LEGEND

 

The almost certain legend of the Gold Goat of Moià.

In 826 the nobleman Aissó started a rebellion in the area called la Plana de Vic against the French noblemen that ruled over Catalonia. Aissó's rebels destroyed the centre of Catalonia leaving uninhabited the present day counties of Bages, Moianès, Berguedà and Osona. The French king sent aganist him a big army under the rule of Barcelona's French governor, Bernat de Septimània, who kept on putting the rebels apart. Aissó asked Cordoba emir for help, and he was sent a big treasure to help finance the rebellion. The treasure, however, came up too late. In August 829, the defeated Aissó's forces were persecuted by Bernat de Septimània and reached Moià with no time but to hide in the old Clarà tower, bury Córdoba emir treasure, and run away. Aissó was taken prisoner by Bernat de Septimània's men, and fell defeated again before being executed and buried together with his men under the ancient dolmen called la Grossa.

The elder of Moià used to tell that together with a huge amount of gold coins, the Córdoba emir sent Aissó a magic talisman: A gold goat that provided its owner with superhuman strength and unseen manliness. They also whispered that Aissó's soul wandered along Carà castle walls during the nights to protect the treasure and moved it every time anyone got too close.


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More than five hundred years have gone by. We are in 1381, Clarà castle is abandoned again. Now, Planella noble family own the castle thanks to the Count of Barcelona and Aragon King. They have moved to the big house of Castellnou, which is more comfortable and suitable to the power of the family. This very same year, Moià and lots of other pieces of land and castles are bought by Pere de Planella from the king. He rules now over land and people and his word is the law.

The only explanation the elder in Moià come up with for Pere de Planella's great fortune is that he had made a deal with the devil and he now rules over Aissó's spirit, who is in charge of protecting the treasure. They also mention the noises heard under Moià's fields; Pere de Planella, sourcing huge strength from the Gold Goat, has built a mine that links Castellnou and Clarà castle, so that he can travel unseen from one side to the other and take pieces of the treasure whenever it is necessary.

As one of the king's serfs, Pere de Planella has to accompany the monarch in his trips and army menoeuvers as part of the royal court. This is why he spends big part of his time far from his castle. When this is the case, Castellnou turns under the rule of his half-brother: Guil·larà de Planella; rude, violent and envious over all. In one of these trips, there is an event that will change the history path forever.

Bernat de Prat Sobirà is one of the few free peasants in Moià. When Planella bought the town, Bernat was not included in the deal as the king had, centuries before, prized one of his ancestors. The king awarded Bernat's family the privilege of ruling their own land or the newly bought one without anybody's possible interference.

Dolça de Casals is the prettiest maid in the county and she has become Bernat's fiancée. As Casals family are under the rule of Planella family, permission has to be demanded. Acording to the old laws, Planella family have “el dret de cuixa” (thigh right), according to which, the first night after the wedding can be spent with the maid of any of the families under their law.

Sunday mornings after mass, Planella family used to bring justice and deal with the requirements of the villagers. Every Sunday, at the church door, Pere or Guil·larà de Planella sat on their chair, protected by their body guards to listen to the demands and complaints of their serves.

Dolça's father required permission for the two lovers to marry. Guil·larà accepted but seeing the beauty of the maid, he required by law to exert “el dret de cuixa”. Bernat and Dolça's father rejected the demand. This right was almost in disuse as it was troublesome for the big insult it meant for the families.

Guil·larà, however, did not surrender. He could not let the opportunity of spending a night with such a beautiful maid go by. To avoid a potential conflict and increase the hate of the villagers against him, he offered Bernat, the possibility of him yielding that right: Guil·larà was supicious that his half-brother had found Aissó's treasure as well as the Gold Goat. He was willing to enjoy the magic proprieties the Gold Goat provided his owner with, especially the gift of manliness as nature had provided him with a smallish virile member. If Bernat went to Clarà's ruins, found and gave him the Gold Goat, he would renounce to Dolça. Meanwhile, however, Dolça would be captive in Castellnou and would only be freed after Bernat had delivered the Gold Goat.

Bernat, his brothers and his men went to Clarà ruins to search for the Gold Goat. They did not know exactly what they were looking for, but they moved all the stones until they found the entrance of a tunnel hidden behind some bushes. There, in a dark and humid underpass there was the Goat on a rock. Bernat pried mercy from God and jumped onto the stone. As soon as he touched the statue, he felt an amazing strength that allowed him to jump back out of the tunnel again just a second before Aissò ghost shut and collapsed the tunnel by means of a big rock, hiding the remains of the treasure for ever.

The following Sunday, in front of everybody, in the main square of town, Bernat gave the Gold Goat to Guil·larà de Planella. However, the nobleman did not keep his word and protected by his men, he left to Castellnou. He told Bernat that he would have his wife back as soon as he had tried the miracle virtues of the Gold Goat with her.

Bernat promissed vengeance. Hate spread around so fast that Lord Planella could only get into town by hidden and strongly protected by his men.

Planella family had long had a house in Moià main square. This house was at the corner of a small and narrow street called “El carreró de la cansalada” (Beacon Street) that ended, on the other end a few meters away from the town walls door. To go to the house in the square without being seen, Guil·larà used this narrow street behind the houses and got inside on horseback. This was known by some and taking advantage of it, the vengeance was planned.

One Sunday morning, Guil·larà left Castellnou with his men and while they were getting into the town walls, he got as usual into the narrow street. He opened the small gate and went along the street on horseback. The door was closed after him while a lot of armed people leaded by Bernat de Prat Sobirà got into the street from the square side. A rain of stones was shot to the betraying man until he fell dead from the horse. Beheaded, his head was hung in one of the torch hooks of the square.

The Gold Goat was found in his house, and to avoid further disgrace to forthcoming owners, it was melted and turned into three-thousand gold coins. That was the price to be paid by the village to the king in order to get their freedom back.

It's said that from the three-thousand coins to pay for Moia freedom, there were six left and that nowadays, after about seven-hundred years, they still remain in Moià. These coins still keep some power from the Gold Goat and, maybe, just by looking around the groin of the guys in Moià you might guess who owns one...


Matched and adapted by Ramon Tarter i Fonts.
Translated by Imma Pladevall i Canet.