The town of Sitges is located 37 km to the south of Barcelona, and its beaches and streets retain the beauty that inspired a whole generation of catalan artists in the late 19th century. We recommend you visit the modernista-style mansions and museums, and soak up the atmosphere of its pavement cafés and leisure attractions.
The painter and writer Santiago Rusiñol, who fell in love with the light and the beaches, moved to Sitges in 1891. His house and studio, Cau Ferrat, which is now a museum, soon became a refuge for modernista and avant-garde artists from across Europe. Their festivals, exhibitions and performances transformed the small farming and fishing village into a bohemian tourist destination.
From the beaches, the imposing church of San Bartolomé and Santa Tecla with its bell tower, which have been captured on canvas so many times, stand out against the skyline. The original church was built in the 17th century but was rebuilt at a later date. It was declared a Monument of Historic and Artistic interest in 1962. As you walk through the steep narrow streets in the colina de Baluard, in the well-known "racó de la calma" (peaceful corner), you'll be able to visit the museu Cau Ferrat (with paintings by Rusiñol, Casas, Nonell, Picasso and two works by el Greco); the Palau Maricel (an early-20th century building); and the museu Maricel (a former hospital built on the cliff tops which now houses an extensive collection of medieval art). The spirit of the pioneering artists still pervades the celebratory and tolerant character of the townspeople. Sitges plays host to two outstanding festivals: Carnival and the International Film Festival of Catalonia. Just a short distance away from Barcelona, Sitges is a place where you'll feel inspired.
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