Sant Llorenç del Munt i L'Obac Natural Park, the first Natural Park to be declared in Spain, is a largely rocky mountain massif in central Catalonia close to Barcelona

Sant Llorenç del Munt i L’Obac Natural Park

  • Region: Catalunya
  • Province: Barcelona
  • Declared a Natural Park: 1972. The first management plan for the park dates from 1972. A second plan was approved in 1982 due to the excessive growth of the urbanizations that surrounded it. In 1987 the natural park was declared by a decree of the Generalitat of Catalonia and then In 1998 the plan was modified to expand the park limits by an additional 4,055 hectares to the current 13,694 hectares.
  • Park surface area: 13, 694 hectares
  • Towns and villages: Castellar del Vallés, Granera, Matadepera, Monistrol de Calders, Mura, Rocafort y Vilumara, Rellinars, San Lorenzo Savall, San Vicente de Castellet, Talamanca, Tarrasa and Vacarisas

Points of interest

Sant Llorenç del Munt i L’Obac Natural Park, the first Natural Park to be declared in Spain, is a largely rocky mountain massif in central Catalonia close to Barcelona. The highest summit (where the Romanesque Monastery of Sant Llorenç del Munt is located) is called la Mola at 1,104 metres. Montcau 1,056 metres is another important peak of the massif.

Rugged and rocky, the unique landscape of the area is due to the constant erosion that the rocks are subjected to, resulting in cliffs and monoliths of red conglomerates of outstanding beauty.

This area is also included in UNESCO’s Global Geoparks register.

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Flora

The base of the massif is occupied by pine forests (Pinus halepensis, Pinus sylvestris, Pinus nigra) and in many areas they mixed with holm oaks (Quercus ilex) and Mediterranean shrubs such as heather (Erica sp) and strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo).

Holm oaks are the most characteristic and extensive forest with undergrowth species such as rowan (Sorbus), box (Buxus) and kermes oak (Quercus coccifera). Hazelnut groves (Corylus avellana) can be found in the shadiest valleys.

In the rocks and on the cliffs there are plants of great interest, adapted to extreme conditions. Typical of places with little soil and facing north are Pyrenean-violet (Ramonda myconi), the endemic limestone saxifrage (Saxifraga callosa ssp. Catalaunica ), the polypody fern (Polypodium vulgare ), aromatic thyme (Thymus vulgaris), wolf’s eye (Onosma tricerosperma), St Bernard’s lily (Anthericum liliago ), wild tulip (Tulipa sylvestris ssp. Australis) and narcissus (Narcissus dubius and Narcissus assoanus).

Fauna

One of the mammal species that has seen its presence increase greatly in recent years is the wild boar (Sus scrofa) and also present are squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris ), rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), stone marten (Martes foina), genet (Genetta genetta), fox (Vulpes vulpes) and badger (Meles meles) There are also colonies of schreibers bat (Miniopterus schreibersii ).

Birds represent the largest group of vertebrates in the massif. The most common are blackbird (Turdus merula), wood pigeon (Columba palumbus), jay (Garrulus glandarius) robin (Erithacus rubecula), goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis), hoopoe (Upupa epops) and thrush (Turdus philomelos).

From time to time some birds of prey appear in the sky, such as Bonelli’s eagle (Hieraaetus fasciatus) and goshawk (Accipiter gentili ). occasionally there are sightings of griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus), golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) and eagle owl (Bubo bubo).

Some of the reptiles present are montpeliers snake (Malpolon monspessulanus), ladder snake (Elaphe scalaris), latastes viper (Vipera latastei) and ocellated lizard (Timon lepidus). In sources and streams look out for different species of frogs and toads, salamanders and newts.

Castles and ruins

There are quite a few castles and fortified towers that were built between the 9th-12th centuries in the area of the Sant Llorenç del Munt i L’Obac Natural Park. Some examples are the castles of Mura and Pera (whose first written references date from 978) or Rocamur (cited in 1055), built on steep rocks around Montcau and currently in a very dilapidated state. other interesting examples are those of Castellar del Vallés, Rocafort, Talamanca and Castellbell.

Information/Visitors Centers

There are three main information centres for the Sant Llorenç del Munt i L’Obac Natural Park.

  • Centro de Información in the town of Mura
  • Centro de Información in the town of Rocafort
  • Centro de Información in the town of Coll d’Estenalles
  • The Punto de Información at the Monasterio de Sant Llorenç de Munt is well worth a visit on the peak of la Mola
These smaller information points are located in some of the closeby towns and villages
  • Punto de Información in Marquet de las Roques
  • Punto de Información in Granera
  • Punto de Información in Casa Nova de l’Obac
  • Punto de Información in Monistrol de Calders
  • Punto de Información in Rellinars
  • Punto de Información in Sant Vicenç de Castellet
  • Punto de Información in Talamanca
  • Punto de Información in Sant Llorenç Savall

The official website for the Sant Llorenç del Munt i L’Obac Natural Park is here: https://parcs.diba.cat/es/web/SantLlorenc and a PDf in English can be downloaded from here: https://parcs.diba.cat/es/web/santllorenc/benvinguts-idiomes


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