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Sant Feliu de Guixols

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Sant Feliu de Guixols

Sant Feliu de Guíxols
Municipality

Coat of arms
Sant Feliu de Guíxols
Sant Feliu de Guíxols
Location in Catalonia

Coordinates: 41°47′N 3°02′E / 41.783°N 3.033°E / 41.783; 3.033Coordinates: 41°47′N 3°02′E / 41.783°N 3.033°E / 41.783; 3.033

Country  Spain
Community  Catalonia
Province Girona
Comarca Baix Empordà
Government
 • Mayor Pere Albó Marles (PCS)
Area
 • Total 15.62 km2 (6.03 sq mi)
Elevation 4 m (13 ft)
Population (2012)
 • Total 21.961
 • Density 1.4/km2 (3.6/sq mi)
Demonym guixolenc, guixolense, feliuense,"ganxó"
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)

Sant Feliu de Guíxols (Catalan pronunciation: [ˈsam fəˈɫiw ðə ˈɣiʃuɫs]) is a municipality in the comarca of the Baix Empordà in Catalonia, Spain. It is situated on the Costa Brava and is an important port and tourist centre. The district abuts to the north, the upmarket s'Agaró resort built round the Sant Pol Beach. In addition to tourism and the port the cork industry is a traditionally local industry. The town contains a large monastery which now houses the town museum and is a protected historico-artistic monument. The C-253 road runs north along the coast to Platja d'Aro and Palamós, while the C-65 road runs inland from the town. The GI-682 provides a dramatic cliff top drive to Tossa de Mar to the south.

Geography and climate

Located on the Mediterranean, Sant Feliu de Guíxols has idylic weather almost all year long. The coastline of Sant Feliu de Guíxols spreads over ten kilometes (6.2 miles). It also includes many little bays with coves surrounded by pines with rocky or fine sand beaches. The beaches are cleaned daily and a modern water treatment system prevents wastewater from entering the sea. The town is engulfed by small mountains, with forests of pine, oak, and cork trees.

Etymology

The name Sant Feliu goes back to the martyred saint, Feliu, who came from Africa. Guíxols is a word derived from the former word Iecsalis, of a document the 10th century that mentions to the monastery and that seems to mean "Rope-maker"

History

The Foundation of the Monastery On the basis of available records, the foundation of the Benedictine monastery can be traced back to the first half of the 10th century. The bay of Guixols was chosen due to its good natural harbour and the proximity to the coast of the nearby range of hills, which would make it easier to flee and would give a certain degree of protection in cases of attack from the sea. The decision was no doubt also influenced by the martyrdom of Saint Felix of Africa and the opportunity to take advantage of existing buildings dating from the Roman period.

Monastery and Stronghold The monastery's role was to control the agricultural exploitation and production of the surrounding region, and also to provied protection to its inhabitants in return. It was thus a fortified coastal monastery exercising its feudal dominion over the territory. At its foundation, the monastery was dedicated to Saint Felix and the name of Sant Feliu (in its Catalan form) was thereafter for ever associated with that of Guíxols, thus giving the present-day name of the town (used from the 10th century onwards).


The Original Nucleus of the Town A township started to grow up on the basis of the various activities surrounding the monastery. The settlement grew, and soon dwellings started to spring up on the other side of the watercourse, which would become the nucleus of the medieval town, centered on the market.

Monuments


  • Sant Feliu de Guíxols Monastery, built by the Benedictine order and first referenced around the year 961. Since then it has been remodeled several times. The building now houses a history museum. The monastery includes the Porta Ferrada, the symbol of the town and the towers of the Corn and Fum. It is an excellent example of the town's medieval architecture.
  • Plaça del Mercat. The market place serves as the heart of public and economic life in the town. A fruit and vegetable market takes place every morning on the “Plaça”. On Sundays, the weekly market takes place along the Passeig and on the Plaça, a popular meeting place for residents.
  • Passeig dels Guíxols. The boulevard of Sant Feliu de Guíxols is unique, and is a wide sandy walkway lined with trees; ideal for a relaxing stroll.
  • Passeig del Mar. Opened in 1833, the seafront promenade was built the medieval town and the sea. Little by little, the humble homes of fishermen from the medieval era were replaced by stately homes. Today, the area's architecture is mostly modern; because of real estate, many of the mansions are gone and condominiums have replaced them. Nonetheless, it makes for a lovely walk along the town's beach.
  • Casino la Constància, constructed in 1888 by the architect General Guitart. It is also known as casino dels nois.
  • Pedralta, the largest rocking stone in Europe.
  • Old railway station, designed by architects Rafael Coderch and Gabriel March and built between 1889 and 1892, which served the line from Sant Feliu de Guíxols to Girona. It was used until 1969, and now serves as a public school. It is seen as a reminder of the town's progressive era.
  • Historic residences. From the mid- to late-19th century, Catalonia began to prosper economically and developed a bourgeoisie class. Sant Feliu de Guíxols has many examples of the elegant, bourgeoisie homes of this time period. Some examples are the casa Gaziel (1880), the casa Pecher (1894), the casa Maynegre (1898), the casa Girbau (1910), the casa Maruny (1909), the casa Ribot (1904), the casa de la Campana (1911), and the casa Patxot (1917-
  • The town hall, somewhat Gothic in style, yet simple, was originally built in 1547. It has survived battles and real estate. However, today it has a tower added on from 1847.
  • Hermitage of Sant Elm. This small hermitage was founded originally in 1203. The original chapel was built in 1452, and dedicated to Saint Elm; however, it was destroyed by the French in 1696. It was rebuilt in 1723, only to be damaged in 1943, during the Spanish Civil War; the present chapel was restored in 1993. It sits peacefully on a cliff above the sea.

. el corsari, a bar built in a cave

Events

Sant Feliu de Guíxols is located in an area known for its parties, festivals and especially its carnivals. It has one of the best carnivals in the Costa Brava, as do the towns Platja d'Aro and Palamós.

The Porta Ferrada International Festival, instituted in 1958, is celebrated in the town's monastery, and has become internationally popular with time. It involves theatre, music, and dance, and is usually celebrated in the summer.

The Festa Major is a traditional, Catalan festival, celebrated on August 1. It is dedicated to the town's patron saint, St. Feliu.

Gallery

Twin cities

Sant Feliu de Guíxols is twinned with:

References

External links

  • Official website

Template:Baix Emporda

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