The project

Restoration of a Traditional Catalan Farmhouse to Convert it into a Tourist Attraction

Between the years 2017 and 2018 the council of Horta the Sant Joan has promoted the respectful restoration of a traditional Catalan farmhouse named Mas de Burot with the purpose of opening the property to professionals in the construction industry, tourists, students, and the general public. The farmhouse dates from the late 19th century and has been empty for the last years. It is located within the boundaries of the council of Horta de Sant Joan, a village in the mountainous territory of Els Ports in the region of Terra Alta, province of Tarragona.

The project will return the house to its original state by using traditional building techniques and natural materials.

Once the restoration process is completed, the house is expected to become an important tourist attraction that will open to the public as an example of architecture best-practice and as a museum of both, the traditional rural architecture and the lifestyle at the farms in the region of Els Ports.

The Farmhouse

Example of the Traditional Architecture at Els Ports.

Mas de Burot was a stockbreeding farm. The house is a 270 square metres solid and austere two-storey building made of stone, wood and woven cane. It has a rectangular plan. Extensions have been added to the original building in different periods. Next to the house there is a drystone-walled enclosure for keeping sheep and mostly goats.

The most important part of the house is the kitchen-dining room area which is located on the ground floor next to a shed for animals and it boasts a stone oven. On the first floor there are three small rooms and some room extensions.

The Farmers

Testimony of a Bygone Farming Activity and Lifestyle

In 1880 Vicent Roig Barberà also known as El Negre inherits from his father one part of an estate in La Vall de Blanco. Here he will build Mas del Negre later known as Mas de Burot.

Records of the first generation of the farmhouse owners, Vicent Roig and his wife Manuela Sebastià were found on a council document of 1897. Vicent and Manuela had seven children but only four of them survived into adulthood. One of their daughters, Rosa, and her husband, Joan Baptista Lleonart, became the second generation of owners. They had two sons of which the eldest, Francisco, will inherit the property and will have three children. Their descendants will live through the Spanish civil war and Franco’s dictatorship.

In 1963 there are no herdsmen left in the surroundings of Horta de Sant Joan as they were forced to leave by the local administration. Thirteen years later Mas de Burot was sold to the local council.

The Surrounding Areas

A farmhouse in Beautiful Mountain Scenery at the Foot of Roques de Benet.

Mas de Burot is located within the boundaries of both the council of Horta de Sant Joan and Els Ports Natural Park. It was built at the foot of the breathtaking Roques de Benet, one of the landmarks of the council, and it is surrounded by the woodlands of La Vall de Blanco. The farmhouse is considered to be one of the best examples of traditional construction in Els Ports massif. This is a basic no-frills architecture that harmoniously integrates in the landscape.

By progressively abandoning the practice of this building methods and style we are putting at risk the preservation of a rich heritage that is part of our identity.