Reus: Historic retailers in a city of shopping
Reus is the place to see traditional shops in beautiful surroundings
Wed Dec 24 2014
It’s known as the shopping capital of the Costa Daurada. You only have to take a walk around the centre of this city where architect Antoni Gaudí was born to realise that you can find anything and everything here. And among its more than 600 shops, you’ll discover many that have been around for decades and are located in historic buildings. Reus, which is the capital of Baix Camp, is a place of culture and art, and home to many examples of modernisme; however, not only will you find them on façades, but also in the interiors and ground floors of buildings in which today, as they did 100 years ago, clients make their purchases.
Feel free to enter these historic shops even if you’re not planning to buy anything – the staff are still happy to welcome you. Such is the case of the shop located in one of the most iconic modernista buildings in the city, Casa Navàs, a work by Lluís Domènech i Montaner in Plaça del Mercadal. Dedicated to the sale of home linen, the shop has kept its original design and furniture from the start of the 20th century. You should also visit the candle shop Salvadó in Plaça del Castell, El Barato in Plaça de Sant Pere, Jofré in Carrer de Llovera, and Ricart in the Raval de Santa Anna. In Carrer de Santa Anna, you’ll find the Impremta Catòlica, which sells books and articles related to the Catholic religion.
In Carrer de Monterols are two retailers that have a lot of history: Queralt – an old tailor’s where the artist Joan Miró had his suits made and which is still dedicated to the sale of menswear – and underwear specialists Amill.
Some other businesses are not quite so old but are still worth visiting thanks to their occupation of the ground floors of modernista buildings. For example, Natura, a shop that sells original decorative items and homewares, and the bookshop La Galatea, both in Carrer de Jesús.
And with all this shopping, window or otherwise, you’ll need some refreshment, so why not stop for something to eat or drink in another of the city’s exceptional buildings? There is, for instance, La Ferreteria, a bar in the Plaça de la Farinera located in an old ironmongers ('ferreteria' in Catalan); Casa Coder, on the Plaça del Mercadal, a well-known bar and restaurant found where a chemist’s once stood; if you fancy a pizza, you could head to La Piamontesa on Passeig de Prim, which is in modernista premises originally used as warehouses; or you could try Vermuts Rofes, in Carrer de Sant Vicenç, an old company that was dedicated to the production of vermouth and which still has the old barrels where the Rofes vermouth was stored in one of its rooms.
And talking about vermouth, just a few months ago, the first vermouth museum in the world was opened in a modernista building designed by Reus native Pere Caselles. Found in Carrer de Vallroquetes, the Museu del Vermut boasts more than 1,400 bottles and 300 posters related to the popular drink that originated at the end of the 19th century in the capital of Baix Camp. At the museum, which also has a restaurant and a vermouth bar, you can try the drink, and so take away an even better taste in your mouth from your visit to Reus.
Where to stay and where to eat
Although he designed no building in Reus, the architect Antoni Gaudí is a constant presence in the city. Located in the bustling Plaça del Mercadal, this centre uses the latest technology and spectacular scale models to explore his life and works, making a visit here a complete experience for the senses.
- Plaça del Mercadal, 3, (Reus)
Designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner, this psychiatric hospital, considered to be one of the jewels of European Modernisme, is located about 10 minutes drive from the centre of Reus. The magnificent “Pavilion of the Distinguished” is the only part of the ensemble that is open to visits and cultural events, and preserves all of its spectacular original decor (stained glass, ceramics, mosaics, furniture ...). The guided tour is free and lasts approximately 40 minutes
- Carretera de l'Institut Pere Mata, 1, (Reus)
The ground floor of this museum hosts temporary exhibitions. Until the end of May you can see an extensive sample of the work of painter Josep Tapiró. On the upper floor there is a permanent collection of archaeological exhibits with pieces from prehistory to modern times.
- Raval de Santa Anna, 59, (Reus)