Surrender to your intellectual curiosities and visit the historical sites in Barcelona and Sitges when you visit. Yes, there is an abundance of bars, restaurants and beaches to keep you busy but don’t forget that Barcelona and Sitges are full of culture.
Historical Sites in Sitges, Barcelona
Casa Bacardi Sitges
Let us start off with one that will appeal to your love of history and alcohol. Located in Sitges, the birth town of founder Don Facundo Bacardí Massó, is Casa Barcardi. Learn the history of this great family, a history that goes back many generations. They offer tours, mixology lessons, functions and of course, most importantly, rum tasting!
Museums In Sitges
The Cau Ferrat Museum, founded in 1893 by the artist Santiago Rusiñol (1861-1931) as a home and workshop, became a public museum in 1933. This historical museum in Sitges houses iron, ceramic and glass creations. The artwork of many famous artists such as Casas, Picasso and many others, for your viewing pleasure.
Museu de Maricel displays a beautiful, chronological history of art experience, from the tenth century to the early twentieth century. It houses collection of Dr. Jesús Pérez Rosales and the Collection of Sitges. It has a deep link with Sitges and its artists.
Museu Romantic, a beautiful, neoclassic design, was the home of the Llopis family. It was gifted to the Catalonian government by Manuel Llopis de Casades. Take a walk through history and experience the romantic era of Catalonia.
Art Galleries in Sitges
Sitges is and always has been a Bohemian town, which is full of art galleries, workshops and shops selling and displaying art. Many of the art galleries are amazing historical sites in themselves such as the Palau Maricel which begun as the workshop of Santiago Rusiñol in the late nineteenth century. Sitges is inundated with galleries, so much so that I will not list them here. If you don’t have a particular gallery in mind, try our
Art and Culture Walking tour. You can find it here
Walking the historical sites around Sitges
Go cheap and cheerful and take a historical walk around the town. No time or seasonal restrictions, and you can stop where you like and for however long you like.
The Old Quarter starts at the town hall dating to 1887-1889, the site of the Medieval Castle. Keep your eyes peeled for the historic sites, buildings and gardens. You can walk around the old quarter without guidance and discover the history for yourself. Another option is to use a map or check out this detailed description of the walk from Visit Sitges.
Sant Bartomeu i Santa Tecla
This is the Parish Church of Sitges, built in the 17th century with many successive alterations. Sitting on a hill which overlooks the beach, this Baroque building has an asymmetrical silhouette. This is probably the most well-known image associated with Sitges.
Hospital de Sant Joan de Sitges
In Poble Sec, a Sitges neighbourhood, lies The Sant Joan Hospital which dates back to 1324. Bernat de Fonollar, feudal lord of Sitges, founded this hospital. The building that stands here today was designed by Josep Font i Gumà and opened in 1912. It is regarded as one of the most important examples of Modernist architecture of the town. There is also a chapel which possesses a seventeenth century altarpiece.
Historic Sites in Barcelona
Barcelona must be one of the most famous cities in the world. While I do recommend that you visit as many of the well-known historic places as you can, I want to offer up some hidden gems that are definitely worth a visit.
Forbidden Walking Tour
The first one I want to talk about here is The Forbidden Walking tour that I recently discovered. If you are looking for stories of Barcelona´s dark side, then look no further. On this two hour tour you will hear about terrifying torture, saucy scandal and monstrous murder. You will learn about the child-snatching vampire, the biggest brothel in Europe, the murder of schoolboys and the erotic shows still held today.
Parque del Laberinto de Horta
Located in the North part of the city, this cool historic gem is worth a visit. The Labyrinth is in a beautiful park, where you can discover the statues, gardens, ponds, historic building, and of course, the maze! The park dates back to 1802. It was commissioned by Marquis Joan D’Antoni Desvalls Ardena and the work was executed by Italian architect, Domenico Bagutti. If you have seen the film, Perfume, you may recognise the labyrinth from one of the scenes. (If you haven’t seen Perfume, you should!)
Refugio antiaéreo 307, Air-raid shelter
This is one of 1300 shelters built in the Spanish Civil war to protect civilians from the relentless bombing. You can visit the 400 metres of tunnel and see what the living conditions were like. There are various rooms such as toilets, a sick bay and a drinking fountain.
Casa de les Punxes
An art nouveau building designed by the modernist architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch. You will also discover the Legend of Sant Jordi if you take a tour. The best part of this historic attraction is the ´secret´rooftop terrace. You can enjoy a beverage while delighting in the beautiful Barcelona views.
Arús Public Library
The Biblioteca masónica Arús, was founded in 1895 by Rossend Arús. Its motto is, ´_the more illustrated the people are, the further they get from absolutism_.´ It houses 80.000 volumes about the history of the masonic secret society. Not one to miss if you are a bookworm.
Museum of Carrozas Fúnebres
If you are planning a visit to Montjuic Cemetery, why not stop off at the weirdly cool Hearse museum. This museum is devoted to the funerary customs of Barcelona. You will feast your eyes on the different hearses used in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Barcelona Gothic Quarter
Barcelona´s Barrio Gotico lies at the heart of the old city. If you are a history junky and the rest of your party would rather discover the cuisine and local bars, then this is the perfect area for you to spend your time. This part of Barcelona is brimming with historical sites, architecture and history, which you can truly feel as you wander around the cobbled arteries of the old city.
Visit the Catedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulàlia, home of the crypt of Saint Eulalia, who is said to have been tortured and killed for her faith. Underneath the heart of the city you can see the Roman ruins discovered in the 1930’s. Musea d’História de la Ciutat is situated just next to the _Plaça del Rei. This is a medieval courtyard was used by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella to celebrate the return of Christopher Columbus from the Americas in the 15th century.
As you can see, Barcelona and Sitges are saturated with history. If you look just beneath the obvious tourist attractions, you can find some truly magnificent cultural and historical gems. Enjoy!