Sant Gervasi-La Bonanova

Modernista Buildings and Modern Apartments

The neighbourhood of Sant Gervasi-La Bonanova originally formed part of the old municipality of Sant Gervasi de Cassoles.

The barri is made up of two sections with the area known as Sant Gervasi-Galvany being the centre of the old municipality whilst the core of La Bonanova dates originally from the 1890s.

La Bonanova literally means 'Good News' and its fine houses and chalets were built by Catalan businessmen who had made their fortunes in the Americas.

Located on the rough slopes of Tibidabo, the town of Sant Gervasi de Cassoles cut across by streams was little more than a cluster of houses for centuries.

The giveaway is the word 'cassoles' which normally means 'saucepans' but in this case linguists think it is the combination of of 'cases soles' meaning 'houses on their own'.

In the 10th century, Sant Gervasi is documented as forming part of Sarrià and it became a municipality in its own right in 1727 until in 1897 it was incorporated into the City of Barcelona.


In the middle of the 19th century, Sant Gervasi was discovered by Barcelona's bourgeois upper-middle classes, who began to develop along Carrer Ganduxer and Carrer Mandrí and the names of the streets in this area often refer to the industrialist who built the first house.

In less than 50 years, Sant Gervasi de Cassoles changed from isolated rural village to upmarket suburb of summer residences, convents and expensive schools.

This tendency continued as the construction of La Bonanova extended further up the hill at the turn of the century and here you'll find some truly magnificent Modernista buildings.

Although many of the old buildings were demolished and replaced with luxurious apartment blocks from the 1960s onwards, some important monuments remain.

Important Modernista buildings in Sant Gervasi-La Bonanova include La Rotonda built by Adolf Ruiz i Casamitjana in 1916, El Frare Blanc by Joan Rubió i Bellver in 1903 (shown below) and Antoni Gaudí's iconic Bellesguard built between 1900 and 1909 (shown above).

Other interesting constructions are the Sant Gervasi cemetery, Jardins de la Tamarita, designed by Rubió i Tudurí in 1918 as a private garden and opened as a public park in 1994, and the old Casacuberta factory, by Josep Domènech i Estapà, recently concerted into the Barcelona Science Museum.

Public Transport

For public transport, Sant Gervasi-La Bonanova is served by the El Putxet and Avinguda Tibidabo stops of the Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat.

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