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Terrassa is a city in the east central region of Cataloniamarker, Spainmarker, in the comarca of Vallès Occidentalmarker, of which it is the co-capital along with Sabadellmarker, the historic capital. The population of its area of influence is more than a quarter of a million.


The Masia Freixa of Terrassa, sea of parabolic arches
Castle of Vallparadís
The city is located in the Catalan Prelitoral depression (Depressió Prelitoral), at the feet of the Prelitoral mountain range (Natural reserve of Sant Llorenç del Munt) and the average altitude of the city is 277 meters above sea level. It is 28 and 20 kilometres from Barcelonamarker and Montserratmarker respectively.


The remains that have been found indicate that the area where Terrassa stands has been inhabited since prehistory. In 2005, during the construction of a tunnel for one of the city's railway lines, a prehistoric site was found in the Park of Vallparadís[10805], with stone tools and fossils of hunted animals dating back 800,000 to 1,000,000 years, making this is one of the oldest prehistoric sites in Europe.

Terrassa originated as the Roman town of Egara (Municipium Flavium Egara), which was founded during the time of the emperor Vespasian (69-79 BCE) alongside the torrent of Vallparadís (nowadays an urban park) close to the Iberian town of Egosa, on the site of which some ceramics and coins have been found.

The episcopal see of √ągara already existed by about 450 CE, and a Provincial Council was held there in 615. The cathedral continued to exist until 718, when it was overtaken by the Muslim conquest. Today the ancient Visigothic-Romanesque churches of Sant Pere de Terrassa stand on the site. Other important remains from the Middle Ages are the castle of Vallparadis (from 1344 to 1413 a Carthusian monastery and today a municipal museum) and the tower of the castle-palace of the count-king).

In the 19th century the city played an important role in the industrial revolution, specializing in woollen fabrics, and today there is a major Modernista legacy as a result of the city's importance at that time. Particularly notableModernista buildings include the Masia Freixa (1907), the Vapor Aymerich Amat i Jover textile mill (1907) (now the Museum of Science and Technology of Catalonia), the Principal theater (1920), the city hall (1902), the Alegre de Sagrera house/museum (1911), the Industrial School (1904), the Gran Casino (1920), the Parc de Desinfecció (1920), and the Independència market (1908). Terrassa is a partner city of the Art nouveau network [10806], a European network of co-operation created in 1999 for the study, preservation and development of Art Nouveau.


Evolution of the population in Terrassa (1543 ‚Äď 2007)
1543 3,000 1920 30,532 1960 92,239 2000 175,649
1824 4,195 1930 39,975 1970 138,697 2004 196,053
1857 8,721 1940 45,081 1980 155,360 2007 202,136
1910 22,679 1950 58,880 1990 161,823

The monumental group of the churches of Sant Pere (Saint Peter)

The three churches were built close to the site of the old √ągara as the cathedral of √ągara Diocese, which was founded about the year 450 and existed until the 8th century. The episcopal group follows the Byzantine model of antiquity, with two churches (Sant Pere and Santa Maria) and a baptistery (Sant Miquel). After a long period of construction, the churches were finished in the current manner about the 11th and 12th centuries and in Romanesque style, on the site of the pre-Romanesque buildings of the Visigothic period.The church of Santa Maria contains outstanding works of art, and there are murals dating from the Romanesque period to the Gothic. There is also an altar stone dating from the 10th century and medieval and Romanesque tombstones (one of which documents the name of the Roman town of Egara). In the transept there are three Gothic altarpieces of great value.

  • Sant Pere (Saint Peter)
    • Transept and apse from 9th to 10th centuries
    • Nave from the 12th century
    • Mosaic from the 10th century (geometric designs)
    • Stone altarpiece of Sant Pere from the 10th century
    • Gothic frescoes from the 13th century
Altarpiece of Sant Abdó i Sant Senen
  • Sant Miquel (Saint Michael)
    • Shape of the Greek cross and walls are the originals from the 6th century
    • Frescoes from the 7th and 8th centuries in the apse

  • Other outstanding items
    • Altarpiece of Sant Pere (1411) by Llu√≠s Borrass√†
    • Altarpiece of Roser (1587)
    • Altarpiece of Sant Ruf (17th century)
    • Altarpiece of Sant Miquel (1450-51) by Jaume Cirera & Guillem Talarn
    • Gothic altarpiece of Sant Abd√≤ i Sant Sen√®n (1460) by Jaume Huguet
    • Polychromed sculpture of saint Mary from the 14th century

Culture and museums

The city is heir to a rich medieval, Modernista and industrial legacy, and possesses an extensive network of libraries, historical archives and museums.

  • the museum of Terrassa, municipally-owned, has various sections:
    • Castle/Charterhouse of Vallparad√≠s, in the Park of Vallparad√≠s
    • Visigothic-Romanesque churches of Sant Pere (Saint Peter)
    • Casa Alegre de Sagrera, Modernista house in Carrer Font Vella
    • Tower of the Palau, the only vestige of the castle-palace of the count-kings of Catalonia in Terrassa
    • Center of medieval interpretation of the city of Terrassa
    • Convent of Sant Francesc, cloister decorated with polichromed ceramics (1671-1673)
  • Museum of Science and Technology Catalonia, in the former Aymerich Amat i Jover mill, managed by the Generalitat de Catalunya

Municipal Government

The Municipal Council has 27 seats and according to the result of the local elections of May 2007 is formed by:
  • PSC 13 seats (28,640 votes, 43.56%)
  • CiU 6 seats (13,041 votes, 19.83%)
  • ICV 3 seats (6,736 votes, 10.25%)
  • PP 3 seats (6,468 votes, 9.84%)
  • ERC 2 seats (4,870 votes, 7.41%)
The municipal government is formed by a coalition between PSC, ICV and ERC. The Mayor is Pere Navarro (PSC).


Terrassa is well communicated with Barcelona and its port and airport by motorway. The C-58 and C-16 also link the city with the interior (Manresamarker), the north (Gironamarker and Francemarker), and the south (Tarragonamarker).

The railway reached Terrassa in 1856, and nowadays two lines serve the city. The first, operated by RENFE, connects with Barcelona and Lleidamarker, and the second, operated by FGC, with Barcelona. FGC is extending its line to the north of the city, building three new stations, one of them will act as a rail hub with the RENFE line.

Several interurban bus lines connect Terrassa with the closest cities and towns such as Sabadellmarker, Castellar del Vallèsmarker, Martorellmarker, Rubí, Sant Cugat del Vallèsmarker and Vacarisses.

Transport inside the city is provided by 14 bus lines operated by a municipal company (TMESA). In the future, when the three new FGC stations and the two planned for the RENFE line are in use, the railway will also serve as urban transport.


Terrassa was a pioneer in the introduction of field hockey and korfball in Catalonia and played an important role in the introduction of basketball. The most important sport in the city is field hockey. During the Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992, Terrassa was the city where the field hockey competition was played. The great number of hockey players from Terrassa who have participated in the Olympic Games over the years has led to Terrassa's being referred to as the “most Olympic city in the world“. Between 1928 and 2004, Terrassa sent 124 athletes to the Olympic Games, the majority of whom were hockey players. Three local field hockey clubs play in the main Spanish league championship:
  • Atl√®tic Terrassa Hockey Club (also with a women's team)
  • Club Egara
  • Club Deportiu Terrassa (also with a women's team)

Atlètic Terrassa and Club Egara have won the EuroHockey Club Champions Cup.

Other local sports teams include Club Natació Terrassa (water polo), which won the 2006 LEN Trophy); Terrassa FC (football), and Sferic Terrassa (basketball).

Mass media

Terrasa has a local newspaper, the Diari de Terrassa, that is published daily from Tuesday to Saturday, as well as several radio stations: Ràdio Terrassa/Cadena SER Vallès on 828 AM and 89.4 FM, with more than 75 years of history behind it, being one of the pioneering radio stations in Catalonia and Spain; the municipal radio (Noucincpuntdos, 95.2 FM); and Radio Star de Terrassa, the city's cultural station, on 100.5 FM, which was founded in 1984 and is one of the historic local radios of Catalonia.

Also the city has several local channels - TV20 Locàlia Vallès and Canal Terrassa, with an audience of more than 50,000 viewers. In addition, there is the free newspaper Terrassa Societat, published monthly with a circulation of 50,000, and Terrassa Month, published of Monday through Friday and also covering local events. Since 2005 the municipal digital newspaper, in Catalan, has been on line. The municipal Web site receives no fewer than 150,000 monthly visitors.

There's a new media, free magazine called "La Veu de Terrassa and owned by "El Grup la veu".

See also

External links

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