Vilafranca del Penedès, located in the center of the regions of the Penedès stands out for its strong link in the cultivation of vineyards, currently featured in the Penedès. The highs and lows of this product throughout history have involved high and low Penedès economy, and these have an impact on the architecture of Vilafranca. In the boom years of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century has been a legacy modernist implanted rich farmers and traders.
A historical note
Phylloxera was a turning point in the Catalan agriculture. A small American insect 1mm in length Catalan vineyards razed, as had decades doing in the rest of Europe. What had been the flagship of the Catalan economy, wine and spirits, was to be of a serious change of occupation impoverishment of society. Only a brave few vineyards replanted their fields from Latin, insect resistant, and succeeded. Rich and entrepreneurs who introduced the artistic trends of the rest of Europe making Vilafranca an important modernist trends.
Walk Vilafranca modernism
From thirty modernist buildings to be found in Vilafranca we will highlight those that are most interesting, but stay tuned because in the vast majority of the downtown streets we can find a balcony or facade curious and interesting to behold.
We started the walk in the area southwest of the population, Hermenegild Street, where at the end of the street, right hand corner, is located RODONA Font House (1903), by Antoni Serrallach, now houses the County Council. Highlights include the wrought iron bars of the balconies with natural motifs and a huge glass roof arch, colors and floral elements. By appointment, you can visit inside the building.
Turn left at Calle de Sant Bernat find Nogués House and dated by an unknown artist of the twentieth century, but with unique modernist elements in Vilafranca . Following this narrow street come to the front of the church of Santa Maria, about this find cast iron furniture and stained glass windows, like a pair of lanterns. Inside the Gothic church, sinuous and expressive highlights seven marble figures representing the Descent of Christ, dated 1916 and Llimona work.
Continuing to Plaza Sant Jaume and Calle Consell, find three houses, works of Santiago Güell Grau, author of the best-known modernist villa with different years of construction, 1905 to 1914, show the evolution of his style and skill . Following the work of this master we go to the Vall del Castell street where we found the old market, the current House of Festa Major (1913) which introduces the brick, very characteristic element of modernism and keeps inside of Vilafranca drac , ancient and characteristic figure of traditional Catalan bestiary.
Finally, following Santiago Güell Grau, go to find Parellada Street, the center of the town, to visit the house Estadella Guasch (1905) with a strong role of topography and natural elements with a majestic balcony on the first floor. Currently it has built a top floor thoroughly modern character. And the house Tomas (1879-1913) with many individual balconies on the second floor and large windows in the third.
If we went to the village square, called "the castellera month" for being where higher buildings stand along castellera season, we will see the City Hall of the architect Eugeni Campllonch Pares. In addition to the elements of modernism, with natural connotations very elaborate wrought iron, stands a clock framed by a fruit and flower borders classicists. The same architect found the house i Jané Alegret the Cal Edifici Guardiet (1909) in Cort Street, the building stands out above all the coronation of the facade and the platform that stands in the window corner.
To complete the route through the center of Vilafranca and returning to work we go to Santiago Güell Nostra Senyora Rambla, where Miró House Inglada i stake Artur Inglada House (1905) and Valero Elies House, House Balaguer Berger (1910), currently headquarters of the Fundació Caixa Penedès, the first emphasizes the asymmetrical facade and arch windows and medievalist segund style, breaking with contemporary touches, both have the theme flora, very typical of its author. With features like find a detached house in Casal Street, perpendicular to the Rampla, Casa Galtés Mainé i Bodegues Mascaro (1912).
Even today, traditional festivals and fairs in Vilafranca
We can not talk of Vilafranca without a touch to the important role of traditional festivals and fairs which are still today the toe casteller Catalonia Vilafranca Castelleres and figure oldest Catalan bestiary, the drachma, which ultimately has been dated to the twelfth century.
The dates are almost more marked Fairs May, the Feast of the Verema i the Festival in late August, declared a festival of national interest. In these holidays tend to go outside traditional institutions like bastoners culture, dances tapes, Cercolets, we bigheaded, Devils, an exact replica of the twelfth century dragon or muixiganga, recently recovered. A show full of music, dance and colors involving the whole city and that runs through the city streets.
Places to discover near Vilafranca
For lovers of modernism Vilafranca is not the only place in the Penedès where we find buildings of this style, there are a dozen nearby villages where we find buildings of note, some of them as Raspall dels Can Horst (1909) by architect Antoni Pons i Dominguez and situated on the road from Vilafranca Igualada, large and located in the middle of nature, in a unique setting.
Of these peoples the Penedès near Vilafranca we recommend Sant Sadurní and Gelida . Taking the AP-7 towards Girona , reach Sant Sadurní which include at least eight buildings, both public and private. Among them the famous Codorniu and Freixenet cavas located slightly on the outskirts of the village and the city, the agricultural Ateneo and Les escoles noves, right in the center. Following the same highway to the north reach Gelida , where eight other buildings, almost all private and located in the center will allow us to appreciate more facades, balconies and ornaments typical of Catalan modernism of the early twentieth century.
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