ONCE UPON a TIME

By Elena de Carandini Raventós

The Castle of Raymat, located in Raimat, Lleida, is the only testimony of the antiquity of the town. Its name comes from the word “hill” in Arabic. Since 1914, the year my great-grandfather Manuel Raventós acquired it, the town of Raimat began to experience a series of improvements that would lay the foundation for its future prosperity.

In 1914, Manuel Raventós Domènech, looking for the best territory to grow the most aromatic fruit, acquired a 3,200-hectare land in Lleida and, together with a large team of people from all over Spain, repopulated Mount Raimat and the lands that they surrounded him, during the difficult years of World War I.

He gave the management of his family business, Codorníu, to his children, to dedicate himself body and soul to the transformation of Raimat. He began by drawing more than 100 km of ditches and planting 75 hectares of poplars. A titanic effort wasted due to the plague of rabbits and caterpillars that hit the area.

A MILION TREES

After ending the rabbit plague thanks to snakes brought from Australia, my great-grandfather and his team planted more than a million trees in 25 years. Once the reforestation was carried out, Manuel Raventós divided the property into 8 plots, one for each of his children. On land unsuitable for restocking, he planted cereals and more and more vineyards, to continue the tradition of making quality wine.

In addition to agriculture, the transformation of Raimat included the raising of animals and the rebuilding of the Castle, the construction of 100 houses for workers, a school for the children, a Church designed by Rubió i Bellver, a building-cooperative to supply the colony , water reservoirs, aqueducts, 150 km of roads, 12 large warehouses for cereals and corrals and stables for animals. Likewise, it built 4 hydraulic presses to press the grapes, an immense winery, refrigeration machines, an alcohol distillery, 12 km of power lines and 18 more of telephone lines.

THE BIRTH OF A TOWN

The project grew and went from an agricultural colony to become the town of Raimat. Despite the initial difficulties, my great-grandfather managed to overcome them with a lot of effort and tenacity and the help of the best human team. Emerson said that without enthusiasm nothing extraordinary has ever been accomplished.

A century later, who subscribes to these lines, Elena de Carandini Raventós, as the great-granddaughter of Manuel Raventós and granddaughter of his youngest and 13th son Jesús, took up the witness of her vision to continue her family legacy and strengthen the bond between Raymat and Raimat.

HISTORICAL VISITS

Raymat Castle has welcomed many historical figures within its walls. Here are some examples:

Philip II and his daughter (1585)
El rey y su hija, Isabel Clara Eugenia de Austria, durmieron en el castillo durante su viaje por Cataluña y Aragón.

Alfonso XIII (1906)
The king arrived at the Castle accompanied by the Minister Gasset and the deputy Francesc Macià, on the occasion of the works of the Aragón and Catalonia Canal.

Where we are

Castell, 2 25111 Raimat, Lleida Spain
Map – SatelLite

ARRIVAL BY AVE TRAIN (www.renfe.es)

50 minutes from Barcelona (+15 km by taxi).

2h from Madrid (+15 km by taxi).

ARRIVAL BY CAR

105 minutes from Barcelona (A2).

If you have any questions, you can contact me at:
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