Historical heritage: the record of the past
In addition to seeing beautiful examples of Catalan modernism in the course of your walk around Reus, you’ll marvel at some interesting testimonies to the city’s history, both in the peaceful pedestrian areas and the bustling streets surrounding them.
The Sant Pere Priory church, dating from the 16th century, is the most notable building of the Reus of old. This church is Gothic in style and is dedicated to Sant Pere, patron saint of the city. The architect Antoni Gaudí was baptised here, and the heart of the painter Marià Fortuny is kept here. Its emblematic bell tower, 60 metres in height, is one of the city’s most well known symbols.
You’ll also enjoy exploring the streets around the church, such as the Plaça de les Peixateries Velles (The Old Fishmongers’ Square) and the Plaça del Castell (Castle Square), among many other noteworthy places. And to get a taste of the city’s atmosphere, don’t forget to take a stroll around Plaça del Mercadal (the Market Square), where you’ll find several buildings of interest such as the Town Hall, the Casa Navàs and the Gaudí Centre. This square, where the market was held in the past, is today a lively meeting place for citizens and visitors.
Very near the Plaça del Mercadal, in the thick of the shopping district, you’ll find the Plaça de Prim. The equestrian statue of the Reus-born politician and military officer Joan Prim is in the very middle of this square, which is still the centre of Reus life. During the Catalan modernist period the city’s premier hotels and cafés were located right here, and today the Fortuny Theatre (1882) can be found here, which together with the Bartrina Theatre (1918), are two of Catalonia’s most important stages.
Other interesting examples of the city’s past are the Palau Bofarull (Bofarull Palace) (1770), a noble building which is today the seat of the Provincial Council’s Music School and Conservatory, the Centre de Lectura (1859), and the Santuari de Misericòrdia.