Granollers, capital of the Vallès Oriental, has a very interesting medieval history.
Today’s city of Granollers has its origins in a crossroads where the medieval town was gradually established thanks to the development of a small market (documented since the 11th century) under the auspices of the church of Sant Esteve.
Over the centuries, the market grew, creating a maze of squares and alleyways and trade, crafts and housing all flourished within the city walls.
The city’ s golden age was, however, the 16th century, when the main square was enlarged, La Porxada was built as a grain market, a new Town Hall was built, the hospital was enlarged, the convent of Sant Francesc was built and the chapels were erected over the portals of the city wall.
This route, which begins at the Adoberia dels Ginebreda or tannery as an example of traditional trades, proposes a tour of the centre of the city, its city walls, defensive towers and old hospital.
Adoberia dels Ginebreda (Tannery)
Adoberia dels Ginebreda, the centre for the historical interpretation of medieval Granollers, uses different museum techniques to present a pre-industrial artisan complex, as well as the history and growth of the city of Granollers from the 9th to the 18th century.
Bell tower of the Church of Sant Esteve (15th century)
It’s the only thing that remains of the old Gothic church of Sant Esteve, built in the 15th century on top of the Romanesque building. The contemporary church was built between 1940 and 1942, after the previous church was destroyed in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). The Museu de Granollers has some corbels and capitals from the Gothic church.
La Porxada (1587)
La Porxada is the city’s most emblematic monument. It was built as a grain market in 1587. As from 1872 it held the municipal market, until this was moved to its current location in 1968. During the Spanish Civil War, a part of the building was damaged during the bombing on the 31st of May 1938. This was rebuilt in 1940, as indicated on the beam under the roof. Apart from this reconstruction, there are other dates carved into the beams: 1751, 1888 and 1985.
Medieval houses (16th century)
The Plaça de la Porxada has some remarkable building, such as two houses from the 16th century.
Number 28 is typical of 16th and 17th-century architecture. Throughout the first quarter of the 20th century, some reforms were carried out but these didn’t obscure its medieval origins. One of the entrances on the ground floor is dated 1541.
The house at number 30 is from the 16th century and was reformed in the 1970s. It currently has three Gothic-Renaissance styled windows where several figures of angels and faces of both ladies and gentlemen can be seen.
City walls (16th century)
Granollers was surrounded by walls from the end of the 13th century up to the middle of the 19th century. Some 16th-century remains of the wall can still be seen from inside the Adoberia dels Ginebreda and also from inside the Can Pedrals Library. The medieval city walls were hexagonal in shape, 816 metres long and protected by defensive towers that were interconnected by “corredossos“, a popular name for the parapet walk.
In the 16th century, chapels dedicated to different saints were built above the entrances. Two of these chapels can still be seen today; that of Santa Esperança and also Santa Anna.
Sala Francesc Tarafa (14th century)
Formerly the city hospital, documented since 1328. It was remodelled in 1926 by the architect M. J. Raspall, a leading figure in the county for the Modernisme movement, who converted the hospital into a library. Two Gothic windows from an old house were placed on the façade and the interior was decorated in the Modernista style.
Can March Façade (16th century)
Restored in 2001, Can March is one of the best conserved town palaces in Granollers.
On the corner of Plaça de l’Oli, number 4 is Can March, a very well-conserved building with interesting corbels and coats of arms on the windows. Although it was modified several times in the 20th century, it has not lost its medieval character. On the main façade on Carrer Dr. Riera is the entrance with a large, semi-circular arched door with a lintel.
Tagamanent Palace Façade (15th century)
Only the central part remains of the 15th-century Tagamanent palace located in Carrer de Sant Roc. Pere de Portugal, also known as Pere el Constable died in this building in 1466 and that’s why it’s popularly known as Casa del Conestable. The main façade is of particular interest, as well as the rounded arched entrance, the Gothic window on the first floor and the window on the second floor.
The squares and streets of the old town
Around the Plaça Major (the square with La Porxada) are other, smaller squares that used to sell all kinds of wares on market day, a fact that’s still reflected in their names: Plaça de les Olles (pots and pans), Plaça dels Cabrits (goat and kid) and Plaça de l’Oli (oil). Others have lost their original name, such as the Plaça de la Fruita (fruit) and Plaça del Blat (wheat), although their location is still known.