In 1763, the Pallarès family ancestors bought the land on which CAN BOIX Hotel stands today in Peramola, for the price of 25 Catalan pounds -equivalent to 0.41 current euros according to our grandparents. Such land included about 5 ha for cultivating land and 93 ha of rocks and woods of holm oaks, pines and other trees. The house had just an area of 36 sq m, which had only been used to store farming tools.
The previous owners lived in another house at the foot of a mountain called 'Les Esplugues', which, due to an earthquake, was totally covered by rocks. According to the story, the family's grandmother was trapped in a hole between two rocks. Although she was severely injured, she survived for three days, during which time she managed to talk to her sons, daughters and grandchildren, and she made her confession by shouting from her final resting place to the priest. After the catastrophe, they decided to sell the land. It was then that the Pallarès family bought it, in 1763.
Since then, ten generations of the Pallarès family have lived in this ancestral home. At present, the Pallarès family owns the CAN BOIX Hotel in Peramola. Until mid-20th century, the members of this family, as every other family in the region, lived off the land. They feasted when there was a good harvest and went hungry in times of drought, hailstorms or severe frosts and they even died of deficiency diseases.
In 1931, Josep Ma Pallarès i Balagué -the current director's grandfather- saw that the lands they had, sparse and barren, would progressively go from bad to worse so he decided to arrange some parts of the house to offer accommodation to holidaymakers, as at that time, factories started to give 10-day holidays and city dwellers started to venture further out to discover the country.
He brought running water to the house and started generating electricity with a turbine engine. It can be stated that the Pallarès family was the first to provide accommodation to the embryonic tourism in such an isolated spot.
People from Peramola criticized the Pallarès' activities, as they considered the family members as mere dreamers. Nevertheless, Josep Ma Pallarès i Balagué observed how his premonition gave good results and his poor neglected country house gradually became a prestigious hotel.
If it had not been for the courage and hard work of this man, supported by his children and grandchildren, always with the help and effort of the whole family, maybe today the Can Boix ancestral home would be miserably abandoned and in ruins, as so many others in the area.
Mr Jesús Pallarès i Bach, a member of the family (born in 1922) has written three books to tell us the history of his family and the experiences of local people.
* Fusta de Boix, Can Boix ('Box Wood, Can Boix') 1763-1992
Published by: the author, 1992.
Written in Catalan language.
* Memòries d'uns Cabalers ('Memoirs of Local People')
Published by: Pagès Editors, 1995
Written in Catalan language.
* Madera de Boj, Can Boix ('Box Wood, Can Boix') 1763-2005
Published by: the author, 2005.
Written in Spanish language.
Hotel-Restaurant Can Boix de Peramola - Can Boix, s/n - 25790 Peramola (Lleida) - SPAIN Tel . (+34) 973 470 266 - Fax (+34) 973 470 281 firstname.lastname@example.org