Tossa de Mar is a town on the Costa Brava has traditionally been dedicated to maritime trade, fishing, the cork industry and, more recently, tourism.
Today we invite you to stroll through its streets and squares to discover what the city hides us and also for near natural and artistic beauty that offers us such a nice as this environment.
We take the opportunity to walk around its history and curiosities that Tossa de Mar lies and to discover what happened that led them to be the population that is today.
We will start from the inside of the population to gradually move towards the coast and into the walled town of Tossa where we will end up watching and enjoying the scenery, air and color offered by the sea.
The Roman villa of Ametllers
We begin with the oldest part that is preserved in Tossa and where we find the Roman village of Ametllers, the s. BC to s. VI AD It is located on Avenida del Peregrino, 5-13. It is one of the most important towns of the old province of Tarraco. especially dedicated to growing grapes and wine export consumer.
It consists of two distinct areas: the urban pars or noble area of the whole, and fructuaria pars or warehouse district and processing of agricultural products.
Its location on the eastern slope of the hill of Can Magí, facing the sea and with a clear dominance over the bay, conditioned the layout of the building.
Urban pars or noble area of the complex, located on the upper level, faith gives us the magnitude of the villa at all levels, especially in the s. II AD elements as the magnificent thermal baths, mosaics, stucco, the rare winter dining room, the ninfeo (source) or pool with the imposing sculpture of Carrara marble preserved in the Municipal Museum, make us clear the exceptionality of the villa.
The fructuaria pars, located on the lower level, was the industrial zone. There warehouses and processing facilities for agricultural products were located. wine, oil, salt meat and cereals are also elaborated kept.
The styles of bone and ivory, ceramics, coins or fibulas, which are also exposed in the Municipal Museum, are a faithful witness to the daily life of the village.
These types of villas combined perfectly the exploitation of the territory, which in the case of the town of Ametllers covered much of the current town of Tossa, with the luxury and amenities of the owners. It is noteworthy that most of the structures are now preserved Augustan period, ie late s. BC the beginning of s. AD
House of Culture
Right in front of the Roman villa of Ametllers find the Casa de la Cultura, located in the Old Hospital of San Miguel, which was founded in 1773 by the city nobleman Thomas Vidal Rey, considered a precursor of the Indians. When he returned to Tossa, he spent much of his fortune to build a charitable hospital for the poor of the city.
The building, of considerable size, consists of a rectangular body with two floors arranged around a cloister. On one side the chapel dedicated to San Miguel is located. Note the image of St. Michael the main altar, baroque bill popular, local work shop Casa Fuster.
Now we head towards the sea area and we will through the churches of the population.
Chapel and Church
Arriving at the church square, we come to the parish church of San Vicente, in neoclassic style was begun in 1755 and completed in 1776.
Despite being a simple building, it highlights the volume of the central nave. It is originally decorated with altars and images of popular baroque style, many of them from the local shop Casa Fuster, but regrets the disappearance of this valuable heritage during the Civil War.
Painting interior has been recently restored and the church has regained some of its former beauty and luminosity.
Relief on the street we find the Chapel of the Virgin del Socorro, which was built in the s. XVI.
It is said that was a votive offering sailor Antoni Caixa in gratitude to the Virgen del Socorro for saving him from a shipwreck, who built it.
The present chapel underwent a remodeling in the s. XVIII that gave the present appearance.
Can Can Ganga or Leandro
Next to the Chapel of the Virgin del Socorro found Leandro Can or Can Ganga, which is located in the district of Sa Roqueta, which is the typical fishing district.
This is one of the first villages to be built outside the walls as a result of increased population s. XVI and is also a worthy example of a fortified farmhouse. It was built because at the time of its construction was isolated oceanfront was easy prey for pirates.
The building has a magnificent round portal above which a matacán evidence protection against possible raids by pirates from North Africa. They also highlight the Gothic windows beautifully sculpted cherubs.
Now yes, we headed towards the walled city, where we will finish the visit population.
walled enclosure of the Vila Vella
Declared a national historic monument in 1931, the walls of the Vila Vella is the emblem of the municipality. It is currently the only example of a fortified medieval town that still exists in the Catalan coast. Built in the early s. XIII, it has undergone several restorations, the most important of which occurred on s. XIV.
It retains almost all of the original perimeter area with crenellated walls. The lock wall distributes four towers and three cylindrical towers topped by battlements. The towers best known are the tower joanas, who chairs the bay; Tower of the Hours, located at the entrance of the courtyard, which owes its name to that was the only place where there was a public clock and the tower is Codolar, also known as Tower of Homage, who chairs the beach is Codolar.
The interior of the Villa Vieja is a lovely space narrow alleys paved with cobblestones. You can still enjoy the charm of many Gothic windows, beautifully historiados. At the time of peak (s. XV), the Vila Vella integrated eighty houses. From s. XVI population began to expand outside of the wall to the neighborhood of sa Roqueta and following around the edge of the highway. Dovelado include the magnificent portal that gives entrance to the Old Village through the courtyard.
Inside the Villa Vieja, we must make special mention of the old church of San Vicente. This late Gothic church was built in the s. XV on the previous Romanesque church recently and dated in the s discovered. XI-XII. It has a single nave, polygonal three locks together a sacristy and a side chapel. Currently, only the apse and sacristy retain the cover.
The Municipal Museum occupies the former home of batlle de sac or governor, the noblest of walled building. It was inaugurated on September 1, 1935.
An important collection of modern art, with works by national and foreign artists who frequented Tossa in the thirties of the twentieth century, but also earlier and later works two to this time. Note the Fiddler Celeste Marc Chagall.
The archaeological section of the underground attests to the presence of man within our municipality from the Paleolithic to the Middle Ages. Of particular interest the mosaic atrium of the Roman Villa of Ametllers, the fourth century or V.
Interpretation Centre of Mediterranean Lighthouses
The Interpretation Centre of Mediterranean Lighthouse is located at the top of Vila Vella, Tossa Lighthouse (1917), has become a center of interpretation of the headlights of our coast.
This innovative equipment, with respect to the museological approach is a point of reference for anyone interested in obtaining a particular view of the world of maritime signals. The center is audiovisual so that is understandable to everyone whatever their idiomatic condition.
The speech brings us closer to the history and technology of the world of lighthouses and the lives of the lighthouse keepers. The museum space itself can contemplate various pieces related to this maritime heritage.
Tossa and artists
In fact, it was at the beginning of s. XX when Tossa began to acquire relevance as residential and summer season. This made its streets and beaches will walk there are artists of different styles.
In 1916 came to Tossa de Mar Georgian painter OLGA SACHAROFF, her husband Otto Lloyd and the English painter Galwey. During the first half of the thirties, particularly between 1932 and 1936, came to Tossa intellectuals and multidisciplinary artists from different backgrounds both Catalan and foreign artists became Tossa at their point of confluence.
There were writers, critics, philosophers, poets, architects, decorators and sculptors like Brignoni or Mm. Dem, painters com Metzinger, Schulein, Kars, Masson, Petersen, Chagall, Goldberg, Lévy, Janssen, Kamp, Mac-Nab, Zügel, Kaminagai, Gen Paul, Klein, and many others Caillard, art theorists and others.. Among the Catalan artists include the sculptors Enric Casanovas and Enric Monjo, and painters Pedro Creixams, Rafael Benet, Emili Armengol, Manuel Humbert, Oleguer Junyent and Perrin.
That was how, in this fishing village, there was a confluence of avant - gardism of great vitality, which had never been seen before. It was a somewhat eclectic era Rafael Benet called Tossa "Babel of the Arts". There was a stylistic cohesion can not identify the core of artists who worked in Tossa with one artistic style, nor created school. The artists of the "Babel of the Arts", were followers of Fauvism, impressionism, neo - impressionism, expressionism, simple lovers of landscape and its possibilities. But they all agreed on the fact of choosing Tossa to spend seasons.
The art critic and painter Rafael Benet points among the reasons for the avant - garde phenomenon that occurred in Tossa: the potability of the currency, European political unrest, the relatively good price of life and the proximity of the French border. Moreover, the Catalan painter Pere Creixams, who was one of the first artists who discovered Tossa, and one of those most in themselves known and make love many artists and intellectuals, also acted as a catalyst for international artists who knew of his time in Paris, coinciding with the effervescence of avant - gardism of Montmartre.
Ava Gardner in Tossa
In 1950 is a date that will always be part of the collective memory of Tossa. The spring of that year, Tossa is?? became the natural scene of the shooting of a film with actors of international fame: "Pandora and the Flying Dutchman" by Albert Lewin.
The arrival of Ava Gardner, James Mason, Mario Cabre and all the crew revolutionized the quiet village life. The film was released the following year, in 1951 and this resulted in a change of destination Tossa.
Sixty years later, there is still much to tell. The good memories that left the crew and actors in Tossa postwar, is the common denominator of all the stories.
But beyond representing the filming of the movie, we find an exceptional event: the projection of Tossa in the world following the promotion of the film. This marked a before and after for the economy of the city and its transformation into a tourist destination.
As a sign of recognition of the people of Tossa actress in 1998 stood at a viewpoint from within the walled enclosure of the Vila Vella a statue of Ava Gardner, made of bronze and sized by the artist Ció Abellí.