SARRIÀ: WIND, STREAMS, HOUSES & CONVENTS
The name ‘Sarrià’ might have originated as Sirriano, Sarius or Serius, and first appeared in property-sale documents in the year 986. The village of Sarrià dates back to the 13th-14th Centuries, however, human settlement in this area dates back to Roman times. During the Middle Ages, it is possible that the existing core maintained the Roman agrarian socio-economic structure. It has been demonstrated that the area of Sarrià-Sant Gervasi was a place where Roman villas were built.
In the Middle Ages, the urban core was located around the church, and the existing farmhouses outside the village formed a rural society whose economy was based on exploitation of the land. Over time, Sarrià transformed into an urban society of artisans and craftsmen that grew in importance with the proliferation of holiday homes in the 16th-17th Centuries.
In the early 20th century, Sarrià became one of the wealthiest and most populous areas in the region. In the 19th century, there was a decline in farming as an industry, and the importance of the construction industry increased, as a result of Barcelona’s continued urban expansion. Its population, previously made up of peasants and artisans, began to consist mainly of major craftsmen.
In the final years of the 19th century, the first attempt to incorporate Sarrià into Barcelona was rejected by the local population. In 1921, Barcelona City Council re-opened the case of Sarrià’s incorporation, which was finally passed as the result of a royal law that included the old municipality as part of Barcelona.
During that time, various convents and religious schools were located in the area. Later, Sarrià became known as a place where wealthy people built mansions and moved to. Therefore, this neighborhood has become notorious for its “modernist” architecture – of both domestic and religious buildings.
Sarrià today represents a coexistence of the old core, which can be easily recalled around the “Calle Mayor”, and the modern areas with large housing units, schools, and office buildings; and it has become one of the most exclusive parts of the city.
Points of Interest & Landmarks
- San Ignacio School: Jesuit school for the Barcelona elite. The present modernist building was opened in 1895. (C/ Carrasco i Formiguera 32)
- Casa Sastre i Marques: house built in 1905, designed by the Catalán modernist architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch. (C/ Vives i Tutó 25)
- Sarrià Market: built in 1911, on the Horta del Rectoret terrain, in the center of the neighborhood, including designs by architects Marcelli Coquillat and Arnau Calvet. (Passeig de la Reina Elisenda 12)