1. Calella History – Maresme Tourist Town
Origins Calella Barcelona Coast
The municipality of Calella is presided by a lighthouse painted in immaculate white, which, located on the hill of Capaspre – separated from the sea by the cut of the N-II road – is a symbol of this tourist town. Calella was officially formed in the fourteenth century, from privileges granted by King James II.
In the year 1338, Viscount Bernat II of Cabrera, Lord of Montpalau, granted the town the title of university, an approximation to the current city hall but with much less independence and skills. Calella keeps some houses that explain how the village was centuries ago. Thus, strolling through the old town the visitor will find several buildings of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, such as the current Museum-Archive, which occupies a 17th-century manor, and the municipal library Can Salvador de la Plaça, two examples excellently preserved.
Tourist Town Maresme Barcelona Cost
However, the current physiognomy of Calella is marked by the tourist boom that this population of Maresmese experienced from the second half of the 20th century. As explained, a coach with German tourists arrived in Calella by mistake, but visitors were in love with the charms of that town, its neighbors and its beach and decided to stay. Truth or legend, the truth is that for decades this town was known as the “Calella de los Germans”, and it became an international tourist destination of the first order.
Many houses and many orchards were replaced by hotels and apartment buildings. Currently, Calella has an important number of hotel places -over 11,000- and camping. With regard to gastronomic offer, Calella has many restaurants with a varied culinary and economic offer. In the first years of tourism there were many native singles who came to the beaches and discos of Calella to try to make a tourist fall in love. There is no reliable data on whether these catrans – as they were popularly called in Calella – did or did not get it, but it is true that they all boasted of having had relations with a Swedish, a German or an English.
Textile Tradition in Maresme Barcelona
Long before the arrival of tourism, the people of Calella made their living from agriculture and industry, especially from the textile sector; the architectural emblem of that time, the imposing Llobet-Guri factory, designed by the architect Eusebi Bona i Puig between 1911 and 1925, and which currently houses several municipal buildings and citizen entities, is preserved.
2. Calella Modernisme Architecture
Catalan Modernism Maresme Barcelona Coast
The economic development experienced in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries favored the proliferation of houses of wealthy families. Many of those houses followed the modernist schemes. We have an example with the Pedemonte family. The roots of the Pedemonte have to be sought in Italy, the place of origin of the founder of the lineage, who married a Calellense.
Art Nouveau Modernisme Catalonia
Cal Menuts is another property with modernist features commissioned by a member of the Pedemonte family. There were three brothers: Joan -owner of the previous house mentioned-, Emili and Juli, the owner of this house known as Els Menuts. In fact, this was the nickname that the three brothers received, since, apparently, they were of small stature (menuts means small). The house has two facades. The one of the north is located in the Jovara street. It is very luxurious and is resolved with a clear medieval, Gothic inspiration.
Antoni Gaudi Modernisme Maresme
The constructions with two entrances, one for Jovara Street and the other for Anselm Clavé Street, are an architectural solution used in this place in Calella. The architect Eusebi Bona i Puig is the author of some of these houses. He made several commissions for the family of textile entrepreneurs Llobet-Guri. In addition to the factory mentioned above, he built a house for Rosendo Llobet, son of Josep Llobet Guri, the man who founded the industrial line with his cousin Josep Guri Sabater.
Modernist Designs Barcelona Coast
Next to Can Rosendo there is another house that was owned by Rosendo Llobet himself. Initially built as a summer home for an Indian, the Calellen industrial acquired it later. The facade is also eclectic, but with a more modernist vocation. It is stabbed with tile color, so that it seems made with the technique of exposed brick. Also noteworthy are the geometric decorative elements that frame the windows, both on the first floor and the attic.
Influential Gaudí Modernisme
In the same Jovara street stands the building known as Els Filipinos. The house is commissioned by a soldier who had been assigned to the Philippines, to Asia, when these islands were Spanish territory – although Spain lost the ownership of the islands in a war against the United States of America. So, The Filipinos is the popular name that the people of Calella gave to the owners of the house. The house is framed in the so-called popular modernist style, characterized by the abundance of curved lines. Here the curves are present in the undulation of the crowning of the facade -which includes decorative floral elements-, the balcony and its forged grating, as well as the moldings that decorate the windows.
Gaudi & Modernism Tour – Best things to do in Calella
Another Calellen who had made his fortune overseas was Jaume Ballester. This Indian made himself build a house in the street of Anselm Clavé, overlooking the sea, probably to remember the trips and adventures lived in the Americas. The facade is considered one of the most elegant and well decorated of Calella. Both the main door and the windows are finished in arches. On the ground floor and in the attic there is a set of windows that form arcades supported by small columns with decorative capitals. On the first floor there is a balcony that has the full width of the facade and that stands out in its central section. One of the most outstanding and elegant elements is the finishing of the part under the balcony, with a spectacular and really beautiful decoration.
Maresme Modernisme Tour from Calella
Without moving from the street of Anselm Clavé you can see a villa that was built in 1895 by the local Indian Lluís Macaya. The man had amassed a considerable fortune in America and returned to his homeland. Even when, seen with the current urban parameters, the house may seem very large, observed with the eyes of a well-off neighbor of the nineteenth century, the building was nothing more than a villa, a pavilion to spend the summers. Can Macaya – or La Torre, as they call it here – stands out for its elaborate wooden deck with two gables and a very steep slope.
The Master of Catalan Modernim- Antoni Gaudí Style
We must also highlight some modernist elements that are preserved in the Museum-Archive of Calella. Highlights the museum installation that recreates the old Barri pharmacy. The material exhibited is from 1919 and was donated to the Museum by the Barri Bayà family in 1985. The furniture is modernist, all white, with borders and gold details. The elegant showcases form a series of ogee arches.
Finally, it is essential to mention the contribution that the architect Jeroni Martorell, who was a municipal architect of the town, made to urban planning in Calella at the beginning of the 20th century. Of him they are the Municipal Market (1927), the urbanization of the marine stroll and the Park Dalmau.
3. Best Things to Do in Calella Barcelona Coast
Gaudí & Modernisme Tour Maresme
First of all, we kindly recommend you to visit the small towns from Maresme Barcelona Coast nearby Calella. For sure, you will have the chance to enjoy a Gaudí & Modernisme Tour with our expert Marga Cruz, which is one of the best things to do. She is a specialist photographer who knows very well any detail about the Modernism Art Nouveau in Maresme Barcelona coast. We offer special combination with Modernisme Tour with Boat Tour, Wine Tasting, Game of Thrones Tour, Hike & Wine Tour and Natural Wines Tour. All this offers combines the Best Things to Do in Calella Barcelona Coast, what a great opportunity to enjoy Holidays in Maresme Barcelona! 🙂
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