Many towns on the Coast of Barcelona were born in the middle of the Middle Ages. They were, on many occasions, extensions of inland villages, which initially were behind the sea. Malgrat de Mar, in its birth, was known as Vilanova de Palafolls, but today it has become a modern city, open to the sea and also open to recognize its history and the heritage it has received during all its years of existence.
The history and culture of Malgrat de Mar are known with their monuments and historical buildings that have been used for different uses over time. The heritage of Malgrat is accessible to everyone, it can be enjoyed with a walk also ideal for bicycles.
One of the oldest buildings in Malgrat, is the Torre del Castell (Castle Tower), a tower that is located within the Parc del Castell and is documented for the first time in 1382. It seems that it had to be part of a constructive set wider, but we have only bequeathed the tower, which would have had a defensive and military use at different times in history. The Torre del Castell is now the only Cultural Property of National Interest of Malgrat de Mar. If you want to visit, and not get too tired, (the Parc del Castell is on a hill) you can use an elevator enabled from the Malgrat center.
The Parroquial Church of San Nicolau is another pillar of the historic heritage of Malgrat. In in the center of town, the church has a legacy of more than 500 years, and a bell tower dating from the s. XVIII that has remained unfinished. The facade of neoclassical style has the image of Sant Nicolau de Bari to which the temple is dedicated.
After these two references of the heritage of Malgrat, we now find ourselves at an earlier time, in which architectural buildings with Modernist touches proliferated in Malgrat. Some of them were of private initiative, such as the Torre de Ca l’Arnau (Ca l’Arnau Tower) or the Torre de la Vídua de Can Sala, (Can Sala Widow’s Tower) both initiated at the beginning of the 20th century as a family home. The time and the progressive abandonment had debilitated the buildings, but its acquisition by the City council of Malgrat de Mar has made them renew and reform to recover much of the beauty they were born with. Nowadays, they depend on the municipal organizations and retain the charm of modernist architecture, with ornamental features such as plant motifs or the famous “trencadís”. To be able to see them live is to enjoy a shared Catalan heritage that had its main reference in the figure of Antoni Gaudí.
A Gaudí student’s colleague, started a project to order a chaotic and incipient Malgrat Daily Market. The architect, Camil Oliveras Gensana, was the one in charge of shaping the space that is still known today as Peixateries Velles, (Old fish shop) and for many years were sold fish and meat, and later also of pulses, until they were transferred to the current facilities of the Municipal Market.
You will still find more samples of modernist architecture in Malgrat de Mar, if you approach the building known as the Escoles Velles i Cases dels Mestres (Old Schools and the Houses of the Teachers), by the architect Juli M. Fossas Martínez. From this heritage, today also part of the municipal offices of Malgrat, we must highlight the decorative elements of ceramics and the precious graffiti on the facade that refer to the cardinal virtues. The building of the Malgrat de Mar Town Hall is also included in this modernist art, in a clear balance between the decorative uses of ceramic trencadís, and the most typical containment of the Catalan Noucentisme. It is worth visiting and enjoying the history and beauty it offers.
Finally, and within this vast and magnificent cultural heritage of Malgrat, we want the malgratenc visitor, to know the beautiful story that is hidden behind the building of the Antic Hospital i Capella (Old Hospital and Capella), a discreet and sober building, but with great historical charm. The 1441 Hug Descolomer envisioned in his will the creation of a hospital to house the poor. Later, the Josefinas sisters entered, leaving later the Therapeutic Community of Malgrat, present there since 1979. The Chapel, right next to the Hospital building, had offices and images of saints during the third Carlist war, since the church was occupied by liberal troops. Thus, this building, which is the patrimony of all the malgratencs, has always been devoted to others and to the refuge of those who have needed it.
Beautiful buildings, noble modernist architecture, beautiful stories… all this heritage is the one that has seen the population of Malgrat de Mar grow and embellish. Each of these buildings is a place that is worth knowing and visiting, and with a calm and plain walk you can enjoy it easily. Our history awaits you, accompany us to Malgrat de Mar and discover everything that is hidden behind our cultural heritage.