Sant Cugat is a very interesting alternative if you want to get to know the Barcelona surroundings. Located just half an hour away from the Barcelona city center, Sant Cugat is a cute and small city filled with charm, historical heritage and singular spaces. Let’s start!
Sant Cugat Monastery
To begin with, the origins of the Sant Cugat Monastery can be traced to the 9th century, within the context of the expansion of the Benedict community in the counties supported by the French crown.
Around the 10th and 11th centuries, this community experienced a significant growth and started having great political and spiritual influence in the area.
Sant Cugat Monastery
The ensemble of buildings of the Sant Cugat monastery features the church, the bell tower, the cloister, to name a few. In front of the church, easy to spot the Abad Palace, with many elements worthy of observation. such as the main gate and the terme cross.
For example, the cloister is considered one of the biggest romanesque settings in Catalonia. Built in 1190, it still retains the original elements of its creator Arnau Cadell.
At the same complex, you can find the City Museum and the remains of the old walls of the primitive settlement of Sant Cugat. It was declared Cultural Asset of National Interest in 1931.
Curiously, just a few steps away from the monastery we can find the deepest contrast of monastic life, in the shape of Marilyn Monroe. How can this be?
We’re talking about Cal Gerrer, an old ceramic factory that today has been turned into a museum. This museum is dedicated to no other than Marilyn Monroe, the Hollywood icon. On display there is one of the biggest private collections of memorabilia that once belonged to the star.
Actually, you can find everything from movie posters to daily life articles, including a large library about the artist. There is also a good sample of local artists that portray the city’s past.
Mercat Vell (Old Market)
The Old Market still clings to the original uses of a popular market, but at the same time, has been thought for people with a gourmet pallet. In there, you can buy local products, eat, drink and share new gastronomical experiences.
Located in the modernist building at Sant Pere Square, it has been turned into an elegant market according to 21st century standards. Close to a dozen food stalls offer a wide variety of local products.
The options range from Japanese to mexican to argentine, to fruits and vegetables, meats, cold meats, crepes and breads of the highest quality, locally-made, recovering the traditional way of baking bread.
The old city streets of Sant Cugat are meant to be discovered by foot. However, it doesn’t hurt to try the electrical bikes for rent as well.
Pay attention to the different styles and eras of construction that you will find here. From 16th century houses to beautiful modernist examples of architecture.
Among these is worth mentioning the modernist cellar. César Martinelli designed and built this cooperative business in 1921. It features the typical parabolic brick arches that were so in style during this artistic movement.
A pair of Modernist examples are the houses of Enric Pi in Sant Medir street (#27 and #29). J.Batllevell built these houses in 1907.
Mercantic is a difficult place to categorize. A multi purpose space that features a mix of all those little things that make life just better.
A melting pot where a library, a theater, culinary workshops and a retro bar live in harmony. Home decor stores, food trucks, and an art gallery where the latest trends are showcased, are some of the spaces you can find.
A multifaceted space where is possible to find that rare article that you were craving for.
How to get to Sant Cugat
Getting to Sant Cugat is very easy from the Barcelona city center. Just head to the FGC train station in Plaza Catalunya and take any train of the S line to Sant Cugat station. In fact, the train ride takes less than 30 minutes.
As you can see, Sant Cugat is a surprising place with an equally surprising history worthy of knowing.
Image credit: Kar Sol via Shutterstock
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