cordoba further south, to Septimania, in the north of the former Visigoth kingdom. A few years later (785-790) Frankish, Aquitaine and Gothic troops pushed the frontier to the south of Urgell and Girona.

Kingdom of Asturias

Pockets of resistance in the Pyrenees

Advances made by the Franks (circa 790)

Byzantine Empire

Frontier (741)

Frontier (751)

Frontier (785)

Former Gothic territory of Septimania

Duchy of Aquitaine (Frankish kingdom)














Emirate of Cordoba




Balearic Islands


The Carolingians arrive in Barcelona and create counties (798-870)

Count William of Toulouse conquered Barcelona in 801. After the Carolingian conquest, political and administrative districts were set up in the territories ruled by the Franks, known as comtats or counties and organised around two authorities: a count and a bishop.

Episcopal See

Restored episcopal See (801)


Key strategic sites

Frankish advance (790)

Frankish advance (800-812)

Carolingian campaigns (788-809)

Muslim counter-offensives (801-811)

Aysun revolt (826-827)

Unsecured zone (826-878)

Duchy of Aquitaine

Frankish kingdom












Town of Urgell









Emirate of Cordoba




Wilfred, the Hairy establishes the frontier at the Cardener and Llobregat rivers (870-897)

The appointment of Wilfred, the Hairy as Count of Barcelona reinforced the military protection for the areas of Ripollès, Plana de Vic, Moianès, Guilleries and Bages. The County of Osona was created, from which the county of Manresa would emerge as a landmark territory.

Episcopal See

Monastery founded by Wilfred I


Counties in the hands of Wilfred I

Land in the hands of his brother, Miró I, the Old

Counties under the control of Ramon I of Pallars and Ribagorça

Counties governed by Sunyer II of Empúries


County of Toulouse



Town of Urgell


















Roda de Ter



Sant Joan de les Abadesses

Emirate of Cordoba





Engonça, the Viscountess

The trial of Fals. The victim

Engonça was Viscountess of Osona between 1010 and 1014 and Lady of Cardona and Fals. She was the widow of Ramon, Viscount of Osona.

After losing her husband, she had to file a suit against the Bishop of Vic, Borrell, who attempted to take possession of Fals castle, until then owned by the Viscounts.

Viscountess Engonça and the witnesses she brought to the trial defended her right to Fals castle, together with its other properties and adjacent elements, because her brother-in-law (Viscount Ermemir) and her husband (Viscount Ramon) had held it in “alou” for over thirty years; in other words, under full ownership.

She had four daughters and five sons, three of whom succeeded her as rulers of the Viscounty.

Her will, made out in 1039, confirmed a large legacy for the monastery of Sant Pere de Casserres, where she was buried in 1062.


Viscountess of Osona

Ramon, Viscount of Osona

Ermemir II, Viscount of Osona (979 – 1007/1009)

Arnulf, Bishop of Vic



Bremon, Viscount of Osona (1014-1029)

Eribau, Viscount of Osona (1029 – 1035) and Bishop of Urgell (1035-1042)







Folc I, Viscount of Osona (1036-1040)

Guisla de Sant Martí, Viscountess of Osona (1036-1040)

Ramon Folc I, Viscount of Osona and of Cardona (1040-1088)

Ramon Folc II, Viscount of Cardona (1088-1092), Bishop of Urgell (1092-1095) and Bishop of Barcelona (1096-1099)



The trial of Fals. The accused

Borrell, Bishop of Vic

Borrell was appointed bishop of Vic in 1010, representing a change in the bishopric’s political leanings, its control shifting from the Viscounts of Osona to the County of Barcelona, which acted as a counter-power to the Cardona family.

Borrell came up against Engonça when he claimed possession of Fals for the bishopric of Vic.

The trial on the 1st August 1013 decided who would be lord of Fals.

Borrell died in Girona in 1017, on his way to the Council of Narbonne.

Those who came before and after Borrell in the bishopric of Vic:


Bishop of Vic 993-1010.


Bishop of Vic 1010-1017.


Bishop of Vic 1017-1046.


Bishop of Vic 993-1010.

Brother of the Viscounts of Osona and lords of Cardona, Ermemir and Ramon. He died from a wound inflicted during the military campaign in Cordoba by the Catalan counts, together with his brother, Ramon.


Bishop of Vic 1010-1017.


Bishop of Vic 1017-1046.

A Benedictine, he was Count of Berga and of Ripoll and Abbot of Santa Maria de Ripoll and Sant Miquel de Cuixà.

He founded the monastery of Montserrat and restored Manresa and Cardona, where he promoted the construction of the church.

Oliba was one of the most important people of his time in terms of creating Catalan culture and as a great promoter of Romanesque art, as well as fomenting the Assemblies of Peace and Truce to protect commoners against offences committed by nobles.



Bonfill and the castellans of Fals
The trial of Fals. The witness

Bonfill acted as a witness in favour of Engonça in her suit against the Bishop of Vic.

In 1018, as a token of their gratitude, Engonça’s son, Viscount Bremon of Cardona, assigned him the Tower of Fals, located in the county of Manresa.

Bremon died before Engonça and his will, in 1026, declared Bonfill de Fals to be a loyal follower and nominated him as executor.

The son of Bonfill and Ermengarda de Fals was called Borrell Bonfill and he was one of the executors chosen by Viscountess Engonça in her will in 1039.

The Fals (or Falchs) family played an important role in the “Conquest” and were in charge of the repopulation of La Segarra, under the auspices of the Bishops of Vic and commissioned by the Counts of Barcelona.



The counts of Barcelona

The trial of Fals. The judges

The judges hearing the case were Guifré and Olivà de Granera. Ramon Borrell and Ermessenda, counts of Barcelona and Osona, presided over the trial to decide who owned Fals.

As counts of Barcelona, the decision was taken to reinforce the frontiers and repopulate the new territories once their domains had been extended.

Ramon Borrell promoted the repopulation of the eastern part of La Segarra, the Conca de Barberà and Camp de Tarragona, as well as leading the military campaign in Cordoba with almost a thousand knights. Many died in this campaign but those who survived returned a lot richer. The count died in 1017.

Ermessenda de Carcassonne acted as regent from that moment on, until her son, Berenguer Ramon I, known as the Crooked or Hunchback, reached adulthood, when he took over as the next Count of Barcelona, Girona and Osona.



The trial of Fals

The peasantry

Albeit passively, peasants were very much involved in the trial of Fals as the Viscounts and Bishop were essentially arguing about who would profit from the peasants’ work and the duties they should pay to be able to use the different facilities and for the protection they received.

We don’t know their names; they only appear from time to time in documents known as capbreus which record the property owned by a lord. One of these documents is precisely Engonça’s will.

At the time of the trial, a total of 52 peasants owned farmhouses and 17 people had a house or piece of land within the territory in dispute.

The vassals of the castellan of Fals had to pay duties, in the form of chickens, doves or cash, in order to use the properties they lived in, in addition to other duties related to harvests and services.



The trial of the 1st August 1013 in Vic

The trial of Fals. The outcome

In his declaration before the judges Guifré and Olivà de Granera, Bishop Borrell began by claiming that that the Viscountess couldn’t leave Fals castle in her will because, in his opinion, it belonged to the bishopric.

The Viscountess countered:

“In no way could the deceased Bishop Arnulf leave to that church the aforementioned castle or its properties or limits or adjacent elements because the deceased Viscount Ermemir held this in his own possession and gave [in inheritance] the aforementioned Fals castle to Viscount Ramon, my husband, and to his brother”.

In addition to Engonça’s declaration, the trial also included different witnesses:

“We, as witnesses, in the name of God, the Trinity and One, on the altar of Sant Joan of the church of Vic […] that we have seen that Fals castle has been held and possessed by Viscount Ermemir and after by his brother, Ramon, for more than thirty years”.


Finally, judge Guifré ruled in favour of the Viscountess, recognising her rightful ownership of Fals castle:

“Therefore, I, rector and judge Guifré, who has conducted this case, have sufficiently understood the problem, applying that sentence of the law that says: That which someone has possessed for 30 years without interruption can in no way be subject to recourse, if demanded by another“.

Once this ruling had been given, Bishop Borrell consented:

“And I, Bishop Borrell, have accepted the aforementioned witnesses, who have testified on oath, and therefore I abandon [the claim] so that, never again, either myself or any of my successors shall repeat it or any person shall attempt to violate it”.



Engonça’s will

The trial of Fals. The will

In 1039 Engonça de Osona, Lady of Cardona and Fals, made her last will and testament. Thanks to her winning the legal suit, she was able to leave Fals castle and a lot of other properties in the area to the monastery of Sant Pere de Casserres, founded by her mother-in-law, Ermentruit, in 1006.

Her will states that the executors are Borrell Delan i Miró, priest; Bonfill, Abbot of Sant Pere de Casserres; and Borrell Bonfill, castellan of Fals.

Here you can read some extracts from the will, of particular interest when it mentions the names of those living in the area, their crops, etc.:

“I, Engúncia, Viscountess, in the name of God, wish you to be my executors and guardians who, should death come to me, have permission to distribute and give, for my soul, all my property, both movable and immovable, as you shall find written […]”.

“Firstly, I give to the house of Sant Pere de Casserres, where my body should be laid to rest, two pieces of land in my possession which I own in Conill and Mirambell […] and in Querol, everything I possess, with houses, land and vines, cultivated and uncultivated, all that I hold in the district and that I may acquire, and also one vat and two wine presses. And another possession I own in Grau, where the oratory of Santa Maria is located, that is to say on the sunlit side, with the corrals and houses, as well as the area within the preserve of that oratory, with the land and vineyards and olive grove […]”.

“And another place, in the district of Fals, la Sala, which is located in front of the castle, with the houses situated there […] And the place known as Garviso and […] the house where the man called Domingo lives, together with all the property I acquired from the deceased Advert […]”.

“And at Mont Conill the houses, with the land, vineyards, trees and a spring, which were owned by Oliver Rosella, plus another possession I acquired from Patrici, with all the houses, except the cellar, I leave to the aforementioned monastery […]”.



The trial of Fals

The documents. The documents of the scriptoria

The word scriptorium means “place for writing” and refers to the rooms in Europe’s medieval monasteries that were used by scribes to copy manuscripts.

The fact that people of the church, and especially monks, were among the few who could read and write meant they often acted as notaries and also transcribed wills, sales contracts, legal cases and trials.

According to Visigoth-Roman law, such procedures had to be recorded in writing.

As a result, documents have been preserved that enable us to trace the origin and history of Fals:


Parchment 1,452 of Catalunya Carolíngia.


Cartulary from the monastery of Sant Benet (sale of Torre Blanca).


Private archive of the Duchess of Cardona (Trial of Fals).


Cartulary from the monastery of Sant Benet (transfer of property).


Cartulary from the monastery of Sant Benet (donation of two properties).


Cartulary from the monastery of Sant Benet (sale of seven pieces of land in Camps to Bonfill and Ermengarda).


Cartulary from the monastery of Sant Benet (Ermengarda giving a piece of land to Sant Benet).


Cartulary from the monastery of Sant Benet (sale of a vineyard).


Cartulary from the monastery of Sant Benet (sale of a vineyard).


Engonça’s will (copy of the original for the Diploma Archive of Cardona).


Cartulary from the monastery of Sant Benet (purchase of houses).


Cartulary from the monastery of Sant Benet (donation of a farm).



Main door of the church


On the apex of the pediment there’s a bust of a man with long hair and a beard, which could represent Christ. The stone in the doorway bears an enigmatic inscription.


The Gothic chapel

15th century

This chapel is the only part still preserved of the Gothic church. Among the figures from which the four ribs begin is one of a man with big eyes who’s licking his thumb.


The Romanesque temple

11th century

This is the location of the Romanesque temple, the origin of the church. Nothing was known about this temple until archaeological excavations carried out in 2000 and 2020 unearthed some remains. Some small Romanesque columns, used for the 17th-century extension, can still be seen.


The Blessed Sacrament Chapel


Built on top of the old cemetery after it had fallen into disuse, this chapel was the most sacred part of the church and permanently lit by a lamp.


Head of Saint John the Evangelist

Pending dating

A coloured sandstone sculpture. One theory is that it could be the remains of a Gothic sculpture of Saint John the Evangelist because it was found at his altar.



Gothic capital of uncertain origin. Donated at the end of the 20th century by the medievalist historian Xavier Sitges i Molins.




The towers of Fals

Frontier castle



fletxa dreta

New Tower



fletxa esquerra

Old Tower


Church of Sant Vicenç