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Top Sights Near Barcelona

Barcelona is not a town you want to leave, unless only for a day. From the capital of Catalonia you can make a number of one day trips for example to Costa Brava – a trendy beach resort close to the French border, or you can climb the Muntanya de Montserrat – a mountain with a 16th-century abbey housing a statue of La Maroneta – a dark-skinned Madonna from the 12th Century. In the neighbouring province of Tarragona, there are still some remains of Roman structures to be found, as well as a Medieval cathedral and a cloister. If you're looking for some entertainment, you can either go to the Salou amusement park, 100 kilometres away from Barcelona or to the town of Stiges, only 40 kilometres away and famous for its film festival and the carnival, not to mention its magnificent beaches.


Sitges
Address: Catalonia
Website: http://www.sitges.net/

Stiges is a fascinating city located in Catalonia, Spain, just 40 km south west of Barcelona. It is world-famous for its Film Festival and Carnival, as well as for its amazing nature and impressive architecture. Even if Stiges has been known for a long time, the real progress it had was in the end of the 20th Century as a dynamic cultural oasis, basing its economy on tourism and culture. The town is very popular with its plethora of holidays and festivals. The city celebrates continuously throughout the months of February and March, according to the liturgical calendar- Carnestoltes, or Carnival. The festivities begin on Dijous Gras, or Fatty Thursday, with the King Carnestoltes’ spectacular arrival. From the moment this character appears until the burial of the sardine – late afternoon on Ash Wednesday. Stiges still keeps the spirit of the Middle Age in its impressive architectural and cultural heritage. Some of the best artists in Spain have created its surroundings, such as: Santiago Rusiñol, Ramon Casas, Miquel Utrillo or Charles Deering. It became an important centre for disseminating Modernism and the "Americanos", which, after returning with their "fortune" from their American adventure, commissioned large mansions from Modernist and Noucentista (post Art Nouveau) architects. Some of the attractions of the town are, Cau Ferrat Museum, the house-cum-studio of the artist and writer Santiago Rusiñol, one of the leading figures of Catalan Modernisme. Another landmark is the The Museu Romàntic "Can Llopis". It is a wonderful 19th Century house, which is a great example of the lifestyle of the Catalan householders who were at their peak during the years of Romanticism. It was built at the end of the 18th Century in a Neo-Classical style with sober, elegant lines and very little decoration. It reflects what is typical in the Mediterranean tradition: the house has a central patio with a staircase leading to the main living quarters. In the Old Town, worth seeing are the church Cau Ferrat and also Palau Maricel, which houses the municipal art collection. Visitors of Stiges should try some of the typical dishes and drinks such as: xato and malvasia. Stiges has 17 outstanding beaches promising an unforgettable time for tourists. Stiges is an excellent destination for a day trip outside Barcelona.
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Tarragona
Address: Catalonia

Tarragona is a beautiful province situated in Catalonia, Spain, not far from Barcelona. It is bordered by the provinces of Teruel, Lleida, Castello, Zaragoza, Barcelona and the Mediterranean Sea. Some of the most impressive towns located in the province are Constanti, Reus, Falset, El Vendrell, Tortosa, Amposta. Here, in Tarragona one can still see Roman remains, including a Forum, a circus and a theatre, and archaeological finds housed in the museum. Breathtaking are the Roman Catholic cathedrals. Tarragona has also a Medieval cathedral and cloister. Just a few miles south of Tarragosa the Universal Studio Port Aventura theme park, with Costa Caribe Water Park can be found.
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Terrassa
Address: Catalonia

Terrasa is one of the largest cities in the region of Catalonia, Spain, by population. The town is situated at Catalan Prelitoral depression (Depressió Prelitoral), to the feet of the Prelitoral mountain range (Natural reserve of Sant Llorenç del Munt), just 20 km away from Barcelona. According to some historic evidence, the area has been inhabited since prehistory and it is one of the oldest prehistoric sites in Europe. The origin of Terrassa comes from the old Roman miscibility of Egara, founded during the ruling of the emperor Vespasian in 69-79 BC. In the 8th Century the region was conquered by the Muslims. At this place there is today the monumental ensemble of the Visigothic-Romanesque churches of Sant Pere de Terrassa. In the 19th Century, Terrassa had an important role in the development of the industrial revolution with a special devotion to wool fabrics. Part of the architecture reminds one of this period, for example several buildings are in the style Art Nouveau like Masia Freixa (1907), the vapor Aymerich Amat i Jover (1907), the current Museum of the Science and the Technique of Catalonia, the Principal theatre (1920), the Town hall (1902), the Gran Casino (1920). The city is actually included in the European network of Art Nouveau cities. Very impressive are also the Romanesque churches.
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Vic
Address: Osona

Vic is the capital of Osona, in the province of Barcelona, Spain. It lies just 69 km away of Barcelona and is a wonderful destination for a day trip out of the busy city. Vic enjoys an ancient origin and it was known in the past by the name Ausa. In the 8th Century it was destroyed by the Muslim conquers. Afterwards only one quarter was rebuilt, which was called Vicus Ausonensis (vicus is Latin for city borough), from which the name Vic was derived. During the 18th Century, the city people rebelled against the Spanish king Philip V. The conflict escalated and soon was followed by the War of the Spanish Succession. As a result, Catalonia lost its independence. In the past, the main industry of Vic was textiles, but today it has almost disappeared. Most important now are agriculture and other alimentary industries, and construction. The city is popularly known by a special kind of sausage produced there, called fuet. The making of cured sausages and cold meats stems from the Vic plain's long tradition of pig farming. Some of the most impressive landmarks in Vic are the Church of Sant Pere Apòstol and Sta. Maria la Rodona. The very ancient Church of S. Maria was rebuilt from the foundations by Canon Guillem Bonfil in 1140, and consecrated 40 years later by the Bishop Pere Retorta. In 1787 it was demolished to make room for the new Cathedral. There is a modern seminary, placed in the former Jesuit College.
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Vilanova I la Geltru
Address: Catalonia
Website: www.vilanova.cat

Vilanova i la Geltrú is a lovely town, near Stiges, located in Catalonia, Spain. It is a working port, but also has a wonderful beach and tourist facilities. The town has well developed fishing, and provides several excellent fish restaurants near the port. One of the attractions of Vilanova i la Geltrú is the Biblioteca-Museu Victor Balaguer and a railway museum, called Museu del Ferrocarril. It is a branch of the national railway museum in Madrid and is in the old shunting yard next to the station. Vilanova is known for its carnival, which people celebrate in the traditional manner.
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