Figueres is a city of Catalonia, capital of the region of the Alt Emporda and head of the judicial district of Figueres. It is the main urban nucleus and the economic and commercial pole of the Empordà. Its main attractions are the landscape, culture and history. Located fifteen kilometers from the Mediterranean Sea, at the foot of the Pyrenees and surrounded by three natural parks. You will be surprised by the Dalí Theater-Museum, inside and out, as well as other museums such as the Joguet, Catalunya, the Empordà, the Electricity and the Tècnica de l’Empordà.
In addition to the largest fortress in Europe, the Castle of Sant Ferran. Discover the secrets of the surreal world of Salvador Dalí and the history of the city, Entering with guided tours of the Figueres de Dalí, Nadalí or the Civil War. You will experience the dynamism of the city with the Acoustic Music Festival or the Figueres Comic Festival, among others. And you will be fascinated by the gastronomic offer, a mixture of tradition and creativity, sea and mountain ingredients, and good wine, the DO. Empordà.
Figueras is located in the extreme northeast of Catalonia. It is the most important city near the border with France and it articulates an important communications hub that makes it a gateway and a mandatory stopping point for travelers and tourists entering and leaving Spain. It is located in the center of the Empordà plain, 39 meters above sea level, at the northeastern tip of Catalonia. At its feet runs the torrent of Galligans, which provides Manol with rainwater from the western comas. The Puig de les Basses with 136 meters as the highest point.
Its geographical and strategic position makes it an important communications center with great accessibility. The traveler can arrive directly by road, by conventional rail and high speed rail. Access by road is through the AP-7 motorway (exit number 4, Figueras Sur, if it is accessed from Barcelona, and exit number 3 if it is accessed from France), the N-II and the N-260 from of Portbou. As regards the railway, the station is located in the city center and all the trains on the Barcelona-Cerbère international line stop there.. Likewise, the new Figueras-Vilafant station is connected to Paris and intermediate French cities by two daily TGV trains, and to Madrid by AVE.
In front of the conventional train station is located the bus station, which is a stopping point for international lines as well as the departure and arrival point for buses on Catalan and regional lines.
The current name derives from Ficaris, from the Visigoth period. In 1267 King Jaime I of Aragon granted it charters and years later Hugo IV, count of Ampurias, set it on fire. In the 19th century, Figueras was the promoter of a renewed sardana by José Ventura. During the nineteenth century it acquired notoriety and strength, it was granted the title of city and it became a center of republican and federalist ideas.
During the Spanish Civil War Figueres was loyal to the government of the Second Republic. It was heavily bombarded by the coup army, especially at the end of the Catalonia campaign, when thousands of refugees crossed the city towards France to go into exile. Among these refugees was the government of the Republic itself, including Azaña or Negrín, the Catalan and Basque governments. It should be remembered that it was also the last place where the Republican Courts met.
In the 1950s the recovery of the city began to manifest itself, consolidating with the beginning of tourism and development in the 1960s.
Around 600 BC, there was a primitive Iberian settlement of the Indetes tribe on the hill of La Muntanyeta (where the Castle of Sant Ferran is currently located). At that time much of the Altemporda plain was flooded by wetlands and large expanses of reeds. The inhabitants of the region lived in the small hills or in the highest free areas of stagnant waters. From this period before the Roman presence we can highlight a ceramic find made at the end of the 19th century which is called the Aigüeta vessel (it corresponds to the 5th to C century and is in the Archaeological Museum of Barcelona).
The Romans (who landed in the Greek city of Empòrion in 218 BC) around 195-194 BC created a small town, in the lower part of the current municipality (area of Tapis Street and the ‘Aigüeta), which received the name of Joncària, since there were many rushes in that land. This small town was gaining importance, as it was one of the stops on the important Roman road, first of the so-called Via Domícia and then of the Via Augusta (remains of a Roman mansion have been found in the area of the Aigüeta). This stop on the Roman road was a day’s walk from the Pertús (XVI billion) and another day from Girona (XVIII billion). We would have a remnant of this Roman village of Joncària in a funerary stele that is in the Empordà Museum in Figueres. The Romans probably forced the Indices who had lived on the hill of Muntanyeta down in the flat area near the Roman road and its mansion and thus gradually created in the area, first, two villages (one Iberian and one Roman) and, later, a single settlement increasingly Romanized.
From the year 258, due to an administrative chaos within the territories of the Roman Empire, there was the invasion of the Germanic people of the Franks who destroyed and looted everything they found for 12 years; during this period the Germanic barbarians would have ended the small population of Joncària, leaving it reduced to a pilot of ruins and ashes (that would have given the name of Cendrassos to the rest of this one the Roman establishment). From this fact the name of Joncària disappears.
But, once the danger passed, the Spanish-Roman population rebuilt a population center in that area of the Via Augusta; thus the houses with walls and mud walls were remade, that surely favored that the town received the name of Tapioles. This town was located the cemetery in excavations in the late nineteenth, in the current district Cendrassos; where various types of tombs were located (some with marble sarcophagi, others with stone tombs, and the rest with tiles or simply earth). Roman coins were also found in this necropolis that were dated to the second half of the 4th century. The village of Tapioles survived (according to local historians) untilVisigoths in the 5th century, at least, or until the arrival of the Saracens, in the early eighth century.
The invasion and conquest of the Iberian Peninsula, which began in 711, reached the Alt Empordà around 712. Saracen troops would have arrived in these areas violently and this would have caused much of the population from the region he took refuge in the forests of Les Alberes and Les Salines (Pyrenees area of the Empordà) or fled to the neighboring lands of Roussillon. By 785 (which is the year in which Girona surrendered to Charlemagne) the whole of the Alt Empordà would already be free territory and would be free of Muslims.
In the year 802 we find for the first time in an inscription the name of “villa Ficerias” and in 962 the name of “Figariae” appears in another document. The majority opinion is in favor that the word of Latin origin “Ficarias” would have the translation of Figueres (therefore it indicates the name of the trees that produce the figs). In 1020 we find the parish church of Sant Pere de Figueres already documented(“Sancti Petri de Figarias”). Until the second half of the 13th century Figueres was a village of about 20 fires (between 80 and 100 inhabitants) that had grown around the parish church and was located on a small hill only 39 meters high (a the area of the current Church Square). Until 1111 this village belonged to the county of Besalú (it was one of the easternmost parts of this territory) and from that year it became, like the rest of the county, under the power of the count of Barcelona.
On June 21, 1267, King Jaume I the Conqueror made an important decision for Figueres: to turn it into a royal town and give it a town charter that provided a whole series of advantages and privileges to the villagers (of course suffer misuse, be freer than the locals and have a weekly market day and an 8-day annual fair). King James I wanted to turn this village, which was on the road from Girona to Perpignan and bordered the County of Empúries, the main base of royal power in the area and thus be able to stop the war and rebellious count of Empúriesand, also, any attempt at a French invasion of the Empordà.
The walls that enclosed the town drew a small rectangle formed by the current streets of Besalú, Pujada del Castell, Canigó and de la Jonquera; leaving much of the current Town Hall Square outside the city walls. This walled enclosure had an area of 15,000 m². From the old wall stands the Gorgot tower, now converted into the Galatea Tower of the Dalí Theater-Museum. In order to increase the small population of Figueres, the infant Pere (the future king Pere II the Great), on March 12, 1269, facilitated the creation of a Jewish quarter in the new royal town freeing for five years from the tribute to all Jews who were going to live in Figueres. The Jewish quarter existed for more than 200 years, was in the current Magre Street and had its own synagogue, butcher and bakeries.
Count Hugh V of Empúries tried to crush the new royal town and on October 16, 1274 he besieged Figueres which was weakly fortified and with few defenders; after three days of siege the count of Empúries and his host managed to enter the small town and looted all the houses, killed many of its inhabitants and took the gates of the walls to Castellón d ‘ Empúries (capital of his county) as a war trophy. But Infante Pere arrived in Figueres with 180 knights (and their respective vassals) and pursued the troops of Count Hugh V until a fierce battle took place in which Infante Pere defeated the rebellious count of Emporia. Then the heir of theCrown of Aragon returned to Figueres where he began the reconstruction of the destroyed houses and the damaged walls.
During the crusade against King Peter II the Great led by the French, 1285 Figueres was occupied for three months by the troops of King Philip III of France the Ardit. In 1361 King Pere III el Cerimoniósdecided to expand the walled enclosure, to the south and east, forming what is known as the old town. This enclosure, with an area of 50,000 m2, was delimited by the current streets of Pujada del Castell, Canigó, de la Muralla, Ample, Monturiol and La Rambla (which was a small valley where the Galligans stream ran).
The center of the town was in the current Town Hall Square where the two main arteries were cut at right angles: the royal road from Girona to Perpignan (current streets of Girona and La Jonquera) and the paths that led to Besalú (and the Garrotxa and Ripollès area) and to Vilabertran and Peralada (current streets of Besalú and Peralada). Despite the great plague epidemicwhich erupted in 1348 and significantly affected the town, Figueres throughout the fourteenth century increased its population to about 105 fires (almost 500 inhabitants) In 1313 the hospital for the sick was founded, beggars and the poor (the town’s first health facility) which was donated by the Figueres couple Bernat Jaume and his wife Garsendis (who vowed to work in the hospital until his death). This hospital changed location in 1616 when it moved from Carrer de la Jonquera (its original site) to the area outside the walls of the current Carrer Nou (later, after the Civil War, the hospital of Figueres moved to the northern part of the Parc Bosc (on the outskirts of the city).
Pere el Cerimoniós had a special interest in Figueres who lived for seasons in the town, especially after his marriage to Sibil•la de Fortià. King Peter, in addition to enlarging the fortified space of the town, had a larger Gothic church built on the site of the old Romanesque temple. King Pere el Cerimoniós (and later all the other monarchs) lived in a small palace, when he stayed in Figueres, known as Posada del Senyor Rei, which was in Carrer de Girona next to the wall and next to the portal of entrance (the coat of arms of the royal inn can still be seen on the façade of house number 16 on Carrer de Girona).
On September 28, 1419, King Alfonso IV the Magnanimous established the feast of the Holy Cross as the main festival and fair on May 3 (still today it is the main festival of Figueres and the main day of the city’s fairs).
The population of Figueres continued, for the most part, to be enclosed within its medieval walls, in the old town, until the beginning of the 18th century (although, very timidly, houses began to appear outside the walls in the four main entrances from the middle sixteenth century). The walled enclosure had four portals from which the main roads came out and also had 16 towers. Although from the end of the Catalan Civil War, in 1472, until the War of the Reapers, in 1640, the whole of the Empordà enjoyed a time without wars, the town of Figueres had a lot of activity as a center of concentration of troops to fight against the French who periodically attacked or invaded the territories of northern Catalonia. The beginning of the War of the Reapers, the separation of Catalonia from the monarchy and acceptance of King Louis XIII of France as a sovereign Count of Barcelona and the Catalans, led Figueres to become a place of arms where a permanent French garrison controlled the territory of Castilian offensives occupying the citadel of Roses.
In 1652 the Spanish army occupied the whole of the Empordà (except Roses which had fallen into French hands in 1645).) and ended the war between the Principality and King Philip IV of Castile. But this did not bring an end to the war with France; thus we have that the French, who dominated the Roussillon, periodically invaded the Empordà, and we have news of the occupation of Figueres in 1653 (terrible year because, moreover, the town suffered an epidemic of plague), 1654 and 1656. This war with France ends in 1659 with the Treaty of the Pyreneeswhich led to the amputation of the counties of Roussillon and half of Cerdanya in the Catalan territory and their incorporation into the kingdom of France. To finish resolving some controversial points of the treaty, as the French claimed that the border should start at Cap de Creus (so Llançà, La Selva de Mar, Cadaqués and the mountain of Sant Pere de Rodes became French territories), the so-called conferences of Figueres were held in the royal town in 1660.
On November 3, 1701, King Philip V of Spain married his first wife, Princess Maria Louise of Savoy, in the parish church of Sant Pere de Figueres. During the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1715) Figueres was occupied several times by both the troops of Archduke Charles and the troops of Philip of Anjou.
After the Treaty of the Pyrenees and the loss of northern Catalonia, the border with France was the Pyrenees and the first important town to enter Spain from the Pertús was the town of Figueres. The important fortress of Salses, which barred the passage of the French in Roussillon, was now part of the kingdom of France; and, in addition, the neighboring country had the castle of Bellaguarda that dominated the passage of the Pertús. King Ferdinand VI of Spain decided to build a large and powerful fortress in the Alt Empordà to intimidate and prevent any attempt at a French invasion. The town where this military infrastructure was to be built was Figueres and the place was the hill of La Muntanyeta (north of the town and about 140 meters above sea level).
The works of theCastell de Sant Ferran began on 13 December 1753 (with the laying of the first stone) and continued until 1766 (although the work was not completed and was worked on until 1790). The director of the project was the general of engineers Juan Martín Cermeño. The fortress was one of the largest in Europe and had the shape of an irregular pentagon with 6 bastions, 7 revellins, 3 tongs, 2 counterguards, a large moat that surrounded the entire fortification. The surface was 320,000 m² (32 hectares) and the outer perimeter was 3,120 meters. It had a capacity to comfortably accommodate 6,000 men and 500 horses. The initial budget for the work was 20 million rals, when the work was completed (in 1766) 30 million had already been spent and in 1790 the cost climbed to 40 million.
The population of Figueres grew significantly in the eighteenth century. In 1725 it reached 1,872 inhabitants and was the largest population in the region, as the second town was Castelló d’Empúries which had only 1,261 inhabitants. But the really important demographic jump (that turned Figueres into the unappealable capital of the region) was due to the construction of the Castle of Sant Ferran that brought to the town numerous families of engineers, stonemasons, bricklayers, workers, etc.; and once the work was finished, many stayed to live in Figueres. In 1785 the royal town had 5,398 inhabitants (this represents an increase of 288% compared to 1725).
It was in the eighteenth century when this rapidly growing population needed more living space and the town expanded beyond the walled enclosure and created the outer walls, especially in the south, in the ‘ on the other side of the river (currently covered by the Paseo de la Rambla); since by questions of defense of the castle the growth by the North zone was absolutely prohibited (a first zone existed, in a radius of 400 meters of the strength, where no building could be constructed and another second zone, in a radius from 400 to 770 meters from the castle, where only single-storey buildings could be erected).
The urban development of Figueres during the second half of the eighteenth century, throughout the nineteenth century and part of the century within a radius of 400 to 770 meters from the castle, where only single-storey buildings could be erected). The urban development of Figueres during the second half of the eighteenth century, throughout the nineteenth century and part of the century within a radius of 400 to 770 meters from the castle, where only single-storey buildings could be erected). The urban development of Figueres during the second half of the eighteenth century, throughout the nineteenth century and part of the century xx was marked by the instructions and decisions of the military engineers who sought, firstly, to protect the fortress and, secondly, to give a homogeneous and harmonious growth to the town.
When the French Revolution took place, a large number of absolutist French emigrants arrived in Figueres fleeing the new government (nobles, military and clergy). In July 1791 there were more than a thousand living in the village. At the outbreak of the Great War (1793-1795), Figueres became the turning point of the Spanish defense. Initially the campaign was favorable to Spain, but on November 20, 1794 the Hispanic troops are defeated at the Battle of the Oak.; this caused a massive exodus of the population of Figueres, and of the inhabitants of the Alt Empordà, who fled from the French, to the south of the river Fluvià, or to Girona or further south. On November 28, 1794, the castle of Sant Ferran surrendered to French troops without firing a single shot (inside the fortification were 10,000 soldiers, 171 cannons and enough water and food to withstand a siege). The castle of St. Ferdinand remained in French hands until July 22, 1795 when the Peace of Basel ended the war and France returned the conquered territories.
10 February of 1808 the French occupied the town of Figueres pacifically (since they were allies of Spain in their fight against the English and Portuguese). In early April, as the French forces stationed in the royal town were very numerous, their commanders asked permission from the Spanish military authorities at the castle of Sant Ferran to allow the accommodation, in the fortification, of 200 French soldiers.; the Spanish authorities agreed and the French, once inside the fortress, gained control. The French called the imposing military fortification of Figueres the “useless beauty”, because despite being so large and well done from a military point of view the two times they wanted to conquer it they succeeded without firing a single shot..
On June 3,Joachim Murathe became the regent of Spain, the people of Figueres revolted against the French, and he closed himself in the fortress; on June 13, in the face of the attempt by the people of Figueres to take the Castle of Sant Ferran at gunpoint, Napoleonic troops began bombing the town (it is estimated that 2,760 bombs fell). The popular siege continued until a French column of 2,000 soldiers with ammunition and groceries managed to break the popular blockade and reach the fortification. Then, once rebuilt, the besieged occupied Figueres but found it empty. Many young people from Figueres and the region joined the guerrilla parties to continue fighting against the invader. The rest of the people of Figueres were returning to the town when the danger of reprisals diminished.
The French authorities, in an attempt to gain the esteem of the people of Figueres, carried out the paving of the Town Hall Square (which was the first urban space that would no longer have land). On the night of January 21, 1810, the general died in the castle of Sant FerranMariano Álvarez de Castro who had been the head of the defenders of Girona. He was initially buried in the municipal cemetery. On the morning of April 10, 1811, about 1,000 Spanish soldiers commanded by Colonel Monsignor Francesc Rovira managed to sneak into the castle of Figueres (thanks to the fact that they had a key to an outer door) and occupied it. taking prisoners throughout the garrison. This heroic event is called “la Rovirada” or, also, “la Gloriosa Sorpresa del Castell”. On April 16, Napoleonic troops besieged the fortress.
Finally, on August 16, 1811, the defenders of the castle of Sant Ferran surrendered, as they had no ammunition or food. By a decree of Marshal Augerau(French governor general of Catalonia), in 1812, the town of Figueres was included in the department of the Ter (becoming a subprefecture) and, along with the rest of Catalonia was incorporated into the French Empire. With the end of the French War the Napoleonic troops evacuated the castle of Sant Ferran on May 25, 1814. When King Ferdinand VII of Spain returned from his French exile he stayed in Figueres (due to strong floods that made it impossible to cross the Manol River).
In 1817 work began on the new Municipal Cemetery (no longer buried next to the parish church). That same year a strong north wind knocked down part of the bell tower of the church of Sant Pere. In 1829 Paula Montal i Fornés(currently Santa Paula Montal) created in Figueres the first school for girls in Catalonia: school of religious nuns (creating at the same time the congregation of nuns of the Pious Schools). The previous year the mayor and military governor of Figueres Joaquín Caamaño proposed to carry out the coverage of the Ribera (the Galligans stream) in the part of the current Rambla. The director of the project was the military engineer Lasauca and on July 29, 1832 the work was completed (thus arose the most important square in Figueres and linked the part of the old town with the new neighborhoods that had gone growing, especially in the southern part). The roof of the Ribera continued, in the following years, up the Rambla, Lasauca street, and also down, Caamaño street (these works were finished in 1844).
In September 1835 Figueres began to fortify itself in the face of the danger of an attack by Carlist troops (First Carlist War). These new walls no longer coincided with the old ones of the old town, since Figueres had increased much in extension; in addition, the old walls of medieval origin began to be demolished from the existence of the castle of Sant Ferran (last third of the 18th century). During this armed conflict the situation was reached that the whole region was dominated by the Carlists except the town of Figueres and its castle.
Once the war was over, the royal town continued to grow and modernize. On September 28, 1839, the “College of Humanities” was inaugurated, headed by Father Julián González de Soto (with an agreement with the Figueres town council), which was the first secondary school in Figueres and the region; this center became in 1845 the first secondary school in the whole province of Girona (this is the current Institut Ramon Muntaner which is the dean of secondary schools in Spain). The 40s and 50s of the nineteenth century saw the performance of Abdó Terrades i Pulí, politician and republican thinker, who was several times elected mayor of Figueres but could not hold this position, as he never swore obedience to the queen of Spain (due to his anti-monarchical, democratic and republican-federal ideas); he was also the greatest exponent of the popular anti-government uprising known as the Jamància (he managed to raise the people of Figueres, Altemporda and even the garrison of the castle of Sant Ferran).
Another notable figure from Figueres (although born in Alcalá la Real, province of Jaén) was Josep Maria Ventura i Casas, better known as Pep Ventura, who carried out the creation of the sardana in Figueres.modern or long sardana. His most active period was from 1848 to 1875. He modified the instruments of the cobla (deleting some and adding others such as the tenor), he was a musician, conductor and also a composer of more of 300 pieces. Thanks to Pep Ventura, Figueres became the “mother city of the sardana”.
In 1850 the Municipal Theater was inaugurated (current building of the Dalí Theater-Museum) which was the work of the architect Josep Roca i Bros. In 1857, for the first time, Figueres exceeded 10,000 inhabitants (it had exactly 10,370). In 1861, public lighting began with gas lanterns. In 1862, the current banana trees on the Rambla in Figueres were planted (therefore, they are more than 150 years old). Also in these central years of the nineteenth century we can highlight another famous Figueres in Narcís Monturiol i Estarriol who was an engineer, intellectual, federal republican politician, but, above all, went down in history as the inventor of the submarine (his famous Ictíneo). In 1862, the Sociedad Coral Erato from Figueres was created with the presence of Anselm Clavé.
During the Democratic Six-Year Plan, Figueres and its entire region were in favor of the ideas of federal republicanism and a native of Figueres was (Spanish) minister of finance during the First Spanish Republic: Joan Tutau i Vergés. In 1874 the people of Figueres were fully immersed in the Third Carlist War; since the games of the Carlist general Francesc Savalls, who dominated most of the county, wanted to conquer the town and the castle. Figueres reinforced the walls that surrounded the town and had 14 defense towers (the Torre Gorgot or “Torre Galatea” is the only one that is currently preserved, although much renovated). On the morning of May 28, 1874, the Carlist troops attacked Figueres but, despite the lack of collaboration of the garrison of the castle of Sant Ferran, the villagers went
Managed to repel the attack and the Pugs retreated. Thanks to the heroic defense of the town against the Carlists, King Alfonso XII of Spain gave, on October 28, 1875, the title of city in Figueres. Once the war was over, the people of Figueres finally demolished the walls that had surrounded it again. On October 28, 1877, the railway arrived in Figueres (the city was already one of the points where the line from Barcelona to France passed). In 1878 comes the phylloxera plaguein the region and this causes a situation of poverty and the Alt Empordà lost 7,000 inhabitants (many emigrated to France or other areas of Catalonia), despite the population of Figueres did not decrease (since the agricultural sector was very small important and industry and crafts played a much more important role). In 1887, Plaça del Gra was inaugurated (with its roof). In 1894 the city’s Bullring was built in a Mudejar style. In 1896, electrical installation work began.
The 20th century
At the beginning of the century, the population of Figueres was 10,714 inhabitants and during this century it will have a significant growth, especially from 1960. In 1902 the architect Josep Azemar erected the modernist building of the Municipal Slaughterhouse of Figueres (where now is the Alt Empordà County Archive). On May 11, 1904, the great surrealist painter Salvador Dalí i Domènech was born. That same year the modernist building of the Casino Menestral was built
Figuerenc (the recreational society had been created in 1856). In 1905, the Figueres prison was built at the end of Carrer Sant Pau. That same year the rich Figueres Carles Cusí built the first cinema in Figueres (it was the first in the whole province). In 1908, the first cars owned by some wealthy people from Figueres ran through the streets of the city. In 1910, the current building of the La Salle School in Figueres was inaugurated. In 1914 the El Jardí Cinema Theater was built (now the municipal theater of Figueres), the project was by the architect Llorenç Ros i Costa and the building is in the Noucentista style. In 1916 the telephone began to operate in Figueres., the work of the architect Ricard Giralt, who enlarged and improved it; he also incorporated the monument to Narcís Monturiol, with sculptures by Enric Casanoves.
On April 13, 1919, the football team was created: Unió Esportiva Figueres. In May 1920, the Municipal Forest Park was inaugurated, where 20 different species of trees were planted and it became the real lung of Figueres. That same year the city council of Figueres created the municipal water company. On July 12, 1922, the Popular Library of the Mancomunitat de Catalunya was inaugurated. In 1922, the first motorized bus line from Figueres to Pertús was opened. In 1925, the royal road that crossed Figueres was paved. From 1900 to 1930 the population of Figueres increased by 132% to 14,106 inhabitants. The costume photographer Narcís Roget extensively documents this period of important transformation of Figueres in population growth, industrialization, creation of a civic culture, Catalanism, trade unionism and associationism.
On April 12, 1931 in the municipal elections he won the Socialist Republican Federation of the Empordà (FRSE) which was part of the Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya coalition. Turnout was 64.5% and ERC got 66.75% of the vote. The new mayor was Marià Pujolà i Vidal. On April 14, the Republic was proclaimed in Figueres. On August 8, 1931 the Statute of Autonomy (of Núria) was voted, the participation was of 70% and the result was the following one: votes in favor 2,328 (99.7%), votes against 6 (0.26%) and blank votes 1 (0.04%) On November 19, 1933 there were elections to the Cortes (it was the first time that the women of Figueres voted) and the result was the victory of ERC by 60.8% of the vote. On April 14, 1933, the Sant Pau Public School was inaugurated, which was the first state-owned city in the city. The events of October 1934 did not have much of an impact in Figueres, which did not support the proclamation of the Catalan State made by the President of the Generalitat, Lluís Companys.
The Civil War in Figueres (1936-1939)
The coup d’état of July 18, 1936 was not known until the next day, the 19th. In the city there were 76 people from Figueres who were assassinated by anti-fascist militiamen from the different workers’ unions they were not from the city but had come from Girona and, above all, from Barcelona). On October 12, 1936, the first group of volunteers from the International Brigades arrived in Figueres to fight for the Republic (there were 500 men coming by train from Paris).
On November 3, 1936, the city council (in the hands of the most radical sectors) agreed to the demolition of the parish church of Sant Pere. Work began immediately: a total of 1,200 m² was destroyed: the bell tower, the presbytery and the transept; only the Gothic nave remained standing (since the money to dismantle the church had been exhausted).
In June 1937, the construction of the current City Hall building was completed.
On January 20, 1938, the first bombing of Figueres took place. It was planes from Nazi Germany that dropped about 30 bombs on the city but fortunately there were no casualties. After 3 days the second and third bombings arrived: the second was at noon and German planes took part dropping their bombs on the Parc Bosc and the Passeig Nou; the third air attack was in the afternoon, this time they were planes from fascist Italy, after launching their charge of indiscriminate destruction, they returned to their base in Son Sant Joan in Mallorca; these two attacks on January 23 resulted in 16 deaths. Figueres was bombed 18 times from January 20, 1939 to February 7, 1939. These attacks resulted in a total of 281 deaths: 76 in 1938 and 205 in 1939 (in the latter year in just 1 month and 7 days). These airstrikes destroyed 560 homes.
On November 11, 1938, the volunteers of the International Brigades said goodbye abroad to the city. 23 of January of 1939 the president of the government Juan Negrín Lopez ordered the transfer of the Spanish government to Figueres. On the night of February 1, 1939, the city became the seat of the Republican Parliament and the capital of the Republic. The session of the parliament, which was evening, was held at the Castle of Sant Ferran and was attended by 62 deputies out of a total of 473 existing.
On February 3, 1939, a human flood of 150,000 people passed through Figueres on their way to France; that day the city and the castle were bombed 5 times and there were 82 dead. In the following days, the human flow that crossed Figueres towards France did not stop (for example, on February 4, about 100,000 people passed through the city).
On 5 February, the President of the Republic Manuel Azaña Díaz, the President of the Generalitat Lluís Companys i Jover, the Lehendakari José Antonio Aguirre i Lecube and other members of the central government of the autonomic one; in the evening, the streets of the city were completely deserted, as much of the population had left the city to escape the almost constant bombing and the rest were hidden in the basements of houses or in anti-aircraft shelters (in Figueres there were about 15 people, in 2013 the one in Plaça del Gra was rediscovered, which had a capacity for 200 people).
On February 8, at 8 pm, there was a big explosion in the Castle of Sant Ferran, thousands of tons of stone flew through the air (some more than a kilometer away), a whole disappeared long piece of curtain and the monumental neoclassical style main door; the causes of this terrible explosion were the artillerymen of the republican army who destroyed much of the powder magazine of the fortress so that it would not fall into the hands of the Francoists. That same day, February 8, in the evening, the national troops entered the city. The war was over for the people of Figueres.
Figueres during the Franco dictatorship (1939-1975)
On February 9, 1939 the city looked horrible: dead on the streets, dilapidated houses (23.4% of the buildings were destroyed), fires that kept burning, streets blocked by rubble, sewers and the water supply did not work, etc., but in addition there was the presence of an enemy army that had occupied the city and a dictatorial regime that wanted to hold accounts and punish the defeated. 19 of February of 1939 the Municipal Theater was set afire, of involuntary form, by soldiers of a tabor (or battalion of indigenous soldiers and Spanish officials) of the Spanish Protectorate in Morocco, that comprises of the units of the national army; and the building was utterly destroyed except the outer walls.
The years from 1939 to 1955 were one of great poverty. In 1949 the reconstruction works of the parish church of Sant Pere were completed, the new part was made in neo- Gothic style to connect with the preserved part that was in Gothic style. Between 1943 and 1953 the construction of the new hospital was carried out.
In the late 1950s, but above all, from 1960 onwards, there was a growing influx of foreign tourists to the region (French, German, Dutch, Swiss, etc.); thanks to the growing presence of these foreign summer visitors, a very satisfactory economic stage began for Figueres, which stood out as the economic and commercial center of the Alt Empordà. Also during the 1960s and early 1970s, the phenomenon of emigration from other areas of Spain (Andalusians, Extremaduran, Murcians, etc.) to Catalonia and to this city in the Altemporda region in particular took place. The northern Costa Brava was doing well and Figueres was growing and strengthening.
In April 1971, the current headquarters of the Museu de l’Empordà were inaugurated(which had been created in 1947) in the lower part of the Rambla figuerenca. With the increase of the population the city saw as new parishes appeared, in addition to the oldest one of San Pedro; so we have that in 1954 the Immaculate Conception and St. Paul’s were created (the current temple was consecrated in 1962) and later those of the Good Shepherd (1966), the Holy Family were created (created in 1968, the current church dates from 1989), and that of Santa Maria del Poble Nou (1975). On September 19, 1971, the city suffered a rainstorm that discharged, in just 24 hours, 535 l / m², causing major floods in Figueres and throughout the region. On May 11, 1972, the Monument to Pep Ventura was inaugurated in the current Plaza President Tarradellas (the sculpture was the work of Llorenç Cairó).
On September 28, 1974, the Dalí Theater-Museum on the remains of the old Municipal Theater was inaugurated. The following year, in 1975, Figueres had a Vocational Training School, this center was named after the famous inventor from Figueres: Narcís Monturiol. Also, in 1975, the village of Vilatenim and the village of Palol de Vila-Sacra (which until then had formed a municipality) were incorporated into the municipality of Figueres. During the Franco years the city grew from just over 16,000 inhabitants to 28,000 in the year of the dictator’s death (although the strongest growth was from 1960 to 1975).
Democratic Figueres (since 1976)
By 1975 the city had reached, as already mentioned, 28,102 inhabitants and will continue to increase its population to the present day (especially during the first decade of the 21st century). On December 15, 1976, the referendum for the Political Reform in Spain was voted on and the people of Figueres voted 75% of the electoral census. In the referendum of December 6, 1978 on the Constitution, the citizens of Figueres voted yes 61.8% of the electoral census. The vote to approve the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia of 1979 counted on 52.86% of the electoral census that voted affirmatively. The first municipal elections, in 1979, were won by the Partit dels Socialistes de Catalunyaand the first democratic mayor was Josep.
In 1977, the pedestrian area of the streets of the historic center was completed (this project began in 1969), around the Town Hall Square. Soon the offer of public schools in Figueres increased and, from 1976 to 1984, it went from having only 2 centers to having 6. In 1978 it was added to the Institut Ramon Muntaner (which was the only one that there was in Figueres and all the region) a second institute that received the name of Alexandre Deulofeu. In 1982, the Toy Museum of Catalonia was inaugurated. In 1983 he was imprisoned in the castle of Sant Ferran (which then functioned as a military prison) onwho was one of the top representatives of the frustrated coup attempt of February 23, 1981 (better popularly known as the 23-F. In August 1986 the Municipal Stadium of Vilatenim was inaugurated which was the new field of the Unió Esportiva Figueres who had managed to move up to 2nd Division A of football in the 1985-86 season. In the decade of the 80s we should also highlight the death of the great painter Salvador Dalí.
Figueres enjoys a privileged location, at the crossroads of the main communication route that goes from Barcelona to Roussillon and France, and the route that leads from the Empordà coast to the interior of the Pre-Pyrenees. This situation has made it, since ancient times, a meeting and stopping point for travelers, artisans and traders of all kinds.
The commercial attraction of Figueres is great, especially for the Alt Empordà region, which has found a center that provides all the necessary services, but also for other nearby areas. Although this attraction has been clarified recently, with the rise of other towns and the competition of Girona and Olot, Figueres continues to be an important weekly attraction for its region, which goes there weekly to market (on Thursdays).
The development of tourism has favored the city. Every year, many of the tourists who cross the border visit and take the opportunity to make a short stop there, as well as many northern Catalan and French residents.
Currently, the main economic sector of Figueres is the tertiary sector. Catering, food and all the shops and services offered by the city represent 75% of economic activity. The commercial sector, traditionally small-scale, has begun to renew and modernize in recent years.
Figueres is a vital city to enjoy in each of the seasons of the year with various activities: museums, fairs, parties, leisure, shopping, sports… Visit Figueres, come to the capital of the Alt region Empordà and fill your time with unique experiences.
Built on a new floor in 1904 by the architect Josep Azemar, it is endowed with great simplicity and functionality. It is currently the headquarters of the Figueres Tourist Office, located in Plaça de l’Escorxador nº2. The Municipal Slaughterhouse was built to replace the existing one from 1846 in the same place. It is a modernist building of different bodies and volume that combines the use of traditional materials, such as brick and wrought iron, with modern ones such as cast iron on the interior columns that support the gabled roof. It is considered the key work of the architect Azemar.
Birthplace of Salvador Dalí
Modernist style building from 1898 designed by the architect Josep Azemar. The Dalí family lived on the mezzanine floor of this property located in Carrer de Monturiol, no. 6 (today no. 20), where on the ground floor Salvador Dalí Cusí had the notary. In the summer of 1912 the family left this property to move to the second floor of no. 10 (today no. 24) of the same street of Monturiol. Since 1961, a plaque commemorates that Salvador Dalí Domènech was born here on May 11, 1904.
Modernist style building, designed in 1904, probably by the architect Josep Bori, to become the headquarters of the Sociedad Casino Menestral Figuerenc, founded in 1856 in order to foster friendly relations between class neighbors mediate and disseminate the ideas of enlightenment among its associates.
The Castle of Sant Ferran
Located on a hill, at the end of the rise of the Castle, is a large bastion fortress built during the eighteenth century following the project of the commander of the Corps of Engineers Juan Martín Zermeño. It occupies an area of 32 hectares with a perimeter of 3,120 meters, and the cisterns, located below the courtyard, can hold 9 million liters of water. The castle of Sant Ferran, which had a capacity for 4,000 men, is currently a first-rate heritage legacy, the largest monument in Catalonia and the largest modern-era fortress in Europe. In July 1997 it was opened to the public on a regular basis with a guided tour service showing the characteristics of the fortress. Due to its enormous dimensions, the sophisticated construction techniques applied within the military engineering of the time, and its excellent state of preservation, the visit to the castle of Sant Ferran is a unique experience.
Civil War Refuge
The refuge in Plaça del Gra, like others known in Figueres, is the result of population protection measures promoted by the Junta de Defensa Passiva de Catalunya (JDPC). These constructions are a direct consequence of the new mode of warfare introduced during the Spanish Civil War: the systematic aerial bombardment of settlements in the rear. For this reason, more than 2,000 shelters of this nature were built in Catalonia. According to Bernils, 15 were built in Figueres, including the one in Plaça del Gra, with different capacities and dimensions.
It has two accesses, built in zigzag with respect to the main rooms. These form an L with arms of 18.50 and 10.50.m. The width of the access galleries is 1.50 m by 1.80 m high, while the rooms are 2 m wide by 2.30 m high. Each of these had latrines, with their corresponding drain and ventilation hole. The rooms also had ventilation holes. The two rooms, which are at the end of the west wing of the shelter, could correspond to the infirmary.
Church of san Pedro
The oldest surviving remains date from the 10th-11th centuries, and consist of a part of a north-facing wall with a loophole at the foot of the bell tower. At the end of the 14th century, King Pere el Cerimoniós ordered the construction of a new church in Figueres, and on the Romanesque building stood the Gothic style temple with a single nave, without a transept or ambulatory. At the moment it persists in his original form until where the apse began.
Next to Plaça de la Font Lluminosa, in an easterly direction, is Plaça de Catalunya. Opened in 1994, it is a space where the grocery market is held weekly, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, together with Plaça del Gra. The appearance of Plaça Catalunya changed radically when the remodeling works were inaugurated in 2011 with the installation of an innovative photovoltaic roof by the architect Rafael Cáceres. A structure that in a short time has become a new icon of the city and a must-visit space.
The Parc Bosc de Figueres is a green unit of the city formed by a large rocky area, all populated by vegetation, mostly forest, intended for the recreation of its inhabitants. It is complemented by a wide promenade, planted in its entire front facing south, called Paseo Nou, and by three roundabouts that encircle it on the east, north and west, called Jacint Verdaguer, Dr. Arolas and the Park. Until the beginning of the twentieth century, its surroundings were orphaned.
Town Hall Square
The town hall has been located in this central part of the city since 1757, when it was built according to the design of the military engineer of the Castle of Sant Ferran Joan M. Cermeño. From an architectural perspective, the porches, modified in the first half of the 19th century, from the rebuilding of the medieval square, should be highlighted. The layout, in a severe neoclassical style, is the work of the architect and fortification master from Figueres, Rafael Cantró, who follows the architectural reference of the porticoed areas of Sant Ferran Castle. The current City Hall building dates from a 1929 project by the architect Ricard Giralt i Casadesús, which would not see its final completion until the 1940s, once the civil war was over.
The initial project dates from 1825, and responds to the need for grain sellers to have a larger space, once the surface of the Town Hall Square had exhausted its capacity for growth with the incorporation of new porches. In 1825, the architect Rafael Cantró presented the urban development project for the new square, which rectified the alignment and created two porches forming a square, in the same style as those in the Town Hall square. In 2012, through a rehabilitation project of the Historic Center promoted by the City Council and the Generalitat, this space was rehabilitated together with Muralla and Canigó streets. The works in Plaça de les Patates uncovered a small section of the city’s medieval wall, which was left uncovered, offering citizens and visitors a new point of visit in Figueres.
The square was formed in 1943 when an island of four old houses was demolished. At first it was called Pius XII Square.
Plaça de L’estació
The square began to be formed in 1879 and its triangular shape is motivated by the resistance of some owners to sell the rest of the land. It was inaugurated in 1909.
The new grain square or open square is the old trading post. It is located in the center of Figueres and was built in 1826 as a public market space. In 1887, Puig i Saguer built the current roofing structure in iron, wood and tiles, one of the most original and representative constructions in the city, under the auspices of the Vilallonga, iron industrialists from Figueres. It is a simple structure, but endowed with a harmony, which forms a unique space. Its 36 iron columns support a shed for a colorful and lively grocery market on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, as well as the Fira del Brocanter on the third Saturday of each month.
Gala Square – Salvador Dalí
Its current appearance took shape in 1850 with the construction of the Municipal Theater, which currently houses the Dalí Museum Theater. It is a neoclassical style building by the architect Roca i Bros. The square also received a brushstroke from Salvador Dalí, who installed different sculptures, one of which stands out in homage to his friend and Catalan philosopher, Francesc Pujols.
Josep Pla Square and Puig Pujades Gardens
Noucentista building, with a strong historicist load in which the Ionic order predominates, built in 1914 according to the project of the architect Llorenç Ros i Costa.
Josep Tarradellas Square
Plaça Josep Tarradellas was built in 1936 to cover the Galligans stream, which crosses the city from west to east with about two kilometers. In 1968, the monument was installed to Pep Ventura, an illustrious native of Figueres and father of the national dance of Catalonia: the sardana. The space had also received the names of the USSR or Victoria, but with the restoration of democracy it was given the name of the President of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Josep Tarradellas.
La Rambla is the city’s central promenade, its most emblematic urban space, the central point of the commercial area and the axis that articulates the old town with the city’s urban expansion zone between the 19th and 20th centuries. Its origin dates back to 1828, when, for reasons of hygiene, it was decided to cover the bed of the Galligans stream. Once the stream was covered, and by express popular desire, the resulting space was used for a public walk.
From the end of the 19th century until the Civil War, the best set of civil buildings in the city was built on this perimeter, which, combined with the pre-existing buildings, allow the presence of the Baroque, Neoclassical and Eclectic styles to be observed in the same area., modernist, noucentista and rationalist.
The urban evolution of La Rambla reached its peak with the reform of the architect Ricard Giralt Casadesús in 1917, when the block of houses at the top was demolished and the inspirational monument was erected. noucentista by the sculptor Enric Casanoves dedicated to Narcís Monturiol, inventor of the first submarine, the Ictineu.
Dalí Museum Theater
The Dalí Theater-Museum, inaugurated in 1974, was built on the remains of the old Theater of Figueres, and contains a wide range of works that describe the artistic trajectory of Salvador Dalí (1904-1989), from his first artistic experiences and his creations within surrealism, until the works of the last years of his life.
Some of the most notable exhibits are Port Alghero (1924), The Specter of Sex Appeal (1932), Soft Self-Portrait with Fried Bacon (1941), American Poetry – Cosmic Athletes (1943), Gallery (1944-45), The Bread Basket (1945), Atomic Leda (1949) and Galatea of the Spheres (1952).
Also noteworthy is the set of works made by the artist specifically for the Theater-Museum, such as the Mae West room, the Palau del Vent room, the Monument to Francesc Pujols and the Cadillac Plujós. The Dalí Theater-Museum must be seen as a whole, as the great work of Salvador Dalí, as it was conceived and designed by the artist in order to offer the visitor a true experience to enter his world. captivating and unique.
The Museu de l’Empordà preserves one of the most outstanding art collections in the region. Created in 1946, the history of its collections dates back to the late 19th century, from the deposits of the Museo del Prado and the donations and legacies of famous Empordà figures. In 1971 the current building was built, conceived as a museum of archeology, art history. Today the Museum offers the public a historical reading of its collections and an opening in contemporary art.
The permanent exhibition shows the collections of archeology (funerary paraphernalia, Iberian, Attic and Italic pottery), medieval sculpture (Monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes), Baroque painting (deposits of the Museo del Prado: Ribera, Mengs, Mignard), painting and sculpture from the 19th and 20th centuries (Sorolla, Casas, Mir, Nonell, Gargallo, Casanovas, Cuixart, Ponç, Sunyer, Tàpies) and Empordà art (Blanquet, Dalí, Reig, Vallès, Santos Torroella).
At the same time, the Museu de l’Empordà is a multidisciplinary institution, which organizes temporary exhibitions and activities aimed at the conservation and dissemination of local and regional cultural heritage, with a special dedication to experimentation and reflection on contemporary artistic creation.
Toy Museum of Catalonia
The Toy Museum of Catalonia was inaugurated in 1982 on the premises of the old Hotel París on the Rambla de Figueres. The Museum exhibits more than 4000 pieces: zootrops, mecanos, theaters, cardboard animals and horses, kitchens, balls, turntables, airplanes, cars, trains, dolls, puppets, magic devices, games for the blind, costumes, cut-outs, maneuvers, soldiers, robots, steam engines, bears, tricycles, scooters…
Many of these pieces are accompanied by old photographs of children with their toys, which helps to place them chronologically and see how they were played. Some toys had belonged to characters such as Anna Maria and Salvador Dalí, Federico García Lorca, Joan Miró, Josep Palau i Fabre, Joan Brossa, Quim Monzó, Frederic Amat… The Museum has a Documentation and Research Center on the games and toys, of the Brossa-Frègoli auditorium and a space for outdoor activities: The roof of the Museum.
The visit of the collection can have several readings: the nostalgic one, through the toys of our grandparents, and the one of the observation, with which we trace the scientific and technical advances of each moment that have affected the design of games and toys, in the same way that historical events and artistic movements have done and continue to do.
Empordà Technical Museum
More than thirty years ago, Pere Padrosa bought the first typewriter in his collection. Three decades later, the Museu de la Tècnica de l’Empordà is a reality. On June 27, 2004, its opening was made official. We find some of the objects acquired during these years, in addition to having an important collection fund.
The museum visitor will be able to admire the beauty of the exhibits. The collector, contemplating pieces that combined practical sense with art. The historian, studied a time when science and technology drove human progress.
Museum of Electricity
The Museum of Electricity of Figueres houses a unique collection of pieces and documents from the first period of electrification of the Girona region, from the company Hidrolèctrica de l’Empordà, SA founded on August 13, 1913. The museum allows you to discover what the beginnings of electricity were like, its first applications and the first appliances that allowed the continuous diffusion of this energy to reach everyday life today. An amazing collection that allows us to know how this energy transformed the way people work, live and communicate.
We offer you a tour of the most unique spaces in Figueres linked to the artist Salvador Dalí i Domènech. It is a two-way route that includes a stop at the Tourist Office ‒located in the building of the old slaughterhouse‒ and that goes through the historical and commercial center of the city starting from the two main points of influx of visitors.: from the train station located in Plaça de l’Estació (following the direction of the antennae of the ants of the panots); or from the Dalí Theater-Museum (in the opposite direction to the antennae of ants).
Heritage Route of the Historic Center
The itinerary and heritage guide of the city that we present to you, such as the recent books Figueres in first person, Figueres unusual, The trees of Figueres or Figueres, architects and history, have to do with the purpose of stimulating the knowledge and the appreciation of Figueres’ heritage and, more importantly, of transforming this esteem for buildings, streets and squares, trees and monuments, local traditions and customs, into cohesive elements and generators of Figueres identity. The Figueres tourist office is located in Plaça de l’Escorxador nº2, which corresponds to number 5 of this route.
City Discovery Itinerary
The route starts at the foot of the Figueres Tourist Office located in Plaça de l’Escorxador nº2. In it you can find all the information you need to enjoy a good stay in the city.
La Rambla is one of the most emblematic places in Figueres. Its origin dates from 1828 as a result of the coverage of the Galligans stream. This work made it possible to eliminate the hygienic problems of the stream and to communicate the city that was divided by the stream itself. The cover led by the military engineer Antoni Lasauca ended in July 1832. In 1862 bananas were planted and by the end of the 19th century the Rambla was already a consolidated social space, an area for walks and gatherings of citizens and for the celebration of concerts, fairs and markets, as well as a hotel center, restaurants and cafes that attracted people from all over the region.
From the end of the 19th century until the Spanish Civil War, the best set of civil buildings in the city was built on its perimeter, with the presence of Baroque, Neoclassical, Eclectic, Modernist, Noucentista and Rationalist styles. In 1917, the last great transformation of the Rambla was the work of the architect Ricard Giralt Casadessús, which gave it a new geometric dimension with the redevelopment of the central hall. The Noucentista-inspired monument dedicated to Narcís Monturiol (inventor of the Ictineu, the first submarine), by the sculptor Enric Casanovas, located in the lower part of the central hall of the Rambla, dates from this period.
Among the buildings of architectural interest on the Rambla you can not miss the Casa Polideseia (1864) by the architect Josep Roca i Bros, in neoclassical style located on the Rambla no. 15, the Casa Cusí (1894) by the architect Josep Azemar, in modernist style located on Rambla no. 20, the Casa Puig-Soler (1901), by Josep Azemar, in modernist style located on Rambla 27, the Casa Salleras (1901) by Josep Azemar, in modernist style located on Rambla no. 16, the Casa Pagès (1928) by Josep Duran i Reinals, in the Noucentista style located on Rambla no. 21 and the Casa Caselles (1930) by Joan Gomà Cuevas, in modernist style located on Rambla no. 22
From the Rambla, take a pedestrian alley called the Forn Nou that leads to Plaça Josep Pla and the Cine-Teatre Jardí. In the center of the square there is the monument of Josep Ministral dedicated to Josep Pla, a writer closely linked to the city of Figueres where he spent numerous stays and from whom he sang about the excellence of gastronomy. The square is dominated by the Cine-Teatre Jardí building, a modernist work by the architect Llorenç Ros i Costa erected in 1914. From here, continue along Carrer Forn Nou to Carrer Nou and from there to Plaça Ernest. Vila (known to the people of Figueres as Plaça de la Font Lluminosa), continue along the modern Plaça de Catalunya and reach Plaça del Gra.
Plaça del Gra is characterized by its unique structure, simple but very effective. As its name suggests, it was conceived in order to preserve the grain market from inclement weather. It was built in 1887 from 36 iron columns that support the roof and was one of the meeting and exchange points of products of the population of the Alt Empordà. The food market is currently held on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Then take Carrer Concepció and reach Plaça de l’Escorxador.
The old municipal slaughterhouse was rebuilt in a modernist style in 1904 by the architect Josep Azemar, also the author of several buildings on the Rambla. It has currently lost its function as a slaughterhouse and is the headquarters of the Figueres tourist office. Its central body houses a large room where temporary cultural exhibitions alternate.
Then take Carrer Monturiol to number 20. This is the house where the painter Salvador Dalí was born on May 11, 1904 and which is currently owned by the City of Figueres. Then return to La Rambla and take Carrer Girona. You pass by the Town Hall Square and continue along Carrer de la Jonquera, which is characterized by the French style of its buildings that show the proximity to the border. Before finding Carrer Canigó, take the stairs on the left that lead to Plaça Gala and Salvador Dalí, where the Dalí Theater-Museum is located.
Right next door is the church of Sant Pere, one of the most interesting architectural elements in the city. The first mention is from 1020 and the medieval town of Figueres was built around it. It was probably built on a primitive early Christian church. Of the initial Romanesque temple (10th-11th centuries) there are remains of the walls on the north side with a loophole to the left of the nave, at the foot of the bell tower. At the end of the 14th century, King Peter the Ceremonious ordered the construction of a new church that, following the canons of the time, was in the Gothic style. This one, arrived until the present cruise and was of a single ship with vaults of cruise and buttress by the counterattack. In 1578, the neoclassical façade was rebuilt, with a large bull’s eye that gives light to the whole nave. Later it has undergone numerous extensions (in 1678 the Chapel of Sorrows began, on the north side) and modifications. During the Spanish Civil War it was burned and part of it demolished until in 1941 the City Council began its reconstruction.
The last place of interest on this discovery route is Carrer Magre and Plaça de la Llana. It is one of the oldest areas of the city and forms the ancient Jewish quarter. The Jews arrived in the city in the second half of the thirteenth century thanks to the calls made by Infant Peter, according to which Jews who came to the city were exempt for five years from paying taxes and were granted a small free space of land for them to cultivate. Thus was formed the Jewish quarter that had its own butcher and bakery. During the nights the neighborhood was closed to prevent riots. The isolation of the call with respect to the city was remarkable to the point that the houses facing the church had no doors or windows. From this point, along the Pujada del Castell or Carrer Sant Pere,
Old Hotel Paris. (St. Peter, 1). Baroque building designed in 1767 by Pere M. Cermeño, the same engineer who built the castle of Sant Ferran.
Casa Casellas. (Rambla, 22). House built in 1930 according to the project of the architect Joan Gumà Cuevas. The building of a beux arts eclecticism, characteristic of the anti-modernist reaction of the time of the 1929 exhibition in Barcelona.
El Jardí Municipal Theater. (Plaça Josep Pla, 2). Noucentista building, with a strong historicist load in which the Ionic order predominates, built in 1914 according to the project of the architect Llorenç Ros i Costa.
Old farmhouse.(Nou, 48). The seat of the County Council is a stately building from 1929 designed by the architect Francesc Tarragó. It is characterized by considerable dimensions and an out-of-period classicism that exhibits a great ornamental richness inside.
Roman House. (Peralada, 48). The building dates from the first half of the 19th century and the author of the project is unknown. It is a neoclassical house with a back garden.
Casino Menestral (Ample, 17). Eclectic style building, designed in 1904, probably by the architect Josep Bori, to become the headquarters of the Sociedad Casino Menestral Figuerenc, founded in 1856 in order to foster friendly relations between class neighbors mediate and spread the ideas of enlightenment among its associates.
Modernism arrived in the city with the help of the Figueres architect Josep Azemar i Pont, author of some of the city’s most notable buildings. These include:
Casa Cusí. (Rambla, 20). Modernist house built in 1901 by the architect Josep Azemar. It is a corner multi-family building that is topped by a tower on its axis. The architect solves in a very personal and stylized way the elements of historicist roots that characterize the building.
Puig-Soler House. (Rambla, 27). Modernist house built in 1901 by the architect Josep Azemar. It is a corner multi-family building that is topped by a tower on its axis. The architect solves in a very personal and stylized way the elements of historicist roots that characterize the building.
Casa Salleras. (Rambla, 22). Modernist style building designed in 1904 by the architect Josep Azemar, located north of the Rambla. Of note are the decorative finishes made with trencadís and the elements of the balcony and interiors.
Mas Roger House. (Monturiol, 10 / Plaça de la Palmera). Apart from its architectural value, the building is known for being the second home of Salvador Dalí. The Mas Roger house was built in 1910 by the architect Josep Azemar and stands out for its three façades and for the balanced combination of wood, iron, tile and stone.
Old Slaughterhouse. (Plaça de l’Escorxador). Built on a new floor in 1902 by the architect Josep Azemar, it is endowed with great simplicity and functionality.
The main festival of Figueres is celebrated on May 3 on the occasion of the Fairs of the Holy Cross. The small festival is celebrated on June 29, on the occasion of the day of the patron saint of the city, Saint Peter. Figueres has a prominent group of giants and bigheads.
Figueres hosts the headquarters of:
The Alt Empordà Regional Archive
The Empordà Chamber Orchestra
The Fages de Climent Regional Library
The Figueres Sports Union
The Figueres Sports Foundation
The Adepaf Basketball Club
The Figuerenc Craft Casino
The Association of Relatives of People Retaliated by the Franco regime
Musical Youth of Figueres
Events and festivals
L’Acústica, ARC Award for the best festival in Catalonia 2012, has become a reference festival in the Catalan music scene for professionals in the sector, artists and the public. For the 10 years of the Festival, the show ‘Salvador Dalí Canta’ was created where the artists Estrella Morente, Martirio, Ana Torroja, Amaral, Dolo Beltrán, Gerard Quintana, Pau Riba, Love of Lesbian, Kiko Veneno, Albert Pla, Enric Casasses and Sol Picó played poems by Dalí with the musical base of Pascal Comelade, the conductor. Alice Cooper and Amanda Lear were the godparents of this act.
The Festival Acústica de Figueres began in 2001 as an emerging festival but of small formats attracting 3000 spectators. For the eighteenth edition, about 108,000 spectators are expected, a spectacular increase that would not have been possible without the support of the media, of the administrations and especially of the public. During these 18 years of life, Acoustics has been characterized by creating its own productions with an original and unique character. Some of them have been seen at the festival, and others in collaboration with other entities have toured throughout the Catalan Countries. Some examples are ‘Boig per tu: Tribut a Sau’ and ‘Terra i Cultura’ with Joanjo Bosk, Ivette Nadal and Meritxell Gené (2009) or ‘El nou pop català’ (2007), among others.
Figueres Comic Festival
The Figueres Comic Festival is an event designed to make Figueres the best city and the world a better place. Edition after edition has managed to bring a good handful of top comedians to its audience. Theater, street theater, cinema, talks, training courses, competitions, therapy sessions and laughter yoga and more formulas so that it is not said that in the Empordà people get colds. A very good cultural and leisure offer for those at home and those outside.
Figueres Jazz Festival
Created in 1993, the Figueres Jazz Festival returns this year, with its 26th edition. The free and paid concerts are once again complemented in the most emblematic corners of the city. This year the festival will take place on September 11, 12 and 13. An essential festival for lovers of jazz and music in general.
The Festival is the culmination of the activities that the Agitart collective organizes throughout the year with the support of Figueres City Council and collaborations with the Empordà Museum, the Figueres Library, Figueres a Escena, the Alt Empordà County Council, Cineclub Diòptria, La Cate and the Church of Sant Pere. They present a program of local shows, of high quality and free that will bring us, once again, culture to all. The city transformed into stages where dance, in all its senses, is the protagonist.
Fairs and Festivals of the Holy Cross
Figueres welcomes spring with the Fairs and Festivals of the Holy Cross. At the end of April and beginning of May, more than a hundred activities take place in the city for all audiences. Two days stand out above the others: May 1, when the squares and streets of Figueres host the Drawing and Painting Fair, the Photo Art Fair, the Craft Fair, the Food Fair, the Fira Mercat, the EcoFira Empordà, the Fira Monogràfica del Vidre and the Fira Mercat Brocanter i del Coleccionisme, and on 3 May, when the May Cross Competition is held -which is full of Figueres color and flowers and the Old Book Fair. The party continues for a week at the Exhibition Center, where a large amusement park and the Embarraca’t have been installed, with renowned musical performances and a wide variety of styles.
Empordà Wine Show
Discover and enjoy the wines of the Empordà. Stands, wine tastings, gastronomy and other activities. The passing of the centuries and the work of the people have made the Empordà, a historical wine reference point. Located almost capriciously in the line of Mediterranean geography, the piece of land that makes up the Empordà remains embraced simultaneously by the sea and the mountains. The Empordà wine first emerged from this land with the introduction to the area of the cultivation of the vineyard, at the hands of the Greeks and later consolidated by the Romans. It was the beginning of a trajectory that has become complex and rich, generating culture. The monastic communities established in the area were the driving forces of wine during the Middle Ages. Sant Pere de Rodes, Santa Maria de Vilabertran, Sant Miquel de Cruïlles, Sant Quirze de Colera, Sant Pau de Fontclara and Sant Climent de Peralta are outstanding examples.
Today, exclusive, identity, innovative wines come out of the DO Empordà wineries, with the capacity to ensure a place where wines of undeniable quality have hegemony, all over the world. These wines are part of the very high level that Empordà, Girona and Catalan cuisine has reached, with an international resonance. Some wines from the DO Empordà have been recognized with the most exclusive international distinctions. In September, come and enjoy the wines of the Empordà Designation of Origin on the Rambla de Figueres.
Figueres is and has been a city with a commercial vocation. It was the first city in Girona to have a pedestrian shopping area in the city center. Today, the historic center is a large outdoor commercial space that hosts a remarkable and diverse range of food, textile and home clothing stores.
The city’s thousands of shops are a commercial offer that attracts buyers from the Alt Empordà, the Girona region and the south of France. It is a quality business based on comfort and family treatment that does not exclude more modern and innovative criteria such as franchises. Figueres offers the possibility to buy while walking and stroll while shopping.
Way of st. James
The path has two possible beginnings. The one in Port de la Selva has the symbolic value of starting from the sea. In addition, it passes by the monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes, which in the Middle Ages was the most important place of pilgrimage in the Iberian Peninsula after Santiago. The other part of La Jonquera, on the border with France, and connects with one of the main European routes. Both paths lead to Figueres, a city that stands out for its cozy Rambla, the castle of Sant Ferran, the largest monument in Catalonia and the largest modern fortress in Europe, the Dalí Museum Theater, the Museum de l’Empordà, the Toy Museum of Catalonia, the Museum of Technology and the Museum of Electricity.
From Figueres to Bàscara, the Camí de Sant Jaume runs along a series of small villages that exude history: Santa Llogaia d’Àlguema, Borrassà, Creixell and Pontós. Walking through its streets, squares and stands, you can discover Neolithic sites, Roman remains, Baroque churches, manor houses…
Natural Path of the Manol Figueres-Peralada River
Access to the Manol River Natural Trail is from the town of Figueres, taking the C-260 road on the map, in the direction of Roses-Cadaqués, to the Vilatenim roundabout where you turn right to continue a secondary road heading south. After crossing the Manol River, a dirt road exits to the left and leads to the start of the route.
Itinerary around the Castle of Sant Ferran de Figueres
This is a short itinerary in an area with a natural and historical character in the middle of the city of Figueres that leads us to the Castle of Sant Ferran, considered one of the largest military fortresses in Europe. The itinerary will start at the Figueres Tourist Office located in Plaça de l’Escorxador nº2. Leaving the office, we will go to the right towards Plaça de la Palmera, Carrer Monturiol, La Rambla and Carrer Lasauca until we reach Avinguda Salvador Dalí i Domènech, after a few meters we will find the AE- 245 – Parc Bosc which tells us that there are 15 minutes to get to Sant Ferran Castle.
Follow the avenue until we reach the junction with Pujada del Castell street, a street we will take until we reach the entrance of the same fortress. There we will find a new banner, theF1, which indicates that the return to the castle is approximately 45 minutes. We also find an information plate of the prominent role of the fortress during the Spanish Civil War since, among other facts, it was the seat of the last meeting of the Republican Parliament on February 1, 1939.
The tour start from the castle taking the path that we find just behind the sign, to the right of the castle. Along the way we can enjoy a splendid view of the Empordà plain, the bay of Roses and the mountains of Cap de Creus, Albera and Les Salines in the Alt Empordà region, and as we go we can enjoy from the Garrotxa region and on clear days we will be able to see the Montseny massif. We can also try to observe a herd of fallow deer (Dama dama) that inhabits the interior of the Castle.