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Figuerola d'Orcau, a town that still preserves its medieval structure

The town, founded in the 10th century, still retains its closed nucleus forming a circle. 5 Portals continue to give access to the center of the town, and in the past it was used to prevent anyone from entering at night.

History of the village of Figuerola d'Orcau

The name of Figuerola, translates into Spanish as fig, or small fig tree. The town previously formed part of the Orcau barony, which is the reason for the second part of the name.

Formerly, the town had reached a census of almost 700 people. Currently it does not exceed 200.

Figuerola d'Orcau: Wine Town

The 17th century was a time of great activity for Figuerola d'Orcau, as its wine became famous throughout Catalonia. The vineyards were the engine of the local economy, and farmers dedicated themselves to growing different grape varieties, such as Garnacha, Macabeo and Monastell. The wine that was produced was of excellent quality, becoming one of the most appreciated in the region.

But wine was not the only important thing produced in Figuerola d'Orcau. The town was also known for its network of underground tunnels, which were built for the preservation of wine and other foods. These tunnels extend under the town, and in their time they were an example for the efficiency of the peasants to be able to navigate through the tunnels to access the different wineries without going outside.


The tunnels of Figuerola d'Orcau

The tunnels were built by chipping pumice stone, and are more than 2 km long. They were used to store the wine in optimal conditions, since the constant temperature and humidity helped to preserve the wine for months. In addition, they were also used for other purposes, such as the preservation of meat, cheeses and other foods.

Currently, the tunnels still exist, and at Cal Frasco, they can be visited for those who want to explore Figuerola d'Orcau's past and even do a Sauvella d'Orcau wine tasting. The town remains a major wine center and its wines remain highly valued by wine lovers. Local farmers continue to cultivate the same grape varieties that were cultivated centuries ago, and continue to apply traditional techniques for the production of wine.


The history of wine in Figuerola d'Orcau

At the end of the 19th century, phylloxera, a plague native to America, began to spread throughout Europe and seriously affected the wine industry in Spain. The plague fed on the roots of the vines and caused the death of the vines.

Figuerola d'Orcau was not immune to this plague and many of its vineyards were also affected. Local farmers struggled to find a solution to the pest, but their efforts were in vain. As vineyards died, farmers saw their main source of income vanish.

The phylloxera left Figuerola d'Orcau in a difficult situation and many of its inhabitants emigrated to other places in search of work. Despite this, some farmers continued to fight and seek solutions to combat the pest. One of the methods adopted was the grafting of European vines onto phylloxera-resistant American roots.

This method proved to be effective and wine production in Figuerola d'Orcau gradually recovered. Farmers began to replant vineyards with grafted vines, and little by little the wine industry began to recover.

Despite the fact that phylloxera had a great impact on wine production in Figuerola d'Orcau, local farmers did not give up and found an effective solution to combat the plague. This experience demonstrated the importance of innovation and the ability to adapt to face challenges and keep alive such an important tradition as the wine industry in the region.


In short, Figuerola d'Orcau is a small town with great history and heritage. Its wine, its tunnels and its agricultural tradition are still an important part of the life of the town today, and are a sample of how technology and innovation can be used to improve people's lives.

Photos of Figuerola and surroundings

Places of interest

Discover the corners of Figuerola

Rock of the Bolet

800m

Hermitage of Sant Bartomeu

1.25km

civil war bunkers

2km

Castell d'Orcau

7.5km

Basturs Estanys

3.3km

paleontological sites

7.5km

emergency services

Establishments in Figuerola

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