The mountain of Olèrdola has been a strategic enclave with different degrees of settlement since the Bronze Age (a little over 4,000 years ago). You can visit both the archaeological site and the interpretation centre, which stands in a modern building. The museum offers visitors guided and dramatized visits that allow you to discover, among other things, anthropomorphic tombs and the Medieval city, which was when the castle and the walled city were built.
This is actually a group of buildings made up of the former fortified Penyafort manor, a convent and a church. The castle was built around the eleventh century. Tradition says it is the birth place of San Ramon Penyafort (1185 - 1275), a Dominican monk and canon lawyer and councilor to King Jaume I, who was canonized in 1601. Guided tours are conducted on the second Sunday of every month, for which preregistration is required. The castle is also the start of the visit to bomb shelters route, which take place on the fourth Sunday of each month, since this site is also part of a group of exhibition spaces related to aviation and the Spanish Civil War.
Vilafranca’s wine museum has an extraordinary collection of diverse items relating to the history of wine making. These 17,000 items are fundamental to reaching a complete understanding of a territory that has always been marked by wine and vines. The museum’s different exhibitions and audiovisual presentations will help you to understand how wine is made and its historical and economic impact on the territory.
Located in a distillery dating from 1814, the Cava Interpretation Centre consists of 1,200 square metres that allow you to explore the world of cava from its origins and history to the manufacturing process and its role in culture and in celebrations. On your visit you’ll enjoy Sant Sadurní d'Anoia in 3D, get to know the towns architectural heritage in an interactive way and experience the phylloxera festival in large format, among other proposals.
Also known as the Conjunt monumental de la Roca, this complex of buildings includes the Romanesque church of Santa Maria, dating from the 12th century, the Castell de Sant Martí, which was built in the 10th century, and the museum, which houses a number of archeological and ethnographical collections that include an Iberian funerary monument (3rd – 2nd century BC), a woman’s head in stone (1st century BC) known as the Venus of Pendedès, Roman tombstones and a 15th century Moorish soup bowl from Manisses, a piece that is decorated both on the inside and outside and which is considered to be a unique piece, discovered during the restoration of the church.
Tracing its origins back to 1949 and located in industrial heritage Rec neighbourhood, the Igualada leather museum was first opened in the 1990s in the old 19th century Cal Boyer cotton factory. It offers four circuits: Man and water, From the pit to the pumps, Leather in history and The world of leather. The other centre is set in the old 18th century Cal Granotes tannery, in which you can learn everything about the tanning process in the preindustrial era.
A popular destination for school trips and attracting more than 30,000 people every year, the Capellades Paper Mill Museum is also worth visiting for adults. Inaugurated in 196 in one of the town’s 7th century mills, the museum has a collection illustrating 7 centuries of paper production and culture through visits and workshops. The mill still generates half of its income from the sale of paper made using traditional techniques.
Rather than amenities, castles are monuments, and this is one of 13 castles run by the History Museum of Catalonia. With more than 1,000 years of history, Claramunt Castle is one of the icons of the region, one of the most spectacular forts in the country and the main attraction of the region’s Border Castle Trail. Access is on foot, but the 25 minute walk to the top of the hill will be well rewarded. The trail also includes the castles of Òdena, Tossa, Miralles and Vilademàger.
The complex cultural and recreational complex run by the Fundació Catalunya - La Pedrera near Manresa invites you to savour it slowly: the Romanesque monastery of Sant Benet de Bages, the Alicia Foundation, the ecological market gardens, the hotel with three restaurants, one with a Michelin star, and spaces for events and meetings ... In brief: art, cuisine and nature for all ages, tastes, and budget, bound together since 2007 in an aromatic sauce. How are you going to taste it?
The Scenic Arts Centre in Manresa has a busy schedule that includes performances in various genres, as well as education in the scenic arts and a bar-restaurant. It’s set in a noucentista-style building from the 1920s that was closed in 1980 and reopened in 2007 as a theatre and concert hall. The main hall has seating for 8,000 spectators, while the smaller one seats 200. It is managed by the Galliner association and attracts some 75,000 spectators every year.
The hero of the great Catalan defeat of 1714, head councillor Rafael Casanova, was born in this house to a rich family in 1660 and it has changed very little since then. The house already existed in the 16th century, but the Casanovas family bought and renovated it in the 17th century. Look out for the Gothic window and the 18th century Ester Cycle paintings. It also houses an exhibition on Casanova’s historical period, the town, his life and his ancestry, as well as the municipal archives and the Moia county museum. The centre belongs to the Museu d’Història de Catalunya network.
This is the last bit of the Principality that succumbed to the Bourbons in 1714. A refuge for the viscounts, earls, and dukes of Cardona for seven centuries, kings uncrowned by the 'white gold' (salt), it's an imposing place with two great treasures: the divine Romanesque collegiate church of Sant Vicenç and the Minyona tower. A Gothic cloister was added, and 17th-century bulwarks. The castle also boasts a, recently made into a museum, all of which makes up the monument that is the History Museum of Catalonia, with all that entails.
This museum never takes a day off. It shows the cream of the crop of abbey’s heritage, gathered from the Napoleonic devastation. The museum opened in 1963, but its contents date back to 1911, with objects from the monk Bonaventura Ubach’s expedition to the Middle East. The modernist rooms from Puig i Cadalfalch feature, over two floors, both old and contemporary paintings from the 19th and 20th centuries paintings, Byzantine icons, jewellery, archaeological pieces from the biblical world, and Nigra Sum, about the adventures of the Virgin of Montserrat.
Something new and difficult to explain. Abstract, but palpable. And very wide: covering a whole region. But what on earth is a Geopark? A Geological and Mining Park. An outdoor museum covers almost all the municipalities in Bages, as well as Collbató (Baix Llobregat Nord), with five information points and nine centers: the Salpetre caves, the Toll caves, Montserrat, Sant Llorenç, La Culla, Súria, the Valentí Masachs Geology Museum, Sallent and Cardona. It is covered by two routes: from Moià to Cardona and from Moià to Collbató.
The spectacular cement factory built on the orders of Eusebi Güell on the outskirts of Castellar de n'Hug started production some 100 years ago before closing down 40 years ago. Fortunately, today we can continue visiting this unique modernista-style building which is built in a staggered layout down the slope of the hillside in order to take advantage of gravity in the cement manufacturing process. The visits include a tour outside among the industrial remains; while, on the inside, the interpretive centre will help you get a better understand of how the factory was run.
One of the most unique and attractive tourist sites in the region, and one that will be fun for both adults and kids, since you’ll enter into a real coal mine aboard a mine train to go on a 450 metre trip through the Sant Romà gallery, gaining an understanding of what it was like to work in these mines. But first you can learn a little about the uses of coal and the lives of the miners in the permanent exhibition rooms located inside a building that was originally a convent. This is definitely a must-do visit in Berguedá.
The spirit of La Patum, the local summer festival, is always present in the town of Berga, even though the fiesta itself takes place only once a year, on the feast of Corpus Christi. If you’re unable to go to the town for the main fiesta, you can always call in at the Casa de la Patum and get a taste of what it’s like to experience the real deal. On display are the costumes and figures that take part in the processions, while the interpretation centre will give you all the information you need on what the fiesta is all about.
The Cathars played an important role in the history of the Berguedà region, where many Cathars fled to escape persecution. That is why the Palau de Pinós in Bagà hosts a permanent exhibition in which different historical characters, such as William of Berguedà and the Mataplana family, will tell you all about the Cathars and their links to the Alt Berguedà, and especially with the village of Bagà. You can also find out what life was like here in the 7th and 8th centuries.
The Interpretation Centre at the Gava prehistoric mine site brings back what life here was like 6,000 years ago, when the local Neolithic community began to work the local variscite mines. As well as offering visits to a small part of the mine, the centre features audiovisual and explanatory modules and a scale reproduction of the mines. Many of the items discovered here can be found in the Gavà Museum.
With more than 1,700 seats and a stage measuring 375 square metres, the Teatre de la Passió d'Esparreguera is one of the largest theatres in Catalonia. Although the performances of the Passion Play, which will take place from the 9th of March to the 4th of May in 2014, are the theatre’s true raison d’être, it also has a varied programme of theatrical performances throughout the year, as well as concerts, and a drama school dedicated to the performance of the passion play.
The Colònia Guell complex dates from the year 1890, when the textile industrialist Eusebi Güell decided to move his El Vapor Vell cotton factory from the neighbourhood of Sants in Barcelona to the village of Santa Coloma de Cervelló, and is made up of the factory colony itself, an interpretation centre and the Gaudí designed crypt. You can carry out your visit with the help of audio-guides or, if you prefer, there are guided visits at 12 midday on Sundays and public holidays. On Saturdays mornings, you will find a farmer’s market where local produce is sold.
The Castle of Castelldefels, which first appears in documents dating from the 10th century and which is located on top of a hill, has largely been restored and can be visited on the second Sunday of every month. Among the spaces open to the public are the courtyard, the fencing hall, the church of Santa Maria and the stables. The castle also offers views of the Garraf Massif, Collserola, the plain of Barcelona, Montjuïc, the Llobregat Delta and the coastline.
The Llobregat delta has plenty of places open to visitors. You can explore its marshes, ponds, pools and beaches on foot or by bicycle. The protected area includes the Baix Llobregat Agricultural Park, one of the most fertile agricultural areas in the country. Another interesting feature of your visit to the Baix Llobregat is the possibility of acquiring products from local farmers who sell their produce directly to the public.
Located in the centre of Sitges, the Romantic Museum is set in the Llopis family home, built in 1793 outside the Medieval walled town. For many years it was one of the noblest houses in the new town area of Sitges and was inhabited by various generations of Llopis, a Sitges family of maritime origins who ascended the social scale thanks to accumulating land and trading in wine and spirits. As well as having the opportunity to explore a wealthy 19th century family home, visitors here can see the curious collection of dolls belong to Barcelona writer and illustrator Lola Anglada.
This Romantic Museum is set in the old Papiol family home; this was an influential family that moved to Vilanova in the middle of the 17th century and whose wealth was acquired through buying properties and marriage. The house conserves the original structure, layout and decoration. Its exteriors are in line with the austere style of the time with a neoclassical façade and painted architectural motifs. The inside, in contrast, is remarkable for its fastidious elegance. The tour of the building takes in the family quarters the servants’ quarters and the garden.
Founded in 1884 by politician and writer Victor Balaguer i Cirera, the original nucleus of the Balaguer Library-Museum consists of the books and artworks that he gathered throughout his life, alongside the many donations received from prominent personalities. The museums’ art collection consists of over eight thousand pieces. In the permanent collection special attention is paid to the examples of art of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the quality of which led to the museum becoming a section of the National Museum of Art of Catalonia.
Located right next to the train station, the Vilanova Railway Museum has one of the world’s largest collection of railway related items in the world, including more than sixty vehicles from all eras, countries and technologies, with 28 steam locomotives dating from the late nineteenth century, including the oldest in Spain and the last one that was in active service in the country . Also on exhibition are wagons, diesel and electric engines and other curious vehicles.
An old house belonging to indianos, set in the heart of the Garraf Natural Park,Palau Novella has become the site of Catalonia’s first Buddhist monastery. You can explore it on a guided tour that will introduce you to the religion’s art and sacred objects. The monastery also holds meditation workshops that are open to everybody. It is located in privileged surroundings that are also worth visiting.
Set in the centrally located Plaça de l'Església, this museum has an excellent collection of pitchers, some of which are very original and funny. The collection is the result of the donations and acquisitions made since 1975. The explanations on the history and manufacturing process of these objects make for an educational experience that’s suitable for all ages. The museum also stages major temporary exhibitions.
Essayist, poet and writer Josep Palau i Fabre maintained a close friendship with Pablo Ruiz Picasso. His Foundation in Caldes d’Estrac contains work by Picasso from his private collection as well as works by other artists like Miro and Gargallo. Aside from the permanent exhibitions, the centre has rooms for temporary exhibits and hosts many other activities throughout the year, such as the Festival Poesia i +, roundtables, conferences and workshops.
Lluís Domènech i Montaner is one of the most important names in the history of Catalan modernism and he left behind a rich legacy, both in architectural and personal terms, in his home town of Canet de Mar. The museum that bears his name is made up of two buildings: Masia Rocosa and Casa Domènech. The first building was his workshop and offers insights into his professional life; while the second is a building he designed for his family and offers a more personal vision of the man. The museum also has spaces for a permanent exhibition on the history of the town and for temporary exhibitions.
In Arenys de Mar lace-making has a long history. So a Lace Museum makes perfect sense here. The Marès Museum has several valuable collections, starting with that of Frederic Marès, who acquired pieces from the Marquis de Valverde, among others. Other highlights include the collection that once belonged to the dancer Carmen Tórtola Valencia, who designed her own costumes, the Castells collection, with laces, patterns and frames from one of the lace manufacturers in Arenys.
The building that houses the Museum-Archive has a number of different sections, but the Gallart Gallery on the first floor is a real stand-out. It contains more than 200 works, mostly figurative oil paintings and drawings by local artist Lluís Gallart i Garcia which are exposed on a rotating basis. But since you’re here, you should also go up to the second floor and visit the modernista-style Barri pharmacy. The other exhibition spaces in this multi-disciplinary museum are given over to dresses and embroidery.
Set in a renaissance-style building in Plaça de l'Ajuntament, the first floor of the museum is reserved for temporary exhibitions. The first and second floors take you on a chronological trip through the history of Mataró from the Roman era to the present, with special attention given to the industrial development of the city as a textile manufacturing centre. The museum has other sections in a number of building around the town, such as Ca l'Arenas (C/ Argentona 64), which hosts an art collection.
Declared of national interest by the Generalitat Government the museum, especially for the magnificent collection of medieval art it contains, but also for the museum facilities themselves, located next to the Cathedral of Vic. Some 29,000 examples of Catalan Romanesque and Gothic painting and sculpture are on display, as well as pieces of industrial and decorative arts and an excellent collection of woven cloths and liturgical vestments. Among the masterpieces here are the Christ in Majesty from Santa Maria in Lluçà, the Baldachin from Ribes and the the Descent from the Cross from Erill la Vall, all from the twelfth century.
First opened just a few years ago and completely equipped for the scenic arts, whether in the form of concerts, theatre or dance, in both large and small formats, The Atlantida gets the best shows from Barcelona but also promotes local talent, making for a programme that is both complete and varied. The governing foundation of the Atlantida aims to consolidate Vic and Osona as cultural references in Europe.
The museum's main objective is to provide insights on the process of industrialization that took place around the River Ter. It occupies an ideal site, in the old Can Sanglas factory, near the river. The collections, however, are quite diverse, since there is enough space in its 1,500 square meters, to treat the river as a natural resource. The museum also hosts Centre of Studies of Mediterranean Rivers (CERM), dedicated to promoting education and environmental awareness, and the stewardship and research in Mediterranean rivers.
A visit to this major example of Catalan Romanesque religious architecture is also worthwhile thanks to its magnificent setting, overlooking a meander of the River Ter. Inside you will find a monastery that is humble but that has numerous enchanting details, such as its small cloister and the parlour, which later became a cellar, as well as the anthropomorphic tombs, which make it clear that the building was raised above a necropolis. To make the visit more attractive, the rooms are decorated with antique furniture and furnishings.
Montesquiu Castle has seen many modifications, both inside and outside, since it was first built in 1285, but a visit is always recommendable. On the ground floor, an audiovisual presentation starring the ghost of four famous inhabitants of the castle tell their story. The visit proceeds with a tour around the castle dependencies. The upper floor is currently the site of the resource centre run by the Diputació de Barcelona and hosts conventions, conferences and courses. If you have time, have a walk around the castle’s park.
If you like Romanesque art and architecture, a visit to Santa Maria de Lluçà is sure to delight you. The monastery which, takes its name from the region of Llucanès, was consecrated in 905, though it reached its maximum splendour in the thirteenth century. Today the whole ensemble offers many items of interest, especially the cloister, dating from the twelfth century, which contains a variety of decorative elements, among which the capitals, in particular, stand out, although the ironwork decorating the door, the murals and the small museum, with pieces of jewellery and religious objects are also quite remarkable.
Refurbished thoroughly in the early 1990s, Teatre Cirvianum now offers a full program of professional and amateur drama, music and dance performances. Its governing board also manages courses and workshops in the annexes of the theatre, and has promoted projects such as the FESTUS youth street arts festival, which takes place in the summer and has been through thirteen editions. The festival is committed to projects that propose a special, different and intimate relationship with the audience.
Jacint Verdaguer, a key figure in the Catalan literary renaissance, was born in Folgueroles in 1845. His family home has been transformed into a museum that we can visit. It is worth visiting since it’s a typical 17th century village house, as well as providing the opportunity to learn more about the priest-poet Verdaguer. In fact, the whole village of Folgueroles is like an open air museum dedicated to the writer and we recommend that you take a look around it either before or after calling in at the museum.
Opened in 2012, in full economic crisis, and in a square called, appropriately Plaça del Gas, the headquarters of the Fundació Gas Natural Fenosa is set in an old power station with gas engines called La Energía. On display, you’ll find the history of the company and the industry, the historical records of the company and temporary exhibitions and activities for everyone. The first year it attracted 22,000 visitors. Climb up to the lookout for the views.
The Catalan modernist-style Aymerich, Amat i Jover factory has been home to the Museum of Science and Technology of Catalonia for the last two decades. It features around a dozen permanent and various temporary exhibits that reflect the scientific advances that have changed our lives and document Catalonia’s industrial heritage. The museum collection is also spread out in 25 territorial museums and the Generalitat government is planning to integrate all of them in the new National History Museum.
With an intense, diverse and top quality programme, this theatre in Sant Cugat has become a benchmark among Barcelona’s satellite towns over its two decades of existence. Designed by two Ramons - architects Artigues and Sanabria – it is a multipurpose space with capacity for 800 spectators. Every year 50,000 people enjoy theater, music, opera, dance, family shows, magic and operetta here, as well as films, lectures, workshops ...
The building is hardly recent – it’s a Benedictine monastery dating from the 9th century – but the contents are new: the Monastery Museum is the emblematic central exhibiting space of the Museum of Sant Cugat, which was created in 2003, the other being the Contemporary Tapestry Museum in Casa Aymat. Apart from the cloister and the church, the museum harbours an installation on the abbey itself, on Romanesque monasteries and medieval monks, as well as temporary exhibitions on art and local issues, and workshops. Guided and dramatized tours are also offered.
Over the last decade, the old Roca Umbert textile factory has become the centre of cultural life in the capital of Vallès Oriental. The building contains different spaces including the municipal library, opened in 2005, the Centre Tecnològic i Universitari, the Espai d'Arts, which provides services and resources to the region’s artistic community with the aim of promoting contemporary creation, and cub, a space given over to rehearsals and musical production. Special mention must be made of La Troca, a unique space that hosts a dozen entities related to the world of popular and traditional culture.
Not many places can claim to have been wine and champagne production facilities before becoming a theatre with a program of dance and children’s and professional drama. The building is very beautiful both inside and out, and retains its original cellars. What was once the wine vat is now the sound and light booth. A place, then, that offers some added value when attending a show, and a good example of how to convert old buildings to other uses.
On the ground floor here there is the tourism office of Caldes de Montbui, an obligatory stop-off to find out everything you need to visit the town. You can also take advantage of your visit to see everything that Thermalia has to offer, from the history of the town’s spas to an important selection of works by the sculptor Manolo Hugue, who lived in the village for many years, and a number of pieces by his friend Pablo Picasso. The temporary exhibition room also features interesting exhibits.
Opened a decade ago, the building was designed by local architect Josep M. Botey, and consists of two halls: the larger one with a capacity for 700 spectators and the smaller one for 221. The number of shows that are scheduled throughout the year is remarkable; they include music, theatre and dance, but if you just want to explore the building, nothing better than to ask for a guided tour (for groups with a minimum of 15 people), on which you will be able to walk around the stage, the dressing rooms and the stalls.
The museum’s collection covers various fields, including archeology, art, decorative arts, ethnography and numismatics. The Natural Sciences are also studied here since an extension was built in 1987. The museum is therefore multidisciplinary, as you will discover when you explore its permanent and temporary exhibitions which will help you to learn more about past and present of Granollers and its surroundings. And for lovers of contemporary art, there is a good exhibition on the third floor of the building.
Head for Castelltercol to discover the house where Enric Prat de la Riba, one of the greatest 20th century Catalan politicians, lived. Prat de la Riba was the creator and first president of the Mancomunitat (Commonwealth), and whether you agree with his politics or not, the house is worth a visit because it retains the decor and atmosphere of an early 20th century town house. We particularly like the bedroom, with its 19th century furniture, and the atmosphere of the office, which was transferred here from Barcelona.