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The history of the farm house and chapel at Sant Pere de Clarà

A Thousand Years Of History

The origins of the chapel

The chapel of St. Pere de Clarà marks the beginning of this former estate. The experts say that there could be from Century IX or X, although the oldest document ever found is from the year 1002 when the church was part of a priory depending of the Benedictine Monks of St. Cugat del Vallès. From 1196 the priory, along with Sant Ponç of Corbera, will depend of Sant Pere de Casserres. These three monasteries were the only ones in our country of the Order of Cluny, widespread in France. The fifteenth century priory becomes a sinecure in the hands of a commissioned of the prior. Finally in 1592 Pope Clement VIII abolishes the Priory of Clarà.

A powerful farm and miraculous fountain

The origins of the farmhouse.

The actual house of St. Pere de Clarà is a XVII century building that replaced the monastic priory of St. Peter Clarà. It was leased to the Marc family, who later became its owner, keeping the original name and exploiting it with drive and vitality for over three centuries. The waters of the estate had been famous for its kindness; moreover people attributed them healing powers. Not long ago they were still bottled and distributed under the name Water of Clarà.

From farmhouse to summer house

The Modernist restoration

In 1920, Jaume Figueras, the grandfather of the current owners, bought the property and entrusted the restoration of the house and the chapel to the architect Joan Rubio, Gaudí’s disciple and collaborator in the construction of the Sagrada Familia, Casa Batlló and Park Güell. Joan Rubio was the author also of the “Frare Blanc” building on Avenida del Tibidabo, The Casa Golferichs at Gran Via street or the Bridge on the Bisbe street (on the right side of Generalitat’s Building) among others. The passion of Joan Rubió for archaeology and landscaping turned the project of restoration of the house and the chapel into a masterpiece, both for the interior and exterior architecture of the buildings and the gardens of the farm, creating a magical, harmonious whole.

From barn to consecrated chapel suitable for worship

Recovering of the chapel

When Jaume Figueras bought the estate, the chapel was used as corral, the altar’s slab was laying on the floor, and no one knew how it had to be placed. An old pastor said he had seen the slab perched on a cylindrical pillar that at that time served as a guard-protected wheeled corner of the house. This piece was found matching the altar but the priest should place behind it during the mass, facing the parishioners, something unprecedented in the country. Rome was consulted about this issue, and did authorize this provision. So St. Pere de Clarà became the first place in Catalonia where mass was celebrated facing the people. So in 1925 the chapel was consecrated again in a Mass, celebrated by the Cardinal Dr. Vidal i Barraquer.

Beyond the Farm House

The tombs of the church of Argentona

A curious aspect to note is the presence of noble tombs in the Chapel of St. Pere de Clarà. Some of these tombs today can no longer be seen at the chapel, as they were transferred to decorate the facade of the church of Argentona. The person responsible for this relocation was the great architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch, who knew the existence of the chapel and its ancient history. The presence of noble tombs is due to the fact that St. Pere de Clarà was used as a burial site for various noble families of the Maresme. While it was Benedictine priory, Sant Pere de Clarà had this function for the lineage of Sant Vicenç, lords of the castles of Vilassar and Burriac (Cabrera).