Sant Genís dels Agudells

An Ancient Parish that still Survives

Located on the slopes of Collserola, the ancient parish of Sant Genís dels Agudells is in the upper corner of the Horta-Guinardó District of Barcelona on the other side of the Ronda de Dalt.

The word 'Agudells' appears for the first time in Carolingian documents dating from the 10th century and is an antequated diminutive plural of 'agulla', so the full name was Sant Genís of the Needles, in reference to the sharp pointed peaks in this part of Collserola.

The origin of the village and later the Barcelona neighbourhood is the church of Sant Genís dels Agudells, which was the centre of one of the earliest parishes on the Barcelona plain.

The church was consecrated in 931 by Bishop Teodoric de Barcelona during the reign of Count Sunyer and in the act of donation, the existence of 55 hearths relating to the 5 farmhouses in the area is recorded.


The local population made a reasonably good living out of crop farming due to the abundance of water and in 1359, the village came under the jurisdiction of the Monastery of Sant Jeroni de la Vall d'Hebron.

By the 19th century, what we now know as Sant Genís is actually the hub of a much large area that spanned much of this part of Collserola and included the now separate neighbourhoods of Montbau, La Clota, La Teixonera as well as the actual Parc de la Vall d'Hebron, all cut off now by the Ronda de Dalt.

Unfortunately, as the picture shows, the mass immigration from the rest of Spain of the 1950s and 1960s transformed what was once a very pleasant rural hill village into the urban sprawl it is today.

However, if you explore the area, you will find some of the original Sant Genís dels Agudells, most notably the old parish church and rectory and Can Safont, and being so high up in the hills there is plenty of greenery within walking distance.

The parish cemetery is the oldest in Barcelona and the old town is catalogued as a protected area by the Ajuntament de Barcelona.

Public Transport

Sant Genís is rather poorly communicated by public transport as apart from buses, the only metro connection is Vall d'Hebro Metro Station on the Ronda de Dalt, which is on the Green L3 Metro Line and the Blue L5 Metro Line.

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