Gegants de Sant Hilari (Sant Hilari’s Giants)

Sant Hilari’s Giants represent the historical figures of Bernat de Gurb and Blanca d'Olvan, married in 1326 and lords of Solterra. There are also Josep Moragues, popularly known as General Moragues, and his second wife, Magdalena Giralt.

Over time, these Giants have livened up the local festival in June, the one in August and, sometimes, they had appeared at the Corpus Christi procession.


Sant Hilari’s giants were a gift from the Gasch family to the town in 1930, and they made their début on 28th August of that year.

Blanca d’Olvan and Bernat de Gurb were the lords of Solterra and lived in La Rovira, commonly called Castell de Mascarbó. The married couple granted franchises and privileges to those who went to live in Cellera de Sant Hilari, so that they were free of guests and cavalcades commanded by the lord, unless they were organized against the criminals who harmed the boundary of Solterra.

Five years later, Bernat de Gurb gave another privilege to the thirteen families who lived in Cellera de Sant Hilari: he freed them from herding, baking bread in the lord’s oven, repairing the castle, working there personally or with his cattle, and paying for tributes or revenues. Those provisions facilitated Sant Hilari expansion and new streets were created, new buildings were constructed and the population centre escaped from ecclesiastical protection to become a town.

These giants were a gift from the Gasch family to the town in 1930. The giant’s arrival in the village was very sweet: in the procession taking them to the town hall, there was a carriage with a cake, which was so large and thick that it was supported by the rails; another carriage carried a two-meter long Swiss roll, and a third carriage was full of candy sacks.

At first, they were called Gegant and Geganta (in English, Giant, in their masculine and feminine forms). Later, as a homage to the Gurbs, they were called Bernat and Blanca. A year after their début, Marià Hervàs dedicated them his song called “Balls dels gegants de Sant Hilari”.

In 1954, they were invited to a giants meeting for the Mercè festivities in Barcelona and, in 1980, they went to Amer. In 1967, the town council bought them new dresses because the previous ones were quite well-worn.

The giant Bernat de Gurb is 3.25 meters tall (+15 cm because of the crown). Blanca d’Olvan is 3.25 meters tall (+11 cm because of the crown). Both weigh 50 to 70 kg. They were built by El Ingenio (Barcelona), are made of cardboard and belong to the town council.


General Moragues’ giant made its début and was baptised on 26th October 2014.

Josep Moragues i Sobrevia was a hero in the War of the Spanish Succession against French troops. He was born in a farmhouse in Sant Hilari and worked as a farmer when he was involved in the war until he was tried, tortured and killed in 1715. His head was hung for 12 years in the Portal del Mar (Barcelona) in a cage with the following text: “Josep Moragues, for committing the crime of repeated rebellion, for twice abusing royal clemency, finally, the third time, he was taken and executed by law”. Moragues devoted much of his life to the struggle for the Catalan identity.


Magdalena Giralt’s giant, General Moragues’ second wife, made its début on 24th August 2018. She was born in Sort, where she met General Moragues, with whom she had a son. After arresting her husband, she was imprisoned for three years. She demanded his head for two years, and in 1727 she begged the cage and the text against him to be removed.