In Terrassa, 28 Km west of Barcelona, modernista architects created factories and public buildings, as well as luxurious houses. The town has transformed its industrial past into museums and tourist trails. Sant Llorenç del Munt Natural Park is located just 5 Km from the town centre.
Parts of medieval Terrassa can still be seen in the tower from the walled city, the Torre del Palau, the monumental ensemble of the three churches of Sant Pere (9th-12th centuries) and the Castle and Charterhouse of Vallparadís (rebuilt in 1947 and home of the Town's Museum). Terrassa was a farming and wool-producing town until the time of the industrial revolution in the early 19th century. During the 150 years that followed, the textile industry became the economic engine of the new town. Artisans' workshops were transformed into steam-powered factories which dotted the landscape with chimneys belching out smoke. Twenty-five of them have been preserved as a symbol of the industrial past: the 63-metre-tall Bòbila Almirall is the chimney with the highest spiral staircase in Europe. Terrassa valued the modernista style and industrial, municipal and family dwellings were built: the catalan museum of science and technology, the Museu Nacional de la Ciència y de la Tècnica de Catalunya, is housed in a spectacular factory dating from 1907; the food market, the Mercat de la independència, built in 1908; the Masia Freixa, which was originally designed as a thread factory, from 1910, and the Casa Alegre de Sagrera, from 1911.
The town has hosted the Terrassa Jazz Festival for over 30 years, which is the most prestigious in Catalonia.
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