Riudoms, the village of Gaudí
Riudoms is an agricultural town in the Tarragona, rooted in its ancestral origins. All the historical cultures have left their mark; Riudoms is rich in Iberian, Roman and Visigoth sites.
In the 12th century, Robert de Aguiló gave Riudoms to the knight Arnau de Palomar, and the town passed to the archbishopric of Tarragona.
In the 13th century, the primitive church of Sant Jaume was built. In the 16th century, an adobe wall was built and the Franciscan convent of Sant Joan was constructed.
The Church of Sant Jaume has a very wide central nave and is an impressive height. Work began in 1593 under the direction of the French master builder Joan Mas and it was opened in 1617. At the end of the 19th century, when the vineyards were ruined by phylloxera blight, hazelnut trees began to be cultivated. Currently, Riudoms is a predominantly agricultural town. The construction of the reservoir of Riudecanyes promoted crop irrigation.
A series of local festivals are held, including the Hazelnut Fair. Although its origin dates back to 1599, it was not until 1981 that it became especially dedicated to hazelnuts, as well as other agricultural products, like olive oil.
Festivals and traditions
San Sebastian (January 20). Major winter festival.
Holy Week (March or April). The “Pictures of the Passion of Jesus”, 7 moments in the last days of Christ, are performed. Good Friday is the staging of the Agony or the Seven Words and the procession of the Holy Burial.
Feast of the Holy Relics (2nd Sunday in May). Started following a prayer from the village to end a drought in the 17th century.
Local Festival (1st weekend in July). The residents from each district dress up and parade with their floats. The heir and heiress are chosen from among the candidates submitted by each district.
San Jaime (25th July). Main summer festival.
Hazelnut Fair (2nd weekend in August). This has its origins in the San Lorenzo Fair, dating back to 1559. Nowadays it is an agricultural fair dedicated to hazelnuts and local produce.
Feast of the Blessed (November 24). Religious and recreational festival dedicated to Blessed Bonaventura Gran every 5 years, during which the streets are decorated with flowers.
Antoni Gaudí i Cornet
(Riudoms, 1852 – Barcelona, 1926)
Catalan architect, internationally recognised as one of the greatest architects of all time. He studied architecture in Barcelona (1873-1878). His first work was the Casa Vicens, in Barcelona, and his last, the Sagrada Família.
Joan Guinjoan i Gispert
(Riudoms, 1931 – Barcelona, 2019)
Composer and pianist. Studied in Barcelona and Paris. Member of the Royal Catalan Academy of Fine Arts. Doctor Honoris Causa from the URV. National Music Prize. In 2004 he premiered the opera Gaudí at the Gran Teatre del Liceu, in honour of his fellow villager.