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Catalan Cities and Villages with Character

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If there is one thing that characterises them, it is their personality. In Catalonia, there are many Cities and Towns with Character. Do you know what defines them? They have their own personality, with a town of between 10,000 and 50000 inhabitants, they are very active culturally, they offer you loads of proposals, and they each stand out for some special feature.


Cities that breath history
øDo you like to remember historical facts? These cities are a great bank of memories where you can take a trip to the past. History and culture are two of the features that define their personality. They boast a significant number of Cultural Assets of National Interest, as well as relevant traditions and festivals that fly the flag for their historical and cultural character. They organise activities for everyone, and make an effort to raise awareness of themselves, as well as flying the flag for the most beautiful corners of the municipality. Some of them combine a marked historical footprint with two more ingredients: quality Catalan cuisine and a strong wine-growing tradition.


A good dish on the table
If you are one of those people who are moved by the taste of good food or the taste of a good wine, you must not miss the opportunity to visit to the places where the raison d'Ítre is to produce food and wine. The offer of accommodation and catering is dynamic, and, above all, it opens the doors to traditional Catalan cuisine by putting on the table typical dishes produced with local products and products from the land. All washed down with wines made in the denominations of origin of the region.


Very creative
They have a restless creative spirit. They are welcoming, inspiring cities that love and encourage artistic creation and strive to make the most creative people feel at home. In addition to their creative personality, they are cities committed to respecting the environment, and they have put in place policies designed to promote recycling and the responsible use of natural resources.


Come and visit; their character will impress you.
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Cities, towns and villages
Cities, towns and villages
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If you want to discover the essence of Catalonia, its culture, its tradition, and its people, you have to note down in your route some of its cities and towns with a special character.

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Houses next to the Onyar river  (© Servicios Editoriales Georama)
Girona
Girona has the charm and magic of a large city, but also the friendly atmosphere of a small town. It has a wide range of tourist, cultural and historic attractions, and a rich social life, with events and popular festivals of great interest.

The city still preserves an old Medieval district that extends up to the impressive cathedral, through the dark, narrow streets of the Old quarter, while more modern and organised part is at the other side of the river. Above the bank of the river Onyar is Girona's most famous image, formed by the pleasant colourful houses.

The Gothic cathedral of Santa Maria (11th-13th centuries) is Girona's most relevant architectural feature, though it is by no means the only one. There are many other examples of religious architecture, such as the monastery of Sant Pere de Galligants (13th century), the convents of Sant Domènec (13th century) and Sant Josep (16th-17th centuries) or the churches of Sant Feliu (12th-16th centuries), Sant Nicolau (12th century) or Sant Daniel (11th century), among other buildings.

There are also examples of civilian architecture from other periods, such as the Turkish baths (12th-13th centuries), the Agullana house (14th-17th centuries), the old palace of Caramany (16th-18th centuries) or the Modernista Teixidor house (1918).

But Girona's attractiveness is not only limited to history or architecture. The Devesa Park is one of the most pleasant green urban spaces in Catalonia. The city's many museums complete a very comprehensive cultural offering.

Roman aqueduct of Les Ferreres or Pont del Diable (Devil's Bridge). (© Lluís Carro)
Tarragona
Strolling through the most Roman of all Catalan cities, visitors might feel nostalgic for times when Tarraco was capital and home to half Hispania. But this sensation does not last long when you discover the rich medieval and modern heritage, the magnificent beaches and the wide range of recreational, cultural, festive and gastro activities in Tarragona city.

The main architectural attractions in the World Heritage Site city are Roman: the walls, the amphitheatre, the theatre, the hippodrome, the Pretorio tower, the pre-Christian necropolis and local and provincial forums, all in the historic town centre. What's more, on the outskirts, it is possible to see the Mèdol quarry, the aqueduct on the Devil's bridge and the Escipiones mausoleum.

On the other hand, don't miss the chance to visit the cathedral of Santa María and the Canals and Castellarnau houses.

The municipality's nineteen kilometres of coastline boast fabulous beaches such as la Llarga, la Rabassada or la Fonda, as well as natural spaces such as the mouth of the Gaià and Tamarit-Punta de la Mora, location of Tamarit castle and the Mora tower.

"Castell"; torre humana de los castellers de Vilafranca.  (© Ajuntament de Vilafranca del Penedès High Fidelity Collective)
Vilafranca del Penedès
Known as the Wine Capital, and home to Catalonia's finest human towers, or castells, Vilafranca makes no attempt to hide its deep relationship with wine making. Wineries and old presses form part of the urban landscape of this small regional capital, with its Catalan Art Nouveau façades and typical features of its mediaeval Old Town, which has remained a point of reference for neighbouring towns and regions. The local traditions and cuisine allow visitors to catch a glimpse of a way of seeing life that is intimately associated with the land.
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Night view of the Gaudí Center  (© Miguel Raurich)
Reus
The capital of Baix Camp can be considered a true sanctuary of Modernista architecture, both thanks to its emblematic buildings and to the personal touch left by masters such as Gaudí and Domènech i Muntaner.

A city decidedly focused on culture, Reus is also the city of birth of personalities from the world of letters, such as the poet Gabriel Ferrater or the theatre director Lluís Pasqual.

Whoever visits it cannot miss some of the most outstanding intitutions, such as the Bartrina and Fortuny theatres, nor forget the smell of gunpowder caused by the "tronada", the main event of the patron saint celebrations, which takes place in the beautiful Mercadal square.

Vista aérea desde el castillo de la Suda de la catedral de Santa María de Tortosa, un templo de estilo gótico edificado en 1347 y consagrado en 1441, desde donde se observa los alrededores del río Ebro, el casco antiguo y el resto del núcleo urbano al otro lado de la ciudad. (© Achim Meurer)
Tortosa
The capital of Baix Ebre preserves significant examples of Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque and Modernista architecture. Thus, the old quarter has been declared an Historic-Artistic Ensemble thanks to the mark left by several cultures, which has made it possible for Tortosa to still preserve today its high architectural value.

Its location close to the mouth of the river Ebro probably helped bring about all this splendour. Now the city opens up to the Delta and to the surrounding natural landscape, with three protected areas: the islands of the Ebro (Audí, Vinallop and Xiquina), the Ports and the mountain ranges of Cardó and el Boix.

The municipality includes the villages of Bítem, Campredó, Jesús, los Reguers and Vinallop.

Plaça Major and Town Hall  (© Servicios Editoriales Georama)
Vic
One cannot talk of Vic without referring to its markets: the Saturday market, the Market of the Senses, the Mediaeval Market Vic has made its shopping options its greatest calling card, complemented by a rich range of culinary offerings, and has become a point of reference far beyond its immediate area of influence. Here, visitors will find a welcoming, lively city, one of services and contrasts, where modernity and the latest trends coexist in harmony with great archives and historical buildings and places such as the Episcopal Museum of Vic, which displays a superb collection of mediaeval art, including masterpieces of painting and sculpture from the Romanesque and Catalan Gothic periods, along with gold and silverware collections and liturgical art.
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GironaGirona
Girona
Girona /
   
Girona has the charm and magic of a large city, but also the friendly atmosphere of a small town. It has a wide range of tourist, cultural and historic attractions, and a rich social life, with events and popular festivals of great interest.

The city still preserves an old Medieval district that extends up to the impressive cathedral, through the dark, narrow streets of the Old quarter, while more modern and organised part is at the other side of the river. Above the bank of the river Onyar is Girona's most famous image, formed by the pleasant colourful houses.

The Gothic cathedral of Santa Maria (11th-13th centuries) is Girona's most relevant architectural feature, though it is by no means the only one. There are many other examples of religious architecture, such as the monastery of Sant Pere de Galligants (13th century), the convents of Sant Domènec (13th century) and Sant Josep (16th-17th centuries) or the churches of Sant Feliu (12th-16th centuries), Sant Nicolau (12th century) or Sant Daniel (11th century), among other buildings.

There are also examples of civilian architecture from other periods, such as the Turkish baths (12th-13th centuries), the Agullana house (14th-17th centuries), the old palace of Caramany (16th-18th centuries) or the Modernista Teixidor house (1918).

But Girona's attractiveness is not only limited to history or architecture. The Devesa Park is one of the most pleasant green urban spaces in Catalonia. The city's many museums complete a very comprehensive cultural offering.

LleidaLleida
Lleida
Lleida / Terres de Lleida
   
Lleida has seen significant development in recent years. It is a modern and lively city in terms of business, culture and heritage. In addition, it is well communicated and located in a singular setting, surrounded by large extensions of fruit trees and with the river Segre running through it.

As corresponds to a city with deep historic roots, Lleida has many interesting buildings. The Hill of la Seu Vella (13th century) or the remains of the old Muslim Suda, offer the best views of the city.

In the old quarter do not miss the palace of la Paería, the Seu Nova or the old hospital of Santa María, in addition to the extensive variety of museums, starting with the Diocesan and Regional Lleida Museum, the Jaume Morera Art Museum, the Water Museum and the La Panera Art Centre.

ManresaManresa
Manresa
Manresa /
   
Manresa's Gothic Basilica of Santa Maria, its mediaeval streets and the Catalan Art Nouveau mansions that visitors encounter along the way provide historical proof of the entrepreneurial spirit boasted by this city since its very beginnings. The true beating heart of an active country, Manresa is not only a city with an attractive, modern image that it never betrays, but also one that does not renounce its roots, and which astonishes with an inspirational spirit that captivates the curious stare of those who have discovered a new treasure.
MontblancMontblanc
Montblanc
Montblanc / Costa Daurada
   
Montblanc is one of the references of the collective imagination and of the Medieval heritage of Catalonia. Much of the urban centre can be considered an authentic monument.

This ingrained past has crystallised in the popular Medieval Week, the origins of which lie in the legend of saint Jordi and the dragon, situated by the costumbrist Joan Amades in the capital of Conca de Barberà. Completing this extraordinary variety of heritage are its archaeological sites, from palaeolithic cave paintings to remains of Iberian settlements.

ReusReus
Reus
Reus /
   
The capital of Baix Camp can be considered a true sanctuary of Modernista architecture, both thanks to its emblematic buildings and to the personal touch left by masters such as Gaudí and Domènech i Muntaner.

A city decidedly focused on culture, Reus is also the city of birth of personalities from the world of letters, such as the poet Gabriel Ferrater or the theatre director Lluís Pasqual.

Whoever visits it cannot miss some of the most outstanding intitutions, such as the Bartrina and Fortuny theatres, nor forget the smell of gunpowder caused by the "tronada", the main event of the patron saint celebrations, which takes place in the beautiful Mercadal square.

SolsonaSolsona
Solsona
Solsona / Pyrenees
   

An important commercial centre, Solsona has a rich architectural and artistic heritage, in addition to the tranquillity and balanced pace of a small but dynamic city. The capital of Solsonès has, in addition, an unbeatable calendar of festivals and cultural events, as it is the city with the most giants and bestiary figures in Catalonia.

The old quarter, with its narrow streets and squares, is the main location of interest of the municipality. Worth mentioning is the cathedral of Santa Maria, the region’s most relevant architectural reference.

Its inhabitants are called «mata-rucs» (donkey-killers) as, according to legend, they brought a donkey up to the bell tower so it would eat the weeds that grew among the stones.

TarragonaTarragona
Tarragona
Tarragona / Costa Daurada
   
Strolling through the most Roman of all Catalan cities, visitors might feel nostalgic for times when Tarraco was capital and home to half Hispania. But this sensation does not last long when you discover the rich medieval and modern heritage, the magnificent beaches and the wide range of recreational, cultural, festive and gastro activities in Tarragona city.

The main architectural attractions in the World Heritage Site city are Roman: the walls, the amphitheatre, the theatre, the hippodrome, the Pretorio tower, the pre-Christian necropolis and local and provincial forums, all in the historic town centre. What's more, on the outskirts, it is possible to see the Mèdol quarry, the aqueduct on the Devil's bridge and the Escipiones mausoleum.

On the other hand, don't miss the chance to visit the cathedral of Santa María and the Canals and Castellarnau houses.

The municipality's nineteen kilometres of coastline boast fabulous beaches such as la Llarga, la Rabassada or la Fonda, as well as natural spaces such as the mouth of the Gaià and Tamarit-Punta de la Mora, location of Tamarit castle and the Mora tower.

TerrassaTerrassa
Terrassa
Terrassa / Costa Barcelona
   
The city of Terrassa, joint capital of El Vallès Occidental with Sabadell, welcomes visitors with open arms. A rich cultural and artistic heritage adds to the attraction of this modern city ready to welcome you with all its facilities. The offerings range from its prehistoric and mediaeval legacy to the mark left by the Catalan Art Nouveau on its industrial architecture, the jazz festival and the dance, music and theatre season to exhibitions of castellers (human towers) and sports tourism. A commercial and services hub, Terrassa opens its doors to you.
TortosaTortosa
Tortosa
Tortosa /
   
The capital of Baix Ebre preserves significant examples of Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque and Modernista architecture. Thus, the old quarter has been declared an Historic-Artistic Ensemble thanks to the mark left by several cultures, which has made it possible for Tortosa to still preserve today its high architectural value.

Its location close to the mouth of the river Ebro probably helped bring about all this splendour. Now the city opens up to the Delta and to the surrounding natural landscape, with three protected areas: the islands of the Ebro (Audí, Vinallop and Xiquina), the Ports and the mountain ranges of Cardó and el Boix.

The municipality includes the villages of Bítem, Campredó, Jesús, los Reguers and Vinallop.

VicVic
Vic
Vic /
   
One cannot talk of Vic without referring to its markets: the Saturday market, the Market of the Senses, the Mediaeval Market Vic has made its shopping options its greatest calling card, complemented by a rich range of culinary offerings, and has become a point of reference far beyond its immediate area of influence. Here, visitors will find a welcoming, lively city, one of services and contrasts, where modernity and the latest trends coexist in harmony with great archives and historical buildings and places such as the Episcopal Museum of Vic, which displays a superb collection of mediaeval art, including masterpieces of painting and sculpture from the Romanesque and Catalan Gothic periods, along with gold and silverware collections and liturgical art.
Vilafranca del PenedèsVilafranca del Penedès
Vilafranca del Penedès
Vilafranca del Penedès / Paisatges Barcelona
   
Known as the Wine Capital, and home to Catalonia's finest human towers, or castells, Vilafranca makes no attempt to hide its deep relationship with wine making. Wineries and old presses form part of the urban landscape of this small regional capital, with its Catalan Art Nouveau façades and typical features of its mediaeval Old Town, which has remained a point of reference for neighbouring towns and regions. The local traditions and cuisine allow visitors to catch a glimpse of a way of seeing life that is intimately associated with the land.