1. Modernisme Tour – Things to do in Canet de Mar
Architecture Modernisme History
One of the best things to do in Canet de Mar is enjoying a Gaudí & Modernisme Tour combining with a Winery cellar. Riera Sant Domènec is a row of imposing banana trees on both sides of the stream forming guard of honor receive the visitor in the small Florence of the Maresmese modernism. The concentration of casales and modernist elements in this town of fifteen thousand inhabitants is so high that the visitor can not stop opening his mouth here and there, seduced by the beauty that overwhelms him.
The Riera Sant Domènec is topped by the Lluis Domènech i Montaner House Museum, which forms the chamfer of the Gavarra stream and the Searchons stream. The great modernist architect had a very special relationship with Canet de Mar, since his mother and his wife were daughters of this town. So, it is not surprising that he built a house to live and work in it. The building is spectacular, faces the sea and is presided by a grandstand with columns of medieval aesthetics. Gargoyles representing monsters’ heads crown this rostrum.
Art Nouveau Modernism Barcelona Maresme
Domènech i Montaner built this house between 1918 and 1920, assisted by his son Pere Domènech Roura and his son-in-law Francesc Guàrdia, both also architects. In her it resided, and in the contiguous Rocky Masia, dated in century XVI, it had its study and factory. The two houses were restored – the Masia Rocosa in the year 1991 and the Casa Domènech in 1998 -, with which they became a Palau de la Música first class museum complex. Here Domènech i Montaner drew emblematic works of Catalan and world architecture, such as the magnificent.
The Casa Museo keeps original copies of decorative elements from Palau itself, the Fonda Espanya and the Hospital de Sant Pau, among many others.
Barcelona Coast Modernisme
In the same Riera Sant Domènec stands the imposing Casa Roura, a commission from the brothers-in-law of the architect, Ricard de Capmany and Francesca Roura. Francesca, sister of the wife of Domènech i Montaner, was a determined and enterprising woman who took the reins of a large family business of maritime commerce between the Spanish State and America, managing an important fleet of ships.
Casa Roura, also known as Ca La Bianga, has gone through several periods of decline. It is currently a restaurant that keeps the name of Casa Roura. The current owners proceeded to an excellent restoration of the building, even importing tile from France to recover the conical roof of glazed tiles that crowns the spectacular round tower of the southern part.
The house is made of exposed brick and is totally asymmetrical. If the southern part is occupied by the round tower of medieval airs, the northern part is of straight lines. The entrance door, made of wood, retains some iron reinforcements that emulate dragons made from the erratic letter of Roura. They also highlight the gargoyles on the cornice of the lookout tower. If the diverse facade is spectacular, the interior is not far behind. It is necessary to mention the dining room, which conserves a large fireplace decorated with floral elements and allegories of the discovery of America. The ceiling of the dining room is made of wood and simulates the inverted keel of a boat, in clear allegory to the origin of the owner’s fortune. Also noteworthy are the floor mosaics, of classic inspiration and made with tiny tiles. The building was built between 1889 and 1892.
Catalan Modernism Tour Maresme BCN
Next to Casa Roura and chamfering with Ample street, the Ateneu Canetenc. Built between 1885 and 1887, the Athenaeum has had several tenants. It was the headquarters of the Ateneu Obrer and the Catalanist Foment, and during the long Francoist night it gave shelter to the dependencies of the Education and Rest Center.
Recovered and restored between the years 1991 and 1999, now it is the house of books, the Municipal Library. They emphasize the central rosette with stained glass of colors; the large balcony that runs throughout the building and the forge of its railings; the various sgraffitoes forming friezes and slender figures; and the bastion corner, which rises on a column of bricks and is topped by a dome with a lightning rod decorated with a fantastic and colorful iron dragon. Another forge element is also remarkable, a sculpture located on the upper part of the cornice that symbolizes two dragons.
Puig i Cadafalch Modernisme Tour – Things to do in Canet de Mar
Canet also worked with other modernist architects, some of whom are renowned, such as Josep Puig i Cadafalch and Eduard Ferrés i Puig, both from Maresmese. From Puig i Cadafalch we must mention the restaurant of the Sanctuary of Mercy, built in 1914 and still in service, and the gardens of this emblematic place in the town of Canet, with the Neo-Gothic cross of the park of La Misericòrdia. Equally remarkable is the Carbonell factory, built in 1899. With regard to Eduard Ferrés, he designed a building for a rich Indian, the Alsina Roig house, made with the Viennese variant of modernism called Sezession, much to the liking of the architect of Vilassar.
Dragons & Modernisme Canet de Mar
One of the most popular buildings in Canet, Vil·la Flora, arises from the order that the wealthy lawyer Ramiro Busquets made to Eduard Ferrés to enjoy a summer house on land owned by him. Ferrés finished the house in 1910, but the owners asked for an extension in 1925. The sources of the Vil·la Flora gardens stand out, with the Font del Drac as the most emblematic example. It is also from Eduard Ferrés the old slaughterhouse, today headquarters of the Local Police.
The visitor’s gaze will also stop to observe in detail the Serra Pujadas House, from the stream of Sant Domènec; the town hall, inaugurated in 1906 with a project by the architect Emili Cabanyes, which stands out for the battlements that crown the facade, the luxurious decoration of the ceiling of the plenary hall and the abundance of stained glass windows and doors; Casa Floris, made by Pere Domènech Roura; the houses of the Indians of Can Font and Can Busquets; the Puxan house, made by the master builder Josep Cabruja, commissioned by the Indian and mayor of Canet Jaume Puxan; the elegant and at the same time simple Casa Carbonell, with a worked railing of the balcony that contains floral forging motifs and the sgraffito, also with floral motifs; and the Jover Factory, inaugurated in 1910 with plans by Pere Domènech …
The Canet de Mar’s graveyard contains authentic works of art, with some clearly modernist pantheons that keep the spoils of important families from Caceres. It emphasizes a pantheon with a worked railing of forge with roofs to make fire in the four corners. It is likely that this work is partly the work of another of the great geniuses of modernism: Antoni Gaudí. It is the tomb that in its beginnings was Domingo Pascual, a locksmith who was a friend and collaborator of Gaudí. Eduard Ferrés i Puig also intervened in this cemetery located in Camp d’en Tinoia. Ferrés was commissioned to make a pantheon for the Busquets family, and applied his personal style inspired by Austrian modernism.
The pantheon is full of symbolic elements: the four evangelists, angels, owls … And even the skull of a skeleton surrounded by worms, a clear allegory of the end that awaits us all. The cemetery of Canet keeps the pantheon of Lluís Domènech i Montaner and his family. Far from the sumptuous art that sometimes used to represent, the pantheon of the architect is of a sobriety that captivates. The only element of contrast is a white marble sculpture, the work of Josep Llimona, which was mutilated during the Civil War.
However, the body of Domènech i Montaner is not buried in Canet, but in the cemetery of Sant Gervasi in Barcelona. When he died, the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera governed, and to avoid problems the family decided to bury him in a niche of his property in Barcelona. Also noteworthy are the Font-Montaner pantheons, by Puig i Cadafalch, with sculptures by the evangelists in the corners, and the Font-Roura, in neoclassical style, with an angel sculpture by Francesc Pagès Serratosa.
Modernism Tour– Things to do in Canet de Mar
If the visitor arrives at Canet de Mar in the first fortnight of September, it will probably coincide with the celebration of the Modernist Fair organized by this population to promote and remember his modernist legacy. A legacy that can also be tasted in the form of a biscuit: Canet’s vitralls are exquisite sweets made by the pastry chefs of the town that evoke the variety of colors of modernist stained glass.
2. Game of Thrones Tour Maresme
Outside the town center is the Santa Florentina Castle, a monumental jewel half hidden by the forests and visible only in part from the highway that passes elevated and almost touching it. The castle has its origins in a Roman settlement, converted in the 11th century into a fortified farmhouse owned by Gaudamir de Canet. In the 16th century, the lands passed into the hands of the Montaners, who will be their owners until well into the 20th century.
The Montaners had two towers erected to defend themselves against the pirates who frequently attacked the coast of the Maresmese. However, its current physiognomy acquired at the end of the nineteenth century. Ramon de Montaner, owner of the estate and relative of Lluís Domènech i Montaner, asked the architect for the restoration of the castle and its extension. The spectacular nature of the site was reinforced by the medieval setting that Domènech i Montaner gave to the building. It incorporated a whole series of architectural elements of a Cistercian monastery that was abandoned as a result of Mendizábal’s amortization law of 1836.
The owner of Santa Florentina, Ramon de Montaner, had acquired much of the monastery of Santa Maria del Tallat -located on the border between Lérida and Tarragona- to make the extension of his castle. Domènech used the Gothic windows and the cloister to ennoble the courtyard, a courtyard that hosts one of the most important classical music festivals in the country in the summer months. The interior of the castle maintains the medieval esthetics. The halls are sumptuous and solemn. They keep elegant and worked stained glass windows that represent religious reasons; the floor maintains similarities with the Casa Roura, since it is a large classical mosaic composed of hundreds of small tiles; the interior capitals and the roof of the immense fireplace are decorated with sculptures, many of them allegorical to the medieval history of Canet.
Dragons & GOT Tour BCN Maresme
The reforms of Santa Florentina were made in full effervescence of the Renaixença. Thus, the castle and the decoration give off an unconcealed Catalanism. Although they were probably added after the renovations, on the walls of the main hall there are two large canvases made by students from the school of Llotja with motives of clear national affirmation. In one of them you can see a rider riding on a dragon – symbol of the Renaixença and modernism – deploying a great landmark, and the other recreates the symbolic moment of the creation of the emblem of Catalonia with the four bars of blood drawn on a golden shield by the hand of Wifredo el Piloso, mortally wounded in battle.
Many decorative and forging elements were projected and made by several artisans. The grille of the chapel, work of the Miquel Soler from Canet de Mar, is crowned by several dragons. It is essential to visit the luxurious crypt, made with an almost excessive Gothic decorative style. In the crypt the tomb stands out, with a statue representing the recumbent body of Florentina Malató, wife of Ramon de Montaner. The castle of Canet is called Santa Florentina in honor of her.
MODERNISME AL MARESME
L’arquitectura entre dos segles
Photos Ig: @margacruz_fotografia
Text: Pep Andreu
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