A beautiful village filled with stone buildings, that seems to have stood still for about 500 years, Madremanya is located in the Gironés region but just at the border with the Baix Emporda region. When you see it you won’t be surprised to hear that it’s been used for many film sets. This is one of Catalonia’s most beautiful areas, and is referred to as the Golden Triangle. At the foot of the Gavarres hils, the village is very special, and oozes history. Walk through and get the feeling, see the 14th to 16th century church, its surroundings and the Padró neighbourhood.
In 1053 the name of the village appeared in a document as Madremania, but 10 years later it appears elsewhere as Matre-Magna. Jaume Marques i Casanovas studied the name and gives it the meaning of magnanimous mother, or careful mother. Another version is Mater Magna “mare gran” which was the name of the Goddess Cibele, who represented the fertility of nature, particularly in its most savage forms.
Several Neoliithic archaeological discoveries have been made in and around Madremanya, which have led experts to consider the possibility of Roman occupation. There was a road network that was linked to the Via Augusta, that brought together all the small villages that are scattered around the area. Additionally there has been mention of finds of many fragments of Roman pottery.
The architecture you can see there today remains from medieval times, even though there have been some transformations.
Things To Do
Església de Sant Esteve – Parish Church of St. Stephen
As you approach the monumental stone village of Madremanya, the parish church stands out from quite a distance. Perched atop a hill, it was constructed between the 14th to 16th centuries, as we know that there was an altar there in the 14th century. In the 18th century a wooden altarpiece was made, which depicts St. Michael weighing in souls as they arrive to purgatory. The bell tower has representational images of Madremanya.
Around The Village
Around the church you’ll see the narrow, winding stone streets, and you can imagine how the workers laid stone upon stone. Continue walking down the street of Sant Esteve, to immerse yourself in the character of the village. At the end of the street is a small square which leads into the Processó street (Carrer Processó). The facade of Can Manel is one of the most notable and monumental. Another highlight is the cartwheel which emphasizes the rural environment where the people and village live. In the Padró neighbourhood you can continue to enjoy the traditional stone offerings, and also see a stone cross.
Where to Sleep
4 Star Hotels
This feature about this 4 star hotel, is the first in a series about boutique hotels in Catalonia and the Valencian Community. A group of boutique hotel owners have come together to present their wonderful offerings on a website that showcases not only the hotels, but also the areas where they are located. Additionally the website has some information on events that are happening in various regions. You can check it out by clicking here on boutique hotels in Spain.
El Raco de Madremanya
Carrer Processo 1, Madremanya 17462, Girona, Spain – Phone: 972 490 649 Website: http://www.turismoruralgirona.com/?lang=eng
Located on the edge of a very special medieval village, El Raco de Madremanya is an adults only 4 star boutique hotel set in a beautiful, privileged setting. This is an enchanting romantic retreat for couples, with only 12 rooms, which are all individually decorated according to colour themes. 4 of the 12 rooms are suites, one of which, the Beige Suite, is an especially romantic, sunny suite in the superbly renovated old barn and another, the Ivory Suite, is spread over 2 floors and has its own garden.
El Raco de Madremanya Is 4 Different Buildings
El Raco de Madremanya is made up of 4 different buildings, which immaculately combine the old with the new. There’s the striking contemporary building, the wonderful stone 17th century farmhouse, the suite that was the old barn and the charming little house with its own garden. The contemporary building blends in perfectly, with its clever use of shapes, stone and wood in its design.
In the contemporary building you’ll find 3 of the rooms and the dining room, which has idyllic views over the garden and one of the hotel’s swimming pools. 7 rooms are located in the fabulously renovated old farmhouse, all of which are spacious with fireplaces and terraces. Then there’s the old barn which is a duplex – the Beige Suite. On one side of the garden is where you’ll see the charming little house that is the Ivory Suite.
A Gorgeous Garden With 2 Swimming Pools
The gorgeous garden is more than 3000m2 and strikes the perfect balance between being precisely manicured, yet lush and vibrant. The greenery of the grass, trees and shrubs is set off against the stonework of the buildings, and all of this with a ceiling of a bright, blue sky. There are pretty plants and flowers interspersed here and there. The hotel has 2 swimming pools, one of which is salt water and the other is fresh water. The pools are heated from April until October.
Perfect Service, Creative Cuisine, Under The Stars
The owners, Ivan and Josep, are passionate about their boutique hotel and love to take care of their guests perfectly. Although you’re in a 4 star luxury hotel, they know how to make you feel at home. Josep cooks creatively and if you stay during the summer months, dinner can be enjoyed by the pool under a clear sky of twinkling stars.
The village of Madremanya seems to have stood still in time for the last 500 years or so. Located in the east of the province of Girona, it’s at the border with the Emporda region and visually has the contrast of characteristics of both regions. The village is not too far from some of the Costa Brava’s lovely beaches, you could head off to Pals – Platja de Pals, which was featured by the Telegraph Newspaper as one of the Costa Brava’s Best Beaches.
There’s an abundance of other beautiful villages within easy reach of Madremanya, plus you could visit the Roman and Greek ruins at Empúries, which is 30km away. The Dalí Route is also within reach, with the Puból Castle only 5km away, the museum in Figueres is 49km and the Port Lligat museum is 78km. And last but not least the wonderful historic city of Girona is only 23km away.
Spa Offering Chemical-Free Cosmetics
The spa at El Raco de Madremanya offers body and facial treatments which can have exceptional results. There are also spa treatments for pregnancy, such as a Return Circulation Treatment which is great for Mum’s-To-Be tired legs and swollen ankles. The chemical free product range that is used is Arôms Natur, which is made by a company that are dedicated to phyto-aromatherapy.
The hotel currently has 5 packages on offer. For the equestrians amongst you, there’s a 2 night half board package which includes an hour of horse riding, from €199 per person. Or if you want to take advantage of the spa treatments, there are two different packages, both for 2 nights half board starting from €204 per person.
To make this romantic setting even more special, there’s a 2 nights half board romantic package from €269 per person, which includes those important ingredients for romance – chocolates, cava and a 50 minute roses and white chocolate massage. If the spa and romance packages seem too tame for you, why not try the hot air balloon ride package, which is also for 2 nights with half board, from €354 per person.
If none of the above packages fit your vision of your stay at El Raco de Madremanya, then contact Ivan, Josep and their team to arrange a customised package for you.