After Barcelona, Reus is the Catalan city with the most modernista buildings. And some of the most emblematic can be found around the city centre, making them easy to visit on foot, by following the signposted itinerary (Ruta del Modernisme) and looking out for the included buildings that are identified with a plaque. Collect a leaflet with all the details from the Tourist Office, situated in Plaça del Mercadal. In fact, this square is an excellent place to start your tour, as it’s where you’ll find the magnificent Casa Navàs, a work of genius by Lluís Domènech i Montaner. Admire it from the outside now, but tomorrow morning you’ll get to know it from the inside as well, on a guided tour that you have to reserve in advance at the same Tourist Office. One place you can go into today is the material shop on the ground floor, also designed by Domènech i Montaner and which retains its original furniture and the commercial spirit of the early 20th century.
Next take C/Monterols, which has two houses by the architect Pere Caselles (the most prolific of the modernista era in Reus), and a little further on, in the Raval de Santa Anna, you can see side-by-side Casa Serra by Joan Rubió, and Casa Marco by Pere Domènech. On C/Llovera, there are four impressive modernista buildings, three of which are by Caselles, and the other by José Subietas. Caselles is also the man behind Casa Ramon Vendrell on C/Ample, and Casa Sardà and the Prat de la Riba schools, found on the avenue of the same name as the latter (after the first president of the Catalan Mancomunitat). Once past the schools, take a left on to Passeig de Sunyer, where there are two important industrial buildings: the Enologica station (another Caselles construction) and, practically just behind it, the old slaughterhouse, a joint creation of Caselles and Francesc Borràs that is nowadays a municipal library.
Now take C/Sant Joan, which features a significant number of inclusions on the Ruta del Modernisme, including the Anti-tuberculosis Clinic, a work by Gaudí’s disciple and collaborator Joan Rubió i Bellver, that is separated from the road by a small garden. There are also two important works by Domènech i Montaner: Casa Rull and Casa Gasull. Casa Rull, dating from 1900, was the first private commission that Domènech i Montaner received in Reus following his arrival in the city to construct the Institut Pere Mata. Casa Gasull was built by the olive oil entrepreneur Felix Gasull in 1911, and marked the arrival of the Noucentisme style in Reus. In Plaça de Prim, take the Raval de Jesús, which will bring you to the splendid Casa Munné and, to the left, Casa Iglésias, both Caselles creations. You’ll end up back in Plaça del Mercadal, but you can extend the tour slightly by visiting Raval de Sant Pere, where you’ll find Casa Homdedéu and Casa Anguera. Finally, return once more to Mercadal via C/Galanes, coming out next to Casa Piñol.
This route is a way to discover not only local modernista buildings but also other noteworthy points in Reus, such as the popular Plaça Prim, with its sculpture of the eponymous militaryman and politician who hailed from the town, the historic Fortuny theatre, and some of the most notable shopping streets in town. Various places (such as the shop on the ground floor of Casa Navàs described above) have preserved their early charm: good examples of this are the Cereria Salvadó (a candle shop on Plaça del Castell) and El Barato (on Plaça de Sant Pere).
In the birthplace of Antoni Gaudí you'll see some exceptional buildings, both inside and out, created by Domènech i Montaner and other architects of the time. The shopping areas are among the other main attractions of this lovely Costa Daurada town, where you’ll also take the time to stop for a vermouth.