“The name Costa Brava – “wild coast” – was created in 1908 by the writer Ferrán Agullo,
when he admired the cliffy rocks on the coast of Sant Feliu de Guíxols.”
A Southern atmosphere
This small city in the center of the Costa Brava is vibrant with a Southern atmosphere. Early in the morning, old fisher men have already gathered on the stone benches around the havens, telling stories that are commented by the cries of the gulls. A handful of travelers is taking a walk beneath the trees on the esplanade. The town is still in possession of a considerably large fishing armada. Fisheries, cork industry and tourism have brought wealth to this city. Said wealth can be traced back to 19th and 20th century, as proven by some spectacular buildings dating back to that time.
Catalan Art Nouveau
For example, there is the Casino dels Nois, a casino built by general Guitart in 1888. The casino is a beautiful bit of history and regarded as one of the most stunning buildings that have been built during the Catalan epoch of Art Nouveau. This is also true for Casa Patxot, a mansion built between 1917 and 1920. The market hall, placa del Mercat, was constructed in 1929.A market is held here every Sunday, beginning in the wee hour of the early mornings. It is a colourful event you do not want to miss!
Plaça del Monestir
Parts of the city also have a more medieval origin. In the Middle Ages, the place was known as Sant Feliu and the Old Town around today’s Placa del Monestir still is a silent witness of these old times now long gone by. Remainders of the city’s walls, such as the half-rounded Torre del Fum and the square base of the Torre del Corn, mark the spot. There are also Roman influences, such as the Porta Ferrada, which frames the annual international music festival. The “festival internacional de la Porta Ferrada” is taking place from July to August. With it’s first year having been 1962, it is known as Catalonia’s oldest music festival. Just outside of the city, along the street to Santa Christina de Aro, there is a rocking stone known as Pedralta. Measuring 6 metres in length, 4 metres in width and 3.5 metres in height and weighing a whopping 33 tons, this rocking stone, or logan, is the second biggest of these impressive formations found in Europe. The Costa Brava’s most beautiful scenic road connects Sant Felui de Guixols and Tossa de Mar. The view onto the sea is breathtaking and unique – the sea, the bizarre rocks, green pines and gnarled cork oaks. The winding road leads along the cliffs, dangerously close to the edge. Still, it is worth to stop at one of the view points (known as Miradores) and to realize how it happened that these 220km of coastline near the French border were aptly named Costa Brava (the wild coast) by Ferran Agulló in 1908.
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