Modernista 'souvenirs'

Very close to Barcelona you will find a great many examples of modernista works created between the 19th and 20th centuries. Urban palaces and holiday homes, churches and hospitals, warehouses and gardens, factories and cellars, all with the signature of the great architects of the movement in Catalonia: Antoni Gaudí, Lluís Domènech i Montaner, and Josep Puig i Cadafalch, among others. To commemorate this cultural trend, different towns and cities are organizing festivals and fairs to recover their aesthetic quality. Want to find out more about them?

Springtime brings with it the first modernista festivals and fairs in the districts of Barcelona, full of activities as usual. In May you can visit the Roser de Maig Modernista Festival of Cerdanyola del Vallès, the Barcelona Modernista Fair, and the Modernista Fair of Terrassa, which has been a local festival of tourist interest. There are guided tours of the architectural heritage, exhibitions, demonstrations of traditional trades, craft markets, role-playing, music, passacaglia, and so many more attractions that you won’t know where to begin!

You can also enjoy the Steam Fair of Sant Vicenç de Castellet, which shows the arrival of progress in society in the early 20th century, and the Modernista Days of Gelida in June, where poetry, painting, theatre, period clothing, and music play a leading role.

At the end of summer is the Modernista Market Fair of Canet de Mar. The town’s streets are decorated for the occasion and the locals and shop-owners dress up in clothing from the golden period of a town that was home to a great many of the bourgeoisie who had made it rich in the American colonies and built stately homes here on their return.

During the first weekend in October, Cardedeu gets ready to bid farewell to the summer with a trip back in time to the early 20th century during its Modernista Day; just like La Garriga, which celebrates its Modernista Days with concerts, exhibitions and recitals.

Another opportunity to go back in time to the modernista period is, without a doubt, the Modernista Festival of Santa Coloma de Cervelló in mid-October. The Colònia Güell, designed by Antoni Gaudí, is the incomparable setting that reproduces what life was like in this neighborhood of textile workers over one hundred years ago. While you're there, don't forget to visit Gaudí’s Crypt, which is such a unique building that it has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Finally, around that same time, is the Embarrats Fair in Sant Joan de Vilatorrada, which pays homage to the textile industry and to life along the Cardener river in the early 20th century. 

More information:

Modernista Fair of Terrassa
Canet de Mar Modernista Fair
Güell Colony Modernista Festival