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Sarrià

 

Sarrià is fairly unknown to the average tourist being far away from the bustling centre, but it is a barrio not quite like any other in Barcelona and therefore well worth a visit. The former independent town was first recorded in the 10th Century when the church that still stands today and around which the town was born, Sant Vicenç de Sarrià, was built. The town became a fiefdom of an influential family who took the surname Sarrià and played an important role in the Barcelona elite for centuries. The Barcelona aristocracy often sought sanctuary in Sarrià during the various epidemics that plagued Barcelona and they soon put down more stable roots, firstly building summer residences then permanent homes drawn by the clean air, rich terrain and relative social harmony. This influx of the well-heeled families from Barcelona, as well as many religious groups, saw beautiful mansions spring up around the town, some of which can still be seen today. Such an aristocratic air also gave rise to a large population of craftsmen who worked for the elite and therefore the town was left untouched by the industrial revolution happening in Barcelona. The first train connecting Sarrià to the city was opened in 1868 and after many failed attempts, halted by fiercely independent Sarrianencs, Sarrià along with Pedrables and Tres Torres was the last of the peripheral small towns to be annexed by the city of Barcelona. Now Sarrià is one of the most exclusive neighbourhoods within the city and the district also encompasses Sant Gervasi, another upmarket area to the south.  

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