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Raftsman’s descent on Segre River

Raftsman’s descent on Segre River - Catalonia news

Historically, Segre River has been the scenery of a singular event “the Descent of crafts man”. This descent is  a way to transport wood along the river with “rais” (rafts), a simple boat built with logs of wood tied with branches.

Every year, regions like “Balaguer” (La Noguera) or “Coll de Nargó” (Alt Urgell) celebrate the traditional Descend of Raftsman. The origin of this celebration was in the ancient work of raftsman, men who transported wood from the Pyrenees trees to the coast and interior regions of Catalonia.

The Rafts used on this descend by the Segre River are boats like the old ones used to transport wood. The river connects the Pyrenees with other regions in Catalonia, so this route was the fastest way to bring wood to principal cities.

Until early twentieth century the most important group of raftsman in Catalonia was situated in Coll de Nargó, Pont de Claverol and Noguera Pallaresa. New transport ways like trucks and the construction of several reservoirs had, as a consequence, the extinction of this job. Last active raft in Pyrenees descended Segre in 1932.

The present Raftsman's descend of  has been celebrated without a brake since 1990 when the Association of Rafts in Ribera del Segre was created. In regions like Balaguer (Noguera) this event is very success and has a large story. Every year some neighbours built his own boat and navigate through the Segre.


More information:

Photography: Oriol Clavera, Associació de Raiers de la Ribera del Segre

Tex: Mar Mampel


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