Vic is a delightful town in Central Catalonia, which is centred on its picturesque market square, La Plaça del Mercadal and boasts an impressive collection of medieval buildings as well as some excellent museums. The town is also famous for its superb cured meats, known as embotits in Catalan.
Vic is the capital of the comarca of Osona and with a population of a little under 50,000 inhabitants, its location some 70 kilometres north-west of Barcelona and 65 kilometres south-east of Girona, make it the most important town in central Catalonia.
The history of the town goes back to the Iberians, and the Romans named it Ausa after they conquered it in around 110 BC. There is still an impressive Roman temple in Vic, which was built at the beginning of the second century AD.
Vic was called Ausona by the Visigoths, and during the 8th and 9th centuries, the town was located in the centre of the territory separating the Moors and Christians.
Ausona was sacked and destroyed by the Moors in 788 AD, and the only neighbourhood that was rebuilt was Vicus Ausonensis. When the Count of Barcelona, Guifré el Pilós, repopulated the upper part of the town, he named it Vic. He ceded the lower part to the bishop, and from then on, Vic would be co-ruled by the Counts of Barcelona and the Bishops of Vic.
At the Council of Toluges in 1027, Abbot Oliba, the Bishop of Vic, signed the Peace and Truce (Pau i Treva) agreements with the Catalan nobility, which would bring peace to Catalonia and allow the region to grow in prosperity.
The first stones of Vic's Cathedral de Sant Pere, which was built on the foundations of an earlier church, were laid during the period of Abbot Oliba and most of the early work was done between 1018 and 1046. However, given the town's importance, a great deal has been added to it throughout the ages.
So, for example, the bell tower is Romanesque, the cloister and altarpiece are Gothic, the chapel of Sant Bernat is Baroque, and later additions and renovations were completed at the start of the 19th century in the Neoclassical style.
The nearby Museu Episcopal de Vic houses one of the most impressive collections of Romanesque and Gothic art in the world.
At the beginning of the 18th century, Vic was an important centre of rebellion against the Spanish king Felipe V and the Pact of Vic, which was signed by the local militia, the Vigatans and the English, in many respects can be seen as the starting point of the War of the Spanish Succession.
In the middle of the 19th century, Vic would become a Carlist centre and was captured by the Carlist general, Rafael Tristany i Parera, who would later go on to Olot, where he would swear loyalty to the charters of Catalonia and re-establish the Generalitat of Catalonia.
During the Spanish Civil War, the town was home to an aerodrome with two squadrons of Polikàrpov R-Z bombers. As a result, Vic was heavily bombed by the Nationalist forces and finally fell to Franco's troops on February 1st 1939.
Today Vic is a thriving modern town with a medieval heart. It is home to the Mercat de Música Viva de Vic, which takes place over five days in September and is a prestigious music festival and music business trade fair that specialises in showcasing new talent.
The Festa Major is in honour of Sant Miquel dels Sants and is held on and around July 5th. It is considered an event of national cultural significance, and the parade is particularly spectacular as it features Gegants and other members of the traditional Catalan Bestiar Popular.
The town has a great selection of hotels and restaurants and given its proximity to the lovely countryside of the Catalan central plain and the foothills of the Pyrenees, it really is an excellent place to visit at any time of the year.
Vic is located in north-east Catalonia in the centre of the Vic plain some 70 kilometres north of Barcelona and 65 kilometres south-east of Girona.
It is well-connected by road via the C-25 and C-17 motorways and is easily reached by train as it is on the R3 Barcelona-Puigcerdà line of the Barcelona Local Train network.
If you understand some Catalan, you can find up to date news about Vic on the Ajuntament de Vic Website.
Vic has an excellent selection of hotels and other types of accommodation. Please use the interactive map below to research possible options.