Place of interest

3. Carrer dels Canonges (The street of artisans)

In the Middle Ages, at a time of demographic and economic expansion in the Pyrenees, the centre of La Seu d’Urgell was arranged around the main axis which is now the Carrer dels Canonges.

The economic power of this axis was established on the basis of an activity vital for the economic development of the whole territory: livestock farming and the sale of meat. All along the street butchers abounded, powerful businessmen who had become rich through the meat-business and, just as in today’s industry, who needed a range of facilities and services to enable the smooth running of their activities, such as the slaughterhouse and a salt store at the entrance of the village where the salt coming from Cardona was kept and which was a necessary product for preserving the meat. At the end of the street was also the calcineria, where the organic waste resulting from this industry was eliminated using quicklime.

Along with the selling of meat, there were other prosperous sectors in medieval La Seu d’Urgell which also depended on the livestock business, such as the manufacturers of ‘tapins’ (leather sandals) and the shoemakers, who were dependent on the skins and leather of cattle to manufacture their products.

At the top, however, the street changed in appearance: it was the part occupied by the mansions of the Bishops and the Canons who, from the late 13th century, abandoned their common residence around the Cathedral in order to come and live in this street. And it is from them that the street derives its name.

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