Mataro is a town Catalan coastal Mediterranean capital of the region of Maresme. The city occupies a superb location, lying between the sea and the Serralada Litoral mountains. Just 30 minutes from Barcelona, Mataró is also very near to some of the finest tourist resorts in the county. Mataró carefully conserves its traditions, history, heritage, culture and natural landscapes for the enjoyment of visitors and locals alike.
A stroll around the city centre reveals a huge variety of quality shops and restaurants, as well as the El Rengle and Plaça de Cuba traditional markets, where we can find many products certified as local by the Collits a Casa brand. All these facilities are combined with a pleasant, attractive environment in which the visitor is frequently surprised by examples of the rich local heritage: Roman remains from the ancient city of Iluro; the beautiful baroque Chapel of Els Dolors in the Basilica of Santa Maria; and Nau Gaudí, the first work by the Modernista (Art Nouveau) architect Antoni Gaudí, which now houses the Museum of Contemporary Art, with works from the Bassat Collection, to name but three. Visitors can discover this outstanding heritage by taking guided tours or using the free audio guide service, which is available in five languages (Catalan, Spanish, English, French and Russian).
If you go down to the sea front, you will find beaches that have been awarded “Q” for tourism quality certification, ideal for a lovely swim. The restaurant and leisure facilities here are complemented by the amenities at the Port of Mataró, a marina with more than one thousand mooring places where water and underwater activities are available throughout the year. In June, Mataró welcomes the summer with the Port Festival, during which many events are organised to enable visitors to enjoy the sea. And if the mountains are your passion, you can walk or cycle through the Montnegre i Corredor Natural Park, while adventure-lovers are sure to enjoy the Vertical Wood in the Forest Park.
The main festival of Mataró, Les Santes, is celebrated around July 27 and has become in recent decades one of the most powerful and well-known in the country, which is why in 2010 it was declared a heritage festival of national interest in the Generalitat de Catalunya. Mataró is great to visit throughout the year, but the activities here really intensify in summer. In late-July, the city explodes into life during the Festa Major de Les Santes, celebrations catalogued as a Heritage Festival of National Interest. The activities organised during this festivity include giants, firework displays, concerts, Nit Boja (“Mad Night”) and castells (human towers), unique in the world.
Its origins go back to the Roman city of Iluro (century and BC), on which the historic center of the town is still built today. In 1702 he was awarded the title of city and during the century XVIII was also head of corregiment and capital of a maritime province, origin of the flag premises. In contemporary times, it stood out as a leading industrial center, mainly thanks to the textile manufacturing of the knitted fabric. Fruits of this character of economic capital were the first train of the Iberian Peninsula(Mataró-Barcelona, 1848) promoted by the Mataro businessman Miquel Biada, or the first toll motorway in the whole of Spain, opened in 1969 between Mataró and Montgat. Until 2012, the city was home to the bank Caixa Laietana, successor to the Caja de Ahorros de Mataró (1859) and later integrated into Bankia.
The city of Mataró has its origins in Roman times, when Iluro was founded. Numerous archaeological remains of the Roman village have been found, especially in the old part of the city, where the foundations of Roman houses and sewer areas have been discovered. The oldest Roman road documented epigraphically on the peninsula is the one that connected the villages of Iluro and Ausa, built between 120 BC and 110 BC. In the Pla d’en Boet district, the remains of the Torre Llauder Villa, from the end of the 1st century BC, which was outside the walls of the ancient Iluro, are preserved.
The continued aspiration to get rid of feudal jurisdiction in the 16th century created a permanent defense of the town for the safety of its inhabitants. In 1480 King Ferdinand the Catholic granted the privilege of joining the Crown for good, which also represented the definitive formation of the municipality of Mataró. During the 16th century the wall was completed.
In the 16th century, Mataró was a small town built around the church of Santa Maria and the Plaça Gran. Its important and progressive economic and demographic growth made necessary and at the same time possible the construction of a second wall and the incorporation of new urban spaces.
The Walls of Mataró, built between 1569 and 1600 were the project of the royal engineer Jorge de Setara. Sections of the wall can currently be seen in Carrer Muralla dels Genovesos (recently restored), in Carrer Muralla D’en Titus and above the Camí Ral. There are also the remains of a wall tower in the courtyard of a private building on Hospital Street. The project of walling of the town was prolonged more than thirty years due to the economic shortage and the disputes on the drawn up one of this one.
The wall had seven portals and accesses, the most prominent being that of Barcelona (now Carrer Barcelona with Plaça Santa Anna), of which the coats of arms of the principality, Mataró and Barcelona are reproduced. The original coats of arms currently appear on the cell dedicated to San Sebastián. From the Valldeix portal you can still see the silhouette at the crossroads between La Coma and Sant Francesc d’Assís streets. The other portals were those of Argentona, Cabrera, Sant Josep, Sant Feliu, Pou de la Sínia and Penya d’en Roig or Portalet.
Throughout the Spanish War of Succession they changed sides, to avoid problems, depending on the army that appeared in the vicinity of the city, and when the Allied fleet appears in the Maresme is the first to declare by Charles and raised a regiment commanded by Salvador Mataró to help the Allies take Barcelona in 1705. Elisabeth Cristina of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, fiancé of King Charles III of Aragon arrived in Mataró on 25 July of 1708, shortly after the Allied victory at the Battle of Oudenaarde, settling in the palace of Jaume de Baró. On August 1, 1708, the couple married in the church of Santa Maria del Mar in Barcelona.
The town was bombed by the English in 1742 during the War of the Austrian Succession. The city’s industrialization began in 1839, when the first steam engine was installed to power a textile factory. From that moment on, the textile sector, with an old artisanal tradition, was at the center of economic activity.
Despite not having a port, Mataró looked to the sea. Cargo boats from all over the world unloaded their goods on Mataró’s beaches to avoid the taxes and tariffs imposed by the Port of Barcelona. Many Mataró locals saw maritime trade as a great opportunity and decided to go to America to make their fortune. Some triumphed and came home enormously wealthy, then used their money to drive the Industrial Revolution and fund the Modernism movement.
The most famous of these businessmen was Miquel Biada, who brought the first railway in the Iberian Peninsula to the city. The first textile and knitting and hosiery factories made the most of this innovation, and Mataró became one of the most important industrial cities in the country. The textile industry attracted new residents to the city, who came from all over to work there. This phenomenon meant new neighbourhoods were built for the workers, transforming the face of the city.
The capital of the Maresme experienced great industrial growth, which led to the arrival of thousands of immigrants. This arrival of immigrants became especially evident during the 60s and 70s, when tens of thousands of immigrants from Murcia, Andalusia and Extremadura (mainly), settled on the outskirts of Mataró, creating the neighborhoods of Cerdanyola, Cirera, Rocafonda and La Llàntia, among others. These neighborhoods were often very far from the city center, as newcomers did not have enough money to be able to settle in the city center.
These new neighborhoods experienced very precarious situations, since the Mataro City Council did not pay any attention to them, and the inhabitants of the neighborhoods enjoyed a very precarious economic situation.
During the 1960s, neighborhood associations appeared in the neighborhoods to improve the living conditions of their inhabitants, and to demand the help of public institutions.
With the restoration of democracy, it was possible to improve the city’s infrastructures and achieve the connection between the different neighborhoods, with the approval of the General Planning Plan of 1977, and its revision, in 1993, projecting the Via Europa, an axis perpendicular to the coast, which connected the suburbs, previously far from each other, and also from the city center.
More recently, the economy of Mataró has been oriented towards trade and services with the opening of new strategic facilities of supra-municipal scope such as the Port of Mataró (1991), the new Hospital of Mataró (1999) and the Mataró Parc shopping center (2000). The city has also made a commitment to the knowledge economy with the creation and promotion of the TecnoCampus Mataró-Maresme, a university park arising from the merger of previous schools and attached to Pompeu Fabra University, which offers polytechnic and social, business and health sciences studies.
Numerous people of Mataro origin have played a prominent role in the field of Catalan politics and culture, including first-rate intellectuals such as Josep Puig i Cadafalch, considered one of the most prominent personalities of contemporary Catalonia, or Antoni Puigblanch, Melcior de Palau, Josep Goday and Joan Peiró. The architectural trends of the Baroque, Neoclassicism and Modernism had a special impact on it and even today you can see remarkable buildings of these styles such as the Casa Coll i Regàs or theNau Gaudí. The city is also the birthplace of renowned artists such as the sculptors Damià Campeny and Manuel Cusachs, the painter Rafael Estrany, the writer Néstor Luján and the musician Peret.
Several entities in Mataró are or have been relevant at a national level in various areas of culture and sports such as castles (Capgrossos de Mataró group), hiking and mountaineering (Agrupació Científico-Excursionista de Mataró) or swimming and water polo (Mataró Swimming Center).
Like most towns in the region, the vineyard was formerly the basis of local agriculture, but the invasion of phylloxera in the late nineteenth century greatly reduced the area devoted to the vineyard. Thanks to the repopulation of the vines with American feet, more resistant to disease, the vineyard was still very important until well into the twentieth century. In 1945 the surface was still slightly larger than that of the irrigated area.
In parallel with the regression of the vineyard, the cultivation of irrigation was increasing, especially from the time when electricity was used for the extraction of groundwater. The Quaternary platform bordering the sea, formed by the accumulation of sand and gravel from the disintegration of granite, is very suitable for irrigated cultivation, both for the existence of groundwater and for the good permeability of the soils. But not everything has been easy: the farmer has often had to rebuild the roads, pave them, level them, search for water at great depth, channel it properly and modify the quality of the land.
The most fertile orchard areas are in the Pla de Sant Simó and Cinc Sénies, on the east side, and in the Pla d’en Boet, with the Rengle and the Camí del Mig, up to the Argentona stream, on the corner from the west. In this last direction is where the urbanization action has swallowed more plots dedicated to horticulture. There are also slices of orchards located higher up, but they are not as important as the flat places.
Until recently, the early potato harvest was the main one. Its cultivation started at the end of the last century and had been consolidated around 1910 with the adoption of the English seed Royal Kidney, which was the one that reconciled best with this class of horticultural production, with a view to export, and that made the designation of origin Mataró mandatory for this class of tuber obtained in the region and the bordering areas in 1932. Trocadero lettuce and peas were also exported.
Floral production, then, is meager and continues with traditional vegetable crops (cabbages, cabbage and cauliflower, broccoli, endives, peppers, beans, onions and potatoes), but the techniques of the intensive agriculture (greenhouses, shade, sprinkler irrigation), with which the horticulture maintains its economic weight within the municipality. In 1986, 144 ha of dry land and 913 ha of irrigated land were cultivated, with the following crops: 27 ha of cereals, 14 of legumes, 203 of tubers, 90 of flowers, 48 of fodder, 50 of fruit, 545 of vegetables, 3 vines and 77 others.
Torre Llauder archaeological site
The Torre Llauder archaeological site is home to the remains of the state rooms of a Roman villa, built around the time of Augustus (late first century CE), located in the city of Iluro (Roman Mataró). Today, various parts of the mosaic-paved villa can be visited: the atrium, the main room, part of the inner courtyard and the remains of the peristyle columns, the hypocaust heating room, the baths, the latrines and the sewers, along with new finds from the latest archaeological excavations. Discovered in 1961 by Marià Ribas i Bertran and his team, the Torre Llauder archaeological site was declared a National Historic-Artistic Monument in 1964, and later a National Heritage Site.
Nau Gaudí-Bassat Collection
The Nau Gaudí, or “Gaudí Warehouse”, is the first building designed by Modernist architect Antoni Gaudí. It was part of the factory built under commission from the Cooperativa Obrera Mataronense: a much wider, more ambitious project, thought up between 1878 and 1883. It is a highly important building, as it opened up the path to Gaudí’s most iconic work. With the Nau Gaudí, the architect experimented with parabolic arches as structural elements. Without this Mataró cooperative, Gaudí would not have developed the formulas he later used for the attic of La Pedrera, his famous church model and the Colònia Güell. The friendship between Gaudí and Salvador Pagès, one of the leaders of the cooperative movement in Catalonia, was a key element of this collaboration. Out of his whole project, only the cotton-bleaching warehouse and the adjacent latrines remain.
Since November 2010, it has been home to the Bassat Collection in Mataró, a unique collection of some of the most representative pieces of Catalan art from the second half of the twentieth century, including over 2,000 pictures and sculptures, complemented by a wide selection of graphic art. The Nau Gaudí also hosts temporary exhibitions of contemporary art and activities for all visitors. The Nau Gaudí was declared a historic-artistic monument by the Spanish state in 1969 and a National Heritage Site by the Generalitat de Catalunya in 1982.
Casa Coll i Regàs
Casa Coll i Regàs is the most iconic Modernist building in Mataró, built by architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch, who designed it under commission from the textile entrepreneur Joaquim Coll i Regàs for his new residence on Carrer Argentona. It currently belongs to the Fundació Iluro. Puig i Cadafalch planned to join together two cases de cós, a typical kind of house in Mataró. As of 1898, the building was made up of a basement for the domestic help, a majestic ground floor, bedrooms on the first floor, an attic and a turret. The bedrooms are spread around the edges of an atrium with a skylight that illuminates the middle part of the building. Puig i Cadafalch designed the decoration and iconographic programme to honour his client, a distinguished member of the local Mataró bourgeoisie and part of the Regàs family, textile spinners and knitting and hosiery manufacturers.
Forts on the beach
The forts, or bunkers, are an historic ensemble formed by various military or defensive architectural structures placed in an orderly manner every 600 metres along the coastline of Mataró. Eight forts or bunkers documented, five still stand, between Varador beach and the Vallgiró torrent, though in varying states of conservation. Built during the Spanish Civil War. All the bunkers have the same structure and were built from the same materials: reinforced concrete over stone foundations, covered by a sandy finish on the exterior to camouflage and integrate them into their surroundings. In some bunkers, the door is on the east side, in others it is on the western wall. The sites may also have been equipped with anti-aircraft guns.
Due to the fact that it is the birthplace of several important architects who are part of the main artistic movements of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Mataró has a large number of buildings of high artistic and architectural interest, including which we can mention the following:
Antiga Clínica l’Aliança, rationalist building by Eduard Ferrés i Puig (20th century)
Cafè de Mar, historicist work by Lluís Gallifa (1926)
Ca l’Arenas, historicist building by Emili Cabanyes (1899)
Can Masjuan, modern style villa by Jordi Capell i Casaramona (mid 20th century)
Can Palauet, stately building with Gothic elements of the s. XV and facade of the s. XVII
Can Serra, current headquarters of the Museum of Mataró, manor house of the s. XVI
Casa Coll i Regàs, modernist building by Puig i Cadafalch (1898)
City Hall, original building by Jaume Vendrell (1635), renovated in neoclassical style by Miguel Garriga i Roca (1867)
Valldemia School, a neoclassical building from the 19th century by the architect Jeroni Boada, and renovated and enlarged by Josep Goday i Casals
Fideueria la Confianza, modernist building of Puig i Cadafalch (1896)
The old municipal slaughterhouse of Mataró, modernist building of Melcior de Palau (1909-1915)
La Peixateria, neoclassical building by Miquel Garriga i Roca (1841)
Plaça de Cuba Market, rationalist building by Lluís Gallifa and Miquel Brullet (1936)
El Tren Market, modernist building by Emili Cabanyes i Puig i Cadafalch (1891-1893)
Nau Gaudí, the first building built by Antoni Gaudí (1878)
Mataró Prison, historicist building by Elies Rogent (1851)
Sant Josep Residence, Noucentista building with modernist elements by Emili Cabanyes (1912)
The most emblematic church of Mataró is the Basilica of Santa Maria, a traditional parish of the city documented since 1054, and located in the middle of the old town, on the remains of a Romanesque church, and even before a temple of Roman origin. The current building dates from the 17th century and mixes Gothic, Baroque and Neoclassical styles. Inside, the Capella dels Dolors stands out, one of the best-preserved examples of Catalan Baroque, with several works by Antoni Viladomat. It houses the relics of the patron saints of the city (Santa Juliana and Santa Semproniana), and for this reason the Mass of the Saints is celebrated on July 27.
Other notable buildings are the church of Santa Anna and the old convent of Sant Joan and Sant Josep, both in Baroque style. On the outskirts of the city, next to the Cinc Sénies and the stream of the same name, we find the hermitage of Sant Simó, a small temple of maritime tradition built in the seventeenth century, and which still keeps alive the tradition of a gathering and to eat around the 28th of October the saber of Sant Simó, a pastry specialty genuinely from Mataró. In this place was located the Coca de Mataró, a marine votive offering of great artistic value that is preserved today in the Maritiem Museum Prins Hendrik in Rotterdam.
Further away from the city center, the Romanesque hermitage of Sant Martí de Mata (ninth-eleventh century) and that of Sant Miquel de Mata (fifteenth century), of late Gothic style, are remarkable.
Some of the most important cultural centers in the city are:
Els Dolors artwork in Santa Maria Basilica
The Els Dolors chapel is one of the artistic treasures not to be missed if you are visiting Mataró. Along with the Sala de Juntes and the crypt, this extraordinary set of paintings, preserved in the Santa Maria Basilica, is one of the most important samples of Catalan Baroque and was created by Antoni Viladomat i Manalt, considered the best Catalan painter of the early 18th century.
Can Serra Museum
Can Serra is the section of Mataró Museum dedicated to the city’s history, with a permanent exhibition with two main themes: the Roman period, then the Middle Ages until the present day. The Iluro, a Roman city exhibition offers a glimpse of Roman Mataró, about which we have learned much more in recent years, thanks to various excavations. Meanwhile, at the Mataró, a Mediterranean city exhibition, visitors can travel through time to get to know the city from medieval times to today. As well as the permanent exhibition, Mataró Museum offers temporary exhibitions throughout the year on local themes relating to archaeology, art, history, ethnology, technical and scientific fields, and natural sciences.
Can Serra is a manor house that belonged to Jeroni Serra Arnau, a nobleman and the city’s first syndic at the Catalan Courts. This Renaissance-style building conserves its original structure from 1565, with a wide entrance and stone staircase that takes you to the large central room on the first floor, around which the old bedrooms are distributed. In the drawing room, the original wooden artesonado ceiling can be seen. Highlights of the house’s symmetrical façade include the portal and its voussoir arch and the windows, with wrought iron grilles.
Ca l’Arenas Museum
Ca l’Arenas is the branch of Mataró Museum that specialises in art and its promotion, with special attention paid to artistic activity in the city. The Museum puts on all sorts of activities: exhibitions, talks, conferences, workshops, audiovisual presentations… all with the collaboration of the Associació d’Amics de Ca l’Arenas. Ca l’Arenas was born from the legacy of artist Jordi Arenas i Clavell in his city of birth.
Can Marfà Museum
The old Can Marfà factory was a hub for the city’s knitting and hosiery industry and, as a building, is one of the most outstanding testimonies to Mataró’s industrial heritage. This late-nineteenth-century industrial site is made up of two three-storey warehouses connected by bridges. A chimney located between the warehouses completes the construction. Currently, the small warehouse is home to the branch of Mataró Museum dedicated to the city’s cultural heritage from the knitting and hosiery industry. This part contains the Fundació Jaume Vilaseca collection, one of the most unique displays of industrial heritage in Catalonia. Mataró, a textile capital is the permanent exhibition that explains, from a multidisciplinary point of view, the past, present and future of the knitting and hosiery industry in Mataró and Catalonia, through over one hundred pieces from the Jaume Vilaseca collection (machinery, clothing, advertising, tools and documents).
can palauetThe Can Palauet exhibition spaces take up the ground floor of the Can Palauet building and host contemporary art exhibitions all year round, by both local and overseas artists. The art on display is created by emerging artists, well-known personalities on the Catalan contemporary art scene and artists with long, recognised careers.
At Casa Capell, the aim is to improve the city of Mataró and the world we live in by living more sustainably. With this aim in mind, it hosts guided tours, practical workshops and talks and offers resources on loan, information on alternative options and audiovisual aids, as well as advice and information on energy, water, waste and resources, mobility, the atmosphere, the land, biodiversity and responsible consumption.
This building is typical of the modern architectural movement, characterised by a desire for usefulness, simple shapes, a direct relationship between the building and its purpose and a rational use of materials. Designed and built by architect and Mataró local Jordi Capell i Casaramona for residential purposes, the building and the project within it show the options within our reach to head towards sustainable development. Casa Capell offers free guided tours, upon appointment, aimed at the general public, businesses, other organisations, and schools and colleges.
Els Caputxins Cemetery
The Els Caputxins Cemetery is the most significant Neoclassical site in the city and an outdoor museum that, through tombs, pantheons, mausoleums and funeral sculptures, explains 200 years of Mataró’s history. This space is where some of the most outstanding local personalities were laid to rest, including the man behind the Iberian Peninsula’s first railway, Miquel Biada, the architect, politician and historian Josep Puig i Cadafalch, the trade union leader Joan Peiró, the artists Jaume and Jordi Arenas, the archaeologist Marià Ribas, the poet Josep Punsola and the singer Pere Pubill Calaf, known as “Peret”, among many others.
It was built in 1787, when a Royal Decree from Charles III of Spain banned burials in churchyards and ordered the construction of new ventilated cemeteries, far away from urban centres. In 1817, Mataró City Council accepted the proposal from the Order of the Caputxins to create a “Campo Santo”, or cemetery, on the upper part of the convent, for all citizens who wanted to be buried there. Within just three years, it was the site for practically all burials in Mataró. Over the course of its existence, the Els Caputxins Cemetery and Convent has undergone various fortifications, demolitions and reconstructions. In 1835, there was a fire and the Caputxí friars later left for good. Through an auction in 1844, the Junta d’Obra de Santa Maria organisation acquired the plot, on which the new Catholic cemetery was to be built. In 1944, the right side of the entrance esplanade was expanded to create the Secció Nova, or “New Section”, designed by municipal architect Lluís Gallifa.
Libraries and civic centers
The local library network of Mataró currently has only two centers: the Pompeu Fabra Public Library, inaugurated in 1997 and built as the world’s first sustainable building prototype; and the Antoni Comas Public Library, inaugurated in 2013 inside the modernist building of the old municipal Slaughterhouse.
The TecnoCampus Mataró-Maresme Park also has a university library service for the educational community of its centers. Outside the public network, there is the Iluro Foundation’s Popular Library, whose origins date back to 1929, and which has been in its current location since 2002.
As for civic centers, the city currently has seven: Pla d’en Boet, Rocafonda, Cerdanyola, Cabot and Barba, Molins, Cirera and Espai Gatassa. These civic centers are complemented by other facilities such as the Casal de Barrio de les Esmandies and the 19 social centers that the City Council has ceded to various local entities, to carry out their activities.
Cinema, music and theater
Mataró has numerous leisure and recreation areas, some of which —such as the Foment Mataroní, the Casal de la Nova Aliança or the Cercle Catòlic— are entities that have been around for a long time, and which have stood out for their continuous offer of cultural activities, educational workshops, film screenings, and so on. As for the last entity mentioned, we should highlight the Sala Cabanyes, a theater where the show Els Pastorets de Mataró is performed, which in 2016 celebrated its centenary.
The Municipal Monumental Theater is the main facility dedicated to the dissemination of the city’s performing arts. Located in La Riera, and with a capacity of 780 seats, it has a stable program of dance and theater throughout the year. The existence of the Can Gassol facility should also be highlighted. Performing Arts Creation Center, opened in 2010.
In terms of cinemas, the city had once had a dozen establishments, including the iconic Cinema Iluro, but the crisis in the sector and the opening in 2001 of the center commercial Mataró Parc —which houses 12 cinemas— caused the closure of all the cinemas located in the center, except for the Foment Mataroní. The latter was the place where the first screening took place in Mataró, on February 2, 1897, which became the third Catalan city to admire the cinema.
Finally, Mataró enjoys a wide range of discos and concert halls. One of the reference music venues is the Sala Clap, inaugurated in 2000 in the Pla d’en Boet Industrial Estate, and one of the facilities in the Mataró House of Music project.
Les Santes, Mataró Festival
The local festival of Mataró is Les Santes, in honor of the local patrons Juliana and Semproniana, which is commemorated on July 27 since 1773. The celebration lasts several days and concentrates the main events between 24 and July 29, including large popular and traditional events (such as correfocs and parades of giants, bigheads and other troupes), crowded concerts, fireworks, sports competitions, sardana dances and religious services. In recent years it has become one of the most popular festivals in the country, being declared in 2010 a heritage festival of national interest.
The central events of the program are:
day 24: Gegantada, Havaneras and burnt rum.
day 25: Call of Festa Major and Crazy Night (which includes the Bellugós Awakening, the Guest of the Robafaves Family, the correfoc of the Escapada a Negra Nit, the Pujada Tabalada and La Ruixada).
day 26: Barram i repicada, Tarda Guillada (children’s adaptation of the Crazy Night) and Verbena de Festa Major.
day 27: Mornings, Mass of the Saints, the Pass and Castle of Fires.
day 28: Postcard of the Saints, Dance of Dragons, Requirements of Festa Major and It is not enough ..
day 29: We are going to close, Thunder of end of celebration, final Espetec and the Dawn.
Traditional figures have a large presence during these days, being true protagonists of the Festa Major. The Robafaves Family presides over the main events, often accompanied by the rest of the city’s troupes: the Eagle, the Dragon and the Dragonfly, the Momerota and the Momeroteta and the Diablesses.
On the Sunday before July 27, the Day of the Saints is celebrated in the Plaza de Santa Anna, a castle event organized by the local group, the Capgrossos of Mataró, and two invited groups (one of them, the Castellers de Vilafranca).
Feast of St. Simon
Around the 28th of October, the festival and gathering of the hermitage of Sant Simó is celebrated, a small church with a maritime tradition, which is still one of the most popular and rooted among the seafarers and the inhabitants of Mataró. It is customary on this day to see the typical fisherman’s dance and eat the sword of Sant Simó, a pastry specialty that consists of a sword-shaped tortilla as an allegory to the protection that Mataro sailors asked the saint for from pirates.
During the days of celebration the program includes a parade of giants, activities for children, sardana dancing, habaneras, castellers, concerts and fireworks.
The Easter Mataro is one of the most important of Catalonia. It includes a dozen events, including processions and parades of a dozen brotherhoods and brotherhoods and the Armed Forces of Mataró, of which there is evidence since the early eighteenth century. It is a celebration deeply rooted in the neighborhood of Cerdanyola, which has a large population from Andalusian immigration in the mid-twentieth century, the main driver of the recovery of this festival from the eighties.
The main events are:
Palm Sunday: Morning of saetas and procession of the Prendiment, that has a very popular section in the Descent of the Stairs in which the bearers go up the running step.
Holy Thursday: Collection of the flag and parade of the Armed Forces in tribute to the city, that later also participates in the Procession or Night of Silence.
Good Friday: General Procession of Mataró, considered Cultural Heritage of the city, which has the participation of all the brotherhoods, brotherhoods and the Armed Forces of Mataró.
St. George’s Day
All kinds of cultural events are organized in the city around St. George’s Day (April 23), such as poetry recitals, storytelling, concerts, book presentations and exhibitions. From the previous weekend the Book Fair takes place in the Plaza de Santa Anna.
One of the events that characterizes the Day is the Meeting of Giants, Giants and Dwarfs of Mataró, in which about fifty giants and bigheads participate. On the same day a castle day is also organized. The book and rose festival ends with La Fogonada, the most genuine event of the Day in which the Dragon of Mataró is the protagonist of an adapted version of the legend of Sant Jordi, which ends with a concert by traditional music in the Town Hall Square.
Saint John’s Eve
On the occasion of St. John’s Night (June 23-24) and the summer solstice, a celebration is organized that includes popular dinners, bonfires, concerts and cultural events.
One of the most emblematic elements is the arrival of the Canigó Flame, carried by volunteers from the top of the mountain to light the city’s bonfires. One of the focal points during the festival is Carrer de Sant Joan, where hundreds of people wait for the traditional Baixada de les Bruixes from Les Escaletes, carrying the fire that at midnight must burn the great bonfire of Can Maitanquis.
In addition to those described above, the traditional Carnival festivities, the Three Tombs, Christmas and the Cavalcade of Kings are celebrated in Mataró. In recent years, events have also been organized to commemorate the Chinese New Year.
For their part, most neighborhoods in the city have their own major festivals.
Mataró is home to some of the best seaside and mountain cuisine around. Whether you fancy a snack or prefer a delicious three-course meal in relaxed, quiet surroundings, everything you could want is here in our city. One of the city’s specialities is the Plat de Mataró, a pea, cuttlefish and potato stew. This dish is the star of an annual spring event: the Jornades Gastronòmiques del Plat de Mataró, organised by Gremi d’Hostaleria i Turisme de Mataró i el Maresme, which involves some thirty restaurants from the city.
Take in the unique experience of wandering through the city’s old town: an outdoor shopping centre that combines restaurants for all palates, traditional markets and pleasant, pretty surroundings, where you can discover the city’s Modernist, Baroque and Roman heritage. More than 2,000 shops to explore and browse: clothing, shoes, accessories… A modern, high-quality choice of shops, where you can buy everything you need.
Meanwhile, at Mataró Parc you will find a 70,000m2 shopping centre with over 80 shops, specialising in fashion, accessories, homeware, sports, computing and other items, as well as a huge supermarket, a 12-screen cinema and around twenty eating and leisure establishments.
Mataró is a city of markets. In the centre, from Tuesday to Saturday, don’t miss the Plaça de Cuba Market and the Plaça Gran Market (El Rengle), a unique market in a small Modernist building, where all the stalls face outwards onto the street. Saturday is market day in Mataró. All over the city, six street markets take place. As well as Plaça de Cuba and Plaça Gran, there are the Pla d’en Boet, L’Escorxador, Cirera-Molins and Cerdanyola markets. On Thursday on Plaça de Cuba, there is another market selling clothing, accessories and homeware.
Parks and gardens
The city has several green spaces within the urban plot. The most emblematic is the Central Park of Mataró, inaugurated in 1893, where there are large trees and is bordered by a perimeter fence. Next to this is the New Central Park, built in 2000, a large area (15.6 ha) that has become the true green lung of the city.
Other spaces of special relevance are the Jardins de l’Antic Escorxador, which since 2013 have housed the Antoni Comas Public Library and other municipal facilities; and the Parc de Can Boada, a quasi-forest park of 2 ha, which climbs up a very central hill and houses a unique building by Jeroni Boada. Finally, there are also several spaces distributed in the different districts of the city, such as the Parc de Cerdanyola, the Parc del Nord or the Parc de Can Clavell.
On the outskirts of the city, there is the Forest Park located in Turó d’en Dori, a large area of 25 ha of pine, holm oak and cork oak with various facilities and very frequented by the inhabitants of the city, to carry out activities sports, picnics and family gatherings.
Beaches and seafront
Mataró boasts more than 2 kilometres of beaches, where you can enjoy the sunshine and take part in all kinds of water activities all year round, and a seafront promenade, where you can go for a quiet walk, enjoy a delicious meal or take part in sports activities. Come and explore our beaches with family or friends. You will find all the facilities you need to make your experience unforgettable. If you are looking for a more romantic escape for two, come and discover our quieter, more intimate coastal spots. All of this is complemented by a first-class port with plenty of food and night-time entertainment options. Meanwhile, any keen scuba divers should head to one of the biggest attractions on the Mataró coast: Alguer de Mataró, a vast area of Mediterranean Tapeweed of huge importance within the local marine ecosystem.
As a city that has grown well by the sea, Mataró has an imposing Paseo Marítimo that runs along the coast along the city’s 2.2 km of beaches, from the Sant Simó stream to Platja de Ponent. Further on, there is the possibility of connecting with the neighboring towns of Sant Andreu de Llavaneres and Cabrera de Mar, although in some sections the passage is still not well resolved.
The promenade has many spaces for recreation, from sports facilities to restaurants. Highlights include the facilities of the Mataró Swimming Center and access to the Port of Mataró, which in turn also houses several bars and restaurants. On several occasions throughout the year, this great coastal avenue hosts concerts and other shows.
As for the beaches, there are four of very variable dimensions, all with rescue and lifeguard service during the summer season and equipped with various facilities: toilets, showers, wooden walkways, volleyball nets, children’s games, and so on. On the other west to east are:
Located next to the port, this beach has a less urban backdrop. With 180 metres of coarse sand, the Ponent beach is ideal for all kinds of water sports or a relaxing day on the beach, thanks to its full range of services. On top of that, it is just 50 metres from the train station.
This is one of the most iconic beaches in Mataró, due to its proximity to the city centre. This space especially caters to families, who can make the most of various play areas for little ones, but is also ideal for sportier visitors, thanks to its volleyball, basketball and football facilities. The 750-metre-long Varador beach boasts an adapted bathing area for people with reduced mobility and all the quality services and facilities you may need, proven by the Q tourism quality label awarded by the Institute for Spanish Tourism Quality (ICTE in Spanish).
Callao beach is a relaxing day at the beach in a family-friendly. With 400 metres of sand, you will find all sorts of facilities, awarded the Q tourism quality label by the Institute for Spanish Tourism Quality (ICTE): toilets, showers, lifeguards, cafés and services for people with reduced mobility. All of this is complemented by a seafront promenade, ideal for exercising or a relaxing walk, with a variety of food available.
Sant Simó beach
If you prefer a less urban, quieter setting, Sant Simó beach is the best option. This kilometre-long beach – part of which is naturist – is the furthest beach from the city centre. Like the others, during the bathing season, its services include lifeguards, showers, cafés and bicycle parking.
Mataró Port is famous in Catalonia for its sporting side, thanks to its excellent geographical position and cutting-edge facilities. This large, easy-to-navigate port has over 1,000 berths for draughts of 5–9 metres and LOA of 7–30 metres. It is home to a range of nautical services and businesses, as well as plenty of appealing eating and night-life options.
In Mataró, you will find plenty of water sports and other activities for all tastes, including sailing, jet skiing, rowing, windsurfing and fishing. If scuba diving is the activity for you, Mataró’s natural marine environment offers a unique phenomenon to discover: the Alguer de Mataró, an extensive patch of Mediterranean Tapeweed, endemic to the area and rich in all kinds of marine species.