In Torredembarra was born one of the Catalans who most succeeded ikn `doing the Americas´ in the 19th century. Joan Güell was the pioneer of the Catalonian industrialization and was one of the most famous and controversial `indianos´ in Catalonia. (Indiano is the name given to those who immigrated to America and returned wealthy.) He founded the Maquinista Terrestre y Marítima - the great Catalan company of the Industrial Revolution - and his heirs were the faithful patrons of Antoni Gaudí, the architect. Güell left his footprint on Cuba and throughout Catalonia. And in this TripIdea we want to invite you to follow the trail that he and the rest of indianos have left in this town of the Costa Daurada (Goledn Coast).
The third weekend of September, Torredembarra celebrates the Feria de los Indianos, in which the streets of the old town return to the era of the economic adventurers of the Americas. Habaneras, rum, salsa dancing, Caribbean dresses ... You will feel like javing landed in Cuba of the early 20th century without moving from the Costa Daurada. This is a good opportunity to enter the Tower of the Vila – the origin of the city - and discover its Indian reminiscences. When you get tired of spinning around, a good Cuban coffee will take you to the Caribbean coffee plantations. And do not forget to go fashionable by covering yourself with the classic Panama hat
THE ARCHITECTURAL HERITAGE OF THE ULTRAMAR ADVENTURERS
Many Catalan indianos returned to the metropolis after having made large fortunes away from home. The American way of life pushed them to build hre large mansions of colonial style, conserved like valuable patrimony of thw 19th and 20th centuries.
In Torredembarra, the Antoni Roig Patronage, built thanks to this great man at the end of the 19th century, is the maximum architectonic exponent of tihis time. This foundation was in charge of giving education to the children of the town and providing a fund for when the poorest maidens of the city married, a tradition that still today is conserved in a symbolic form.
The Former Charity Hospital promoted by the indiano Pere Badia to assist the sick of the city, is another stop included in the Route of the Indianos of Torredembarra- you have brochures with the tour in the tourist office. You will also pass by some tombs of illustrious indianos in the Municipal Cemetery, or Antoni Roig Street, with several indiano houses with pompous covers and well-kept gardens. What a life the Americans had!
CLIMBING AT CATALONIA´S HIGHEST LIGHTHOUSE
If you were a 21st century indiano returning from making the Americas, the first thing you would see arriving at the Port of Torredembarra is the imposing lighthouse that dominates the rocky point Punta Galera. We make the last stop of this TripIdea on the Costa Daurada (Golden Coast). This lighthouse is the last one to be built in Spain in the 20th century (it was inaugurated at 00:00 a.m. on January 1, 2000) and the one with the highest tower in Catalonia.
It rises 38 meters high (58 meters above sea level) and is the work of the renowned architect Josep Llinàs. Its powerful lantern has a light range of more than 29 miles. It has been recently opened to visitors. Visits must be arranged through the web or the Tourist Office of the city. Visits are organized every day from June, 19 to September,15 and from 20:00 in the afternoon, when the heat is more bearable.
Wear good shoes because you will be climbing 240 steps up to the lookout!
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