La Vajol

La Vajol is the highest village in the region at 546 m. It is also the smallest in terms of its population, with few more than 100 inhabitants. In January and February 1939, La Vajol underwent several days of great political activity and it was the joint headquarters of the President of the Republic and the President of the Government. Its usual tranquillity had been disturbed by the events that were taking place. Paradoxically, the smallest village in the region had become the capital of the Spanish State.

The 12th century Romanesque parish church of Sant Martí has a belfry with two quarter circle arches. It has some interesting details such as the long exterior staircase up to the bell tower, which gives the village an unmistakable appearance.

The viewpoint of the Empordà is a vantage point on a road leading to Maçanet de Cabrenys. On a clear day, the panorama from this viewpoint is spectacular: from the point of Cap de Creus, the plain of the Empordà and as far as El Montgrí and El Baix Empordà region.

The Lluís Companys monument was built by the Committee to commemorate the time when the president passed through the village in January 1939 as he went into exile. It was unveiled in 1981, on the Manrella pass, right on the border with France. Every year on 15 October, the date when Lluís Companys was executed at Montjuïc in 1940, an act is held in homage to him.

At the entrance to La Vajol, beside Can Canta, there is a monument that was unveiled in 1991, which was built to commemorate the miners who worked at the talc mine. It is a wrought iron composition made of materials extracted from the mine itself. It represents a miner pushing a mine car.

The Canta Mine (also known as Tresor d’en Negrín), which was owned by the Giralt Canta brothers, was confiscated by the republican government in 1937, and for many months it was worked by miners brought from Cartagena. They worked under the lieutenant and architect Joan Negrín, the son of the president of the Government. Inside the mine it really was like a fort, with a reinforced door, lifts, its own electric generator, offices, rooms, etc. Outside, dust and pieces of stone tumbled down the slope, leaving the bottom of the works white. As for the gold, it is said that the last lorry to leave the mine did not manage to get past Le Perthus. All the gold was loaded onto mules and horses and taken over the mountain of Les Illes. They say that that was the last that was heard of it.

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