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Museum and cultural heritage

Unha: Musèu dera Nhèu. The Snow Museum

Opened on 20th December 2008, the Snow Museum is the initiative of the High Aran council. The permanent exhibition shows the world of snow from different perspectives: scientific, ethnographical and sport. The exhibition is not limited to the Aran Valley region alone; each theme is situated in a much wider context. The museographical set-up is modern and dynamic, combining interactive experiences, audiovisuals and stage settings with documentation and pieces, all the result of thorough historical research.


  • What is snow?
  • Snow crystals and snowflakes
  • Snowflake formations
  • Avalanches
  • Glaciers
  • How animals adapt their habitat to the snow

When snow meant hardship

  • A valley half isolated by snow
  • Houses and villages conditioned by snow
  • Household activities during the long winter
  • Dressed in wool from head to toe
  • Snow proverbs and sayings
  • Snow myths and legends

Snow Sports

  • Sublime snow
  • A history of skiing in the Aran Valley.
  • Various snow sport disciplines: Alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, freestyle skiing, mountain skiing, dog sledge
  • The first winter sports shops

Snow resorts

  • A history of snow resorts around the world, Catalonia and the Aran Valley
  • Audiovisual: Baqueira Beret in time and space
  • Snow professions
  • Doctor Vidal and the first medical centre in Baqueira

Information and bookings:
Santa Eulàlia, 17-19
Unha - Naut Aran
Tel.: +34 973 644 030

Bagergue: Musèu eth corrau

Eth Corrau, in Bagergue, is totally unique, an exhibition of objects and items that define a culture, its traditions, working life and ancestral craft.

The musuem has over 2,500 interesting and exclusive pieces on display; all kinds of old farming tools as well as household items from hundreds of years ago. A visit to Eth Corrau, will take you back to life 500 years ago. 

Information and bookings:
Tel.: +34 973 640 193

Vielha: Tor deth Generau Martinhon (Aran Valley Museum)

General Martinhon's House is an important house from the 17th century, set in the old part of the town of Vielha.
Since 1984 this monument has been home to the Aran Valley Museum.
The museum is divided into two different areas, the permanent exhibition and the administrative area.
The permanent exhibition depicts a summary of the history of the Aran Valley, from prehistoric times up until present day.
A collection of ethnological objects complete the visit, giving us an insight into what life was like for the Aranese people all those years ago.

Information and bookings:
Carrer Major, 26
Tel.: +34 973 641 815

Vilamòs: Ecomuseo ço de Joanchiquet

The çò de Joanchiquet Eco-musuem is located in the calle Mayor of Vilamòs, one of the villages which has best preserved the valley's traditional architecture.

Joanchiquet is an eco-museum where we can contemplate the traditional life of the people of Aran in its original framework. In this museum we can see a model of the traditional Aranese house called an auviatge. Theauviatge consists of a group of buildings – houses, stables, pigeon loft and pig sty – which would surround a closed yard, and where there would also be a vegetable garden(casau)as well as a small orchard (vergèr).

The restoration of the house has taken care to preserve the furniture and atmosphere of the end of the 20th century.
A visit to Joanchiquet is a journey to this valley's past and live the day to day of its history.

Information and bookings:
Tel.: +34 973 641 815

Vielha: Archiu istoric generau d'Aran (Aran Valley Museum)

We can find the first example of the existence of a documentary archive about the Aran Valley in the Ordinations of Juan Francisco Gracia, in 1616. The text refers to a chest containing old documents about the valley, placed in the heart of the Church of Sant Miquel de Vielha.
For 15 years, the documentary fund of the Aran General Council has been deposited in the Aran Valley Museum and is currently located in the 'Casa deth Senhor de Arros', and Aranese house dating from 1820, today restored as the headquarters of the General Historic Archives of Aran.
The General Historic Archives of Aran was created by an agreement signed between the Generalitat of Catalunya, the Aran General Council and the Vielha-Mijaran Council,on 7 September 1995. The General Council is in charge of its management.

Vielha: La casa deth senhor d’Arròs (Aran Valley Museum)

The House of Senhor d’Arròs, also known as Casa Ademà, was built around 1820. Legend has it that the owner built the house in Arròs because his wife, a native of the village, asked him to. The older people of the village remember that the main business of the house was livestock. However, it would also appear that he had business in Barcelona and that on each journey to the city he would say that he stayed at his house, as all the hostals where he stopped off along the way belonged to him.
His debts led the house to ruins. The Arròs i Vila council bought the house in 1951 and used it to house the village hall and local school, until 1973-1974.

An important documentary fundl
Today the documentation of the archive has about 151 linear metres (1997). It contains an important collection of 225 parchments and 319 books on various subjects. It also boasts a photographic archive consisting of 1,330 pictures of various subjects of the Aran Valley.
The documentation of the General Council makes up the central part of the archive. 

Information and bookings:
Tel.: +34 973 641 815

Salardú: Mòla de Salardú

For centuries in the Aran Valley and throughout the Pyerenees, the river has been used as a source of energy. The water's driving force propelled the mills to grind the grain, the saw mills to cut the timber and the factories to spin the wool.
Thanks to the restoration of the Salardú mill, we have the chance to see the whole hydraulic mechanism that worked the mills. Inside the mill the visitor can enjoy, with all his or her senses, the whole process from the wheat to the flour.
Paratge dera Mòla (Aiguamoig road).

Information and bookings:
Tel.: +34 973 641 815

Vielha: Fabrica dera Lan (the wool factory)

The wool factory in Vielha is an example of the small textile industries which grew up in the central Pyrenees around the middle of the 19th century.
The factory was built at the end of the 19th century by Rafael Portolés Lafuste (1858-1936), from Vielha,and who had learnt the trade in Miremont de Comenge (France), where his mother's family was from.
The industry was powered by the driving force of the Nere river. Water was collected and conducted by an external canal to a wooden wheel. This, in turn, was connected to a long axis, also external, which held the gears of the machinery and conveyed the force of the water.

Jusèp Portolés Fontà (1904-1987), son and heir of Rafael Portolés Lafuste, carried on the family business, exclusively.
The factory continued to manufacture wool until the floods of 1963, which again destroyed the factory's external canal. From that moment on, the machinery was driven by electricity. However, production progressively decreased until it was finallly closed down for good in the sixties.
Since then it has resisted the passing of time and urban speculation thanks to the tenacity of one person sentimentally tied to the factory, Sra. Isabel Vidal, the widow of Jusèp Portolés Fontà.
In 1999 the General Council of the Aran Valley decided to buy and restore this interesting example of local heritage with an aim to turning it into a living witness of the contemporary history of the Aran Valley.

The factory's machinery turned the natural wool into yarn ready for knitting. The valley's inhabitants would take the clean, dry wool to the factory where it was weighed on Roman scales and the number of skeins and thickness of the yarn agreed upon. The first stage in the process, where three machines were used, took place on the ground floor of the factory.
First the devil opened up and separated the tufts of wool.
Then the open carder turned the tufts into rolags which were often used to fill eiderdowns and cushions.
Finally the drum carder would prepare the wool ready to be made into yarn, dividing the rolags from the previous machine into finer fibres, which were rolled in small metal tubes.

Then in the factory's backroom, the yarning process was completed, with the assistance of three other machines:

  • The spinning jenny first pulled and spun the yarn and then after a pause, rolled it onto the spindle. Just one person was needed to man the machine. It had to be watched very closely for the reason that if one of the yarns broke, the machine had to be stopped immediately so as to avoid ruining the whole process.
  • The twister was used to twist the yarn and roll it on a bobbin, be it cone-shaped or spindle depending on the amount and thickness of yarn required. For this operation an iron bar was used which was nailed to one of the beams on the ceiling and which made the task of twisting the skeins easier.

Information and bookings:
Musèu Etnológic dera Val d'Aran
Tel.: +34 973 641 815

Sant Joan de Arties Church

Temporary exhibitions

Information and bookings:
Tel.: +34 973 641 815

Victoria de Arres Mines

Route which forms part of the Aran Valley industrial heritage. Old mines with visits inside the mines. An enjoyable tour giving us an insight to mining in the high mountain. Minerals: sulphur, zinc, etc.

Information and bookings:
Tel.: +34 973 641 815

Romanesque Tour

A tour of the most important churches: Santa María de Cap d'Aran (Tredos), Santo Andrés de Salardú, Santa. Eulalia de Unha, Santa. Maria de Arties, San Pedro de Escunhau, San.. Esteve de Betren, San Miguel de Vielha, San Félix de Vilac, Madre de Dios de la Purificacion de Bossòst and Santa. María de Vilamòs.

Information and bookings:
Tel.: +34 973 641 815


Coaches - Alsa

Tel. : +34 902 422 242

  • Day
    3/05/22 17:30
  • Altitude
  • Temperature
    Minimum: 3.8ºC Current: 3.8ºC Maximum : 4.1ºC
  • Humidity
  • Barometer

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