The chapel of Santa Engracia

  • Distance: 8 km
  • Elevation gain: 450 m
  • Walking time: 1h50
  • Hiking level: Medium

It is to the devotion of Saint Engracia of Saragossa that we owe the presence of the chapel of Santa Engracia, built on the slopes of the Mondony Gorges. It is a Romanesque chapel dating from the 11th and 12th centuries and is mentioned in various works and writings from 1285.
Initially a simple priory, it became a hermitage in the 17th century.

In the 17th century, many hermitages were built. All the old chapels were rehabilitated. The Church of St. Engracià, which appeared under the name of hermita de Santa Engracia in 1688.
The hermits of Roussillon, between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, were not religious people living in isolation, but rather members of Catalan civil society. They were physically accessible, and held a precious asset: knowledge. They represented knowledge, common sense, and were respected for it. The people of the region would go to them to resolve problems of morality in particular.
But this situation lasted only until the French Revolution. In 1790, the young republic passed a law declaring the property of the Church to be the property of the State. Thus, all religious buildings that were not the seat of a parish were sold as state property, which was the case of St. Engracià.
As tradition dictates, every Easter Monday this site is transformed into a place of worship, but it is also the occasion for a festive gathering with meals and sardanas.
Founded in 1993, the Association de Sauvegarde du Patrimoine, which had been dormant for several years, was revived by active members of another association, "les Goïgs dels Ous". Since then, these passionate volunteers have completely renovated the building and landscaped its forest surroundings.
A restoration campaign was started in 2003 by the local association "Sauvegarde du patrimoine".

To get there from Amélie-les-Bains, it is pleasant to go up by the path of the 25th Léger (about 1h15). This beautiful hike is suitable for everyone, easy to access and perfectly signposted, the ascent to the Santa Engracia chapel offers many discoveries.

Panneau Santa Engracia - Amélie les Bains
Chapelle Santa Engracia - Amélie les Bains