Remembering modernism


Near Barcelona, you will find many examples of modernist works created at the turn of the 20th century. Urban mansions and summer houses, churches and hospitals, warehouses and gardens, factories and wineries designed by some of the great architects of the movement in Catalonia: Antoni Gaudí, Lluís Domènech i Montaner and Josep Puig i Cadafalch. To commemorate this cultural movement and its style, several towns and cities organise festivals and fairs. Would you like to know which ones?

In spring, the first of the events that should not be missed is the annual Terrassa Modernist Festival, which offers so many activities that it has been listed as a local festival of touristic interest. It includes guided tours of its architectural heritage, exhibitions, craft demonstrations, artisan stalls, street theatres, music, parades and so many more attractions that you will not know where to begin.

In the region of Maresme, the Canet de Mar Modernist Market Festival takes place in late summer. The streets of the town are decorated for the holiday, and local people and merchants dress in costumes typical of the golden age of a town that became home to many members of the bourgeoisie who had made their fortune in the American colonies and, when they returned, built majestic houses. The festival is also a great opportunity to discover typical modernist cuisine in charming establishments that serve special meals, such as the one in the Sanctuary of Mercy. A true gem designed by the architect Puig i Cadafalch, the views from the park where this restaurant is located are exceptional.

Another opportunity to travel back in time is offered by the Modernism Festival held in Santa Coloma de Cervelló in mid-October. Colònia Güell, which was designed by Antoni Gaudí, is the perfect setting to see how textile workers used to live in this suburb of Barcelona over a hundred years ago. When you go, make sure you visit Gaudi's Crypt – a unique building that has been listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.


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