Farners Square

The heart of local life in Santa Coloma de Farners. 

As well as being the town’s central hub, Farners Square is also part of the Inventari del Patrimoni Arquitecttónic de Catalunya, (List of buildings or monuments considered to be of architectural importance in Catalonia) because, as it is located next to the parochial church and is practically part of it, it has been and continues to be the historical and cultural centre of the town.

It is a sandy square, as squares historically were in our country. It is surrounded by plane trees that offer shade in summer and life throughout the year, and there are stone benches between the trees, where young and old can relax and chat.

Altogether, and with the bars and restaurants around the outside, it is a perfect terrace for relaxing with a vermouth, coffee or beer in the morning, afternoon or evening.

It is an important space for local events. This is where the main acts of the Ratafia Festival, town banquet and opening speech of the Town Festival, Catalan Revolt Festival, the Ratafia Herb Market, sardana dancing every Monday night in July and August, open air concerts and the Monday market take place.

At one end of the square there is a fountain which has an iron sculpture on it. This is the Colometa, and is the work of the local renowned artist Jesús Carles de Vilallonga. At the other end, between the square and the steps to the main entrance of the parochial church, there is a stone sculpture that honours Salvador Espriu, born in the town in 1913. This sculpture is the work of the prestigious sculptor Josep Maria Subirachs, author of the sculptural decoration of the Passion Façade in the Expiatory Temple of Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia Cathedral.

The entire square is an exceptional observation point for the parochial church, the bell tower and a porch named Mesures, which is part of the base of the building and one of the most distinguishing elements.

Practical information: can be visited. On Mondays, the weekly market takes place here.

A little bit of history!

Between the 15th century and the 18th century, the public square of Santa Coloma was a small space between the church and the Farners house, a house located in the middle of what today is known as the Farners square. Fairs and markets were held in this space, but as Santa Coloma became a point of attraction in the comarca of la Selva the square started to change and the ground floor of the Farners house was converted into shops. During 1762 the last member of the Farners family who lived in Santa Coloma died and the fields behind the house were sold. Because of this, the city was able to build the Prat street. It was also during this time that the city council built the porch called les Mesures. 

Despite this the house kept dividing the space into two squares, the public one next to the church and the Castanyes square next to el carrer del Prat but in the year 1874 the house became unusable after suffering two fires during the third Carlist War. It was at that time when the city council took advantage of the situation and bought the plot of the house, stopping the project of the Farners family of rebuilding the house. The remaining walls of the house were demolished, and they were able to join the two squares into one, which was inaugurated in 1892 with the name of Plaza de la Constitución (Constitution square). A new porch made out of granite was built, and the square became the place where businesses were conducted and where Sardanas were danced. 

During the 19th century, the civil government ordered that the livestock market had to be moved from the Farners square to the Firal square for hygienic reasons. This provoked strong complaints from the people who lived near the square, who saw how the urban growth of the city started to take away the protagonisme that they had always had. In the year 1903 sycamores were planted on the square, and they are still there today. In 1929 the city council removed the old fountain and in its place a new one, made out of iron was placed. 

In 1931 the square was named Plaça de la República (republic square) but once the Spanish Civil War was over it was renamed as Plaza del Generalissimo. In the year 1979 the square was finally named Farner square. During the 80s and the 90s two sculptures were installed on the square, the monument to Salvador Espriu and La Colometa (a fountain-sculpture).

Curiosity: The priest Benet Tristany, an important carlist, wrote that the square was communicated with the Farners castle through a secret passage. Even though this is not true, which is clear is that the square has been for many years the center of Santa Coloma. 

Address: Plaça Farners 9

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