History - PORQUERISSES-EN

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History

According to the records of the Vic Archibishopric, the first reference found to life in this location talks about the existence of two homes in 1365. The census registers the growth of the town: in 1497 there were 5 families living in Porquerisses, in 1553 there were 10 families, in 1685 there were 7 homes mentioned, in 1830 the records showed 69 people living there, in 1981 the census registered 20 families and, finally, the 2006 census includes 41 inhabitants. According to the same source, the homes bore typically Catalan family names, such as Alberada, Alosa, Ballestal, Barberá, Decaldes, Ferrer, Guaschó, Janer, Sclau, Siquer, Sochentes, Tixedor, Torrent, Tota and Vaçiana.

Porquerisses was part of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, since the year 1250. At first, it was under the jurisdiction of the Cervera chapter, but it became part of the Barcelona chapter during the 18 th and 19 th centuries; it was part of the Grand Priory of Catalonia until the dissolution of the order. Between 1580 and 1587, Fra’ Agustí d’Argençola i Montmar (born in Argençola) was the Grand Prior of Catalonia of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, which by then owned most of the hospice houses of the already extinct Knights Templar. When the Spanish government seized and auctioned all church properties in 1484 (during the desamortización de Mendizábal), the Cervera charter owned, among other things, a piece of forest land with a flour mill in Porquerisses.

In the mid-18 th century the Camí Ral between Igualada and Cervera, especially past the town of Jorba, was considered impassable by the authorities and ranked one of the worst roads in Catalonia. Naturalist Joan Salvador described the treacherous path in 1716: "We went through Jorba on a terrible road and, after three hours, we reached Santa María, where we spent the night. On the 15 th we crossed a place called Porquerisses and, always on a stony and deserted road, we climbed to Montmaneu, by way of a horrible pathway full of steps". (Torres i Ribé).

As a curiosity, it’s worth remembering that de Baron of Maldá, Rafael d’Amat i de Cortada, recorded his opinions after going through the Camí Ral of Anoia in his text Excursions per Catalunya i el Rosselló en l'últim quart del segle XVIII ("rambles through Catalonia and Roussillon during the last quarter of the 18 th century"). He wrote: "After leaving Jorba behind, one goes through a place called Santa María. Afterwards comes Porquerisses, an aptly named place, as it is a ramshackle town, blackened by the dirt that one finds at every step next to the quagmires that fill the area during rainy seasons. Its streets are the perfect place to break one’s neck". (Torres I Ribé). His meaning becomes clearer if we remember that Porquerisses means, quite literally, "pigsty".

To the left of the Santa María brook, on a small hill, we find the remains of the Porquerisses Mill: parts of its foundations, well and structure can still be seen, as well as a great stone lintel that dates back to 1719. The mill is known as Molinot.

Porquerisses used to celebrate Saint Mark’s day on the 25 th of April with a village party that included a meal of escargot. On the 16 th of August they celebrated the festivity of Saint Roch.

The church of Sant Genís de Porquerisses, which seats at the heart of the town, is a small rectangular building from the 12 th century, traditionally very poor. It was also an independent chapel between the 12 th and 14 th centuries.

Historian Yom Tov Asís (Aleppo, Syria, 1942) wrote an economical and demographical study of a small Jewish community of the 13 th century called Jews of Santa Coloma de Queralt (Jerusalem, 1988), where he mentioned the town.

La desamortización de Mendizábal: At the time of the seizing, the Cervera charter owned 16 farmsteads, which were auctioned between May and December of 1484, located in the areas of Ametlla and Cervera. The farmsteads included farm lands and a flour mill in Porquerisses, as well as 81 workers. These properties were divided in small lots, which were sold to: Miquel Llovet, Antoni Roig, Josep Llovet, Joan Font, Ramon Roig, Ramon Bonet, Josep Salvador i Magí Salvador, all of them workers of Ametlla de Segarra. The rest of the farmsteads were auctioned in Lleida on April 1849, and they were paid in cash in twenty instalments.

Some noble folk from Argençola had important positions between the 16 th and 17 th centuries, such as Fra’ Agustí d’Argençola i Montmar, Grand Prior of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem. We must remember that Porquerisses belonged to this Order between the 12 th century and its dissolutions in the 19 th century. (Pau Llacuna)

 
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