Drystone has and continues to be a constant in Vilafranca. During centuries, the need to expand the surface area and the quality of arable land resulted in the extraction of large quantities of rock from the earth. With this stone, ingenuity, and the hands of the village inhabitants, a personal, simple and popular architecture was created, making for a unique way of comprehending the surrounding environment. Hundreds of kilometres of drystone walls were built as well as hundreds of houses, pools, fences, trails, etc.
To disseminate knowledge on this ecological architecture that has transformed the landscape in a knowledgeable fashion that respects the landscape, on 14 October 2006, Vilafranca inaugurated the first Drystone Museum of the Valencian Community.
This unique museum space is located in the upper floor of the Gothic building of La Lonja. It provides an opportunity to learn about stoneworking techniques that are a part of Vilafranca, the tools, construction models, types of dwellings, or the humanised landscape, by exploring panels, scale models, recreations and the audiovisual projection of “Toda Piedra Hace Pared” or All Stones Create Walls. Additionally, it is an opportunity to enjoy one of the most privileged views of the meadow from the structure that houses the museum itself, which is the Gothic building of La Lonja in Vilafranca.
In any case, the Museum extends beyond the physical boundaries of the building; it provides the tools to interpret a landscape full of stone and to understand the efforts of the inhabitants of Vilafranca to subsist upon these lands by transforming the landscape. There are three itineraries available to complete the visit:
- ITINERARY ““PLA DE MOSORRO”: Shepherds and Cattle herders
- ITINERARY “LES VIRTUTS”: Farmers and Cottiers.
- ITINERARY “LA PARRETA”: The forest of “La Parreta”.