After the summer break, the Autódromo de Sitges-Terramar has resumed its activities, like the rest of the surrounding municipality of Sant Pere de Ribes. And while the local “Fiesta Mayor” brought together the public at the start of the summer, today we wanted to pay tribute to the city we call home.
Indeed, the city as we know it today has little to do with what can be seen in the first historical photographs of the region. Until the end of the 19th century, Sant Pere consisted of just a few “masias” (rural buildings) scattered at the foot of the Garraf mountain range.
As elsewhere in the country, the industrial revolution transformed the urban landscape in a lasting manner. In Sant Pere de Ribes, the most remarkable impact of that was undoubtedly the creation of a unique architectural heritage, which has stood the test of time and remains in existence today. Indeed, the Garraf area counts some of the most emblematic works of Catalan modernism, like the Celler Güell, designed by Gaudí, or Can Punxes, which is located in the municipality of Sant Pere de Ribes, built by an “indiano” immigrant who had returned from America at the beginning of the 20th century. It was also at that time that Francesc Armengol, a rich textile entrepreneur from Barcelona, approached Sant Pere with the idea of building a “garden city” – an urbanist vision which included the development of an urban space totally integrated into its environment next to the sea. As a result, a whole series of large modernist buildings were built that were used as summer residences by the Barcelona bourgeoisie. And in the wake of this construction and the birth of the “Ciutat Jardí de Terramar”, Francesc Armengol commissioned Frick Armangué to build the Autódromo de Sitges-Terramar in order to provide entertainment to this new population.
Today, the city of Sant Pere de Ribes has a population of more than 30,000, making it the second most populated city of the Garraf zone behind Vilanova i La Geltrú, and it is an important economic centre in the metropolitan Barcelona area. In addition, in recent years, the city has focused on developing its cultural and leisure offerings, for example with the launch of the indiano festival, now one of the biggest such festivals in Catalonia. This year, the Jardins de Terramar Festival, which takes place in both the territories of Sitges and Sant Pere de Ribes, attracted nearly 20,000 people.
As for us at the Autódromo de Sitges-Terramar, we will continue working to contribute our building block to the collective foundation of Sant Pere de Ribes, whose geography, history, and destiny we have always shared.