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The ateneus, casinos, social clubs and cafés

These types of establishments were built in Catalonia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in response to the requirements of the numerous associative, political and cultural movements that arose in our country at that time. Often in modernist style, they were originally created as restaurants, but soon became places for meeting and debate between the various social groups and political tendencies: employers, clerks, labourers, traders, clergymen... in this way, they became cultural and political focal points of vital importance.

After the Civil War, this political importance was lost, but many places of this type still survive today and play an important cultural and social role, since they continue to be the meeting place for young and old. The busiest times of day tend to be for coffee after lunch and for coffee and a drink after dinner, and of course weekends. The customers chat, argue, criticise, laugh, drink, watch football on TV, and, in particular, play cards.

Some of these places – for example, La Sala in Torroella de Montgrí, El Fraternal in Palafrugell or El Casino dels Nois in Sant Feliu de Guíxols – have conserved the architecture of the 1900’s, with their huge carved-wood bar counters and marble-topped tables.

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Consell Comarcal del Baix Empordà
C/Tarongers, 12 · Tel. 972 642 310 · 17100 La Bisbal d'Empordà · - Google+
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