Just forty-five minutes northwest of Barcelona by car, the city of Terrassa is waiting to be explored. With a rich history, impressive architecture, and several sights to see, this municipality of Barcelona is well worth a day trip outside the Catalan capital. If you’re looking for a nearby city to visit during your time in Barcelona, Terrassa might be the perfect place to consider.
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The city of Terrassa
Terrassa is home to more than 216,000 inhabitants and has a history going all the way back to Roman Empire. Once the Roman city of Egara, most of the oldest historic buildings that exist in Terrassa today date back to Medieval times. During the industrial revolution in the 19th century, Terrassa, like many other Catalan cities, played an important role in the textile industry. In fact, the city was a major leader in both Catalonia and Spain in the industrial revolution. Also like many other Catalan cities at the time, the modernist movement in architecture was huge in Terrassa, and many impressive modernist buildings can be seen in the city today.
With several sights worth seeing, one of the highlights of any trip to Terrassa is the Masía Freixa building (pictured right). This unique architectural gem, designed by architect Lluís Muncunill i Parellada, was constructed in 1896. Originally a textile factory, it was later converted into the private home of industrialist Jose Freixa. Today, it’s open to the public and you can reserve your visit ahead of time online here.
A Modernist Fair is also held in Terrassa during the second weekend in May each year, a very important event for Catalonia’s architecture-lovers who get together to enjoy several exhibitions and activities related to modernist architecture.
Besides seeing the impressive architecture, the city of Terrassa offers a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy. Nature lovers can go climbing, cycling, hiking, or caving in the nearby Natural Park of Sant Llorenç del Munt. History lovers can visit the Castell Cartoixa de Vallparadís, a castle dating back to the 12th century that’s home to a museum today. Those who want to get a taste of Terrassa’s unique culture can visit during one of the city’s special events such as the Festa Major, Modernist Fair, or Jazz Festival.
After a long day of sightseeing, you’ll probably want to try the best of what Terrassa’s gastronomic culture has to offer. In an effort to boost culinary tourism, the city marks traditional products with the “Terrassa Gastronomica” brand which indicates that a product has been grown or elaborated close to home using traditional methods. Typical products to try in the city include botifarra, cured cheese, olive oil, traditional bread from the region, wine, and vermouth.
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How to get there
To get to Terrassa from Barcelona by car, take the C-58 Barcelona-Terrassa motorway (toll-free) or the C-16 Barcelona-Sant Cugat-Terrassa motorway (with tolls). By train, take the FGC line S-1 or the RENFE commuter line R-4. The journey will take around 45 minutes by car and around 55 minutes by train.
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*Main photo by Soledad_Perez via Visualhunt