On April 15 and 16, the city will be filled with historical recreation activities, routes and visits, shows and gastronomy set in the modernist era
Casa Navàs and the Reus Promoció Agency invite you to experience a fully modernist weekend. On April 15 and 16, the city will travel to the past through some thirty proposals and more than 50 activities, including historical recreation actions, routes to discover the modernist heritage of Reus, shows, workshops, and gastronomy. «Reus 1900. Festa Modernista» wants to value the legacy of the city’s most glorious era with a celebration in which the participation of entities, businesses, and residents will be essential. A historically accurate festival that, coinciding with the centenary of the death of Lluís Domènech i Montaner, will have the figure of the architect as its starting point. It will have a hundred re-enactors at Plaza del Mercadal and Casa Navàs, and the involvement of around fifty local entities and companies.
«Reus 1900. Festa Modernista» is a historical re-enactment festival organized by Casa Navàs and the Reus Promoció, devised and produced by Casa Navàs with the financial support of the Reus City Council and the Tarragona Provincial Council, and the sponsorship of Vermuts Miró, the Oliva Motor Group and Estrella Damm. The will of the project is to start this 2023 with a celebration that is repeated every year and focuses on a different figure or aspect of Modernism.
The main axes of this event will be the historical recreation, the routes, and visits to discover the modernist heritage of Reus –both architectural and social–, the shows designed for the occasion, and the workshops and gastronomy of the moment. This first edition aims to consolidate Reus as one of the main modernist spots in Catalonia. All this will also be complemented by dozens of activities related to the social and cultural life of the time, to reflect years of contrasts, the growth of political Catalanism; a cultural explosion and, also social inequalities, straddling the bourgeoisie and the working class.
An event designed to reflect the effervescence and vitality of Reus when, in 1900, it had been the second city of Catalonia for a whole century. The Plaza del Mercadal and the Casa Navàs will be the central axis of «Reus 1900. Festa Modernista». At the same time, the event will be present in other spaces such as the Institut Pere Mata, the Casa Gasull –a building that is usually closed to the public–, the Gaudí Center or the Casal de les Dones.
The entire celebration is defined by pursuing historical rigour; for this reason, the advice of the local historian Joan Navais has been obtained.
Discover the heritage of Domènech i Montaner
This year marks the centenary of the death of the Catalan architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner, a clear representative of the movement that adorned the city with his creations and which contributed to positioning Reus as the second modernist enclave in Catalonia. For this reason, the festival will vindicate its heritage with visits and special activities in three of the buildings it built in the city: Casa Navàs, the Institut Pere Mata and Casa Gasull. In addition, the footsteps of the leading architect will be covered with specific routes, and shows, workshops and children’s activities inspired by his figure.
Likewise, it will be possible to visit other modernist venues in the city, such as the Oenological Station with the “Visit to the Casa del Vermut i el Vi” or the Gaudí Center with the premiere of different dynamic visits. Literature lovers will be able to enjoy the Literary Route of the Reus Modernist Group, led by Còdol Educació; an opportunity to meet the core of writers and artists who wanted to change Catalan culture from Reus. However, for those who prefer the most emblematic drink of the city, the specific route “Vermut i cuina al Reus modernista ” is proposed.
There will also be proposals designed for the little ones. The Ans Educació “MiniModernistes” route is aimed at children from 3 to 6 years of age who, accompanied by their families, will be able to learn about modernist clothing. Others are born with a social conscience, such as the “Sederes en femení” route. In total, it will be possible to
participate in around fifteen heritage visits and routes promoted by different companies in the city and by the Reus Promotion Agency.
Casa Navàs comes alive
Casa Navàs, as the promoter of the event, will also become a key point on this journey through time. Those who visit it will discover some of its most endearing characters interacting with the public, thanks to the visit “Casa Navàs: Life discovered”.
The movement of the kitchens, the complicated maintenance of a large modernist house, the owners’ moments of leisure… Wealth and poverty, lords and servants, an emerging bourgeoisie and a hectic political life are some of the situations brought to life by a dozen actors directed by Producciones Lucky & Luke. This is an exclusive show, created specifically for the occasion, which can only be seen on Saturday and Sunday of the modernist festival. The visit includes vermouth and a photographer to immortalize the experience of all those who go in period costumes.
Benvingut de nou, amic Lluís!
Another of the highlights of “Reus 1900. Festa Modernista” will be the premiere of a theatrical show specially written by Rosa Pagès from Reus as a tribute to the architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner and his relationship with the city of Reus Benvingut de nou, amic Lluís! focuses on the friendship between Domènech i Montaner and Pau Font de Rubinat, which introduced the architect to the circles of the Reus bourgeoisie. All this is in a city in full transformation, wrapped in an air of modernity and with social conflicts in the streets.
The show will take place between the balconies of the “beautiful Mercadal”, those on the floor above the Piqué pharmacy and in the square. It will be starred by Gerard Domènech, Joan Manuel Brunet, Irene Benavent, Tuni Salvadó, and Neus Ceballos. Benvingut de nou, amic Lluís! is an executive production of Casa Navàs, directed by Producciones Lucky&Luke. The show will be performed at 9:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 15.
This is not the only production that premieres within the framework of the modernist festival. The Circ de les Musaranyes presents the circus show Domènech. Un geni humà at the Institut Pere Mata on Saturday 15 at 6:30 p.m. For its part, Cia. Els Rentadors will revisit its show Els Rentadors on Saturday morning with two performances at Casal de les Dones. All three shows are free, although you must register in advance.
Return to Reus in 1900
Throughout the weekend, more than a hundred re-enactors will dress in period clothing and show the day-to-day life of the different social classes. In this sense, it will be possible to watch how the bourgeoisie of the moment was fond of the fine arts and walked around the city puffing out their chests for their heritage. At the same time, there will be the hustle and bustle of the market in the square with vendors and artisans, various performances, a vehicle display, as well as tavern card games. A sum of identities that also converge with the start of the workers’ revolt. For this reason, there will also be a space for the recreation of the workers’ struggles of the time, in charge of the Associació Mandrilia.
One of the main attractions will be the parade that will take place on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. A parade in which it will be possible to admire how they dressed and the differences that existed among the high bourgeoisie, the bourgeoisie, merchants, waiters, workers, domestic servants, and farm workers. In fact, one of the singularities of the modernist festival is that it is open to everyone. For this reason, the organization calls on citizens to dress as the protagonists of the time and to be part of the party.
The recreation work is possible thanks to entities such as Bravium Teatre, the Germandat de Sant Isidre i Santa Llúcia, the Orfeó Reusenc, TEBAC, the Associació Mandrilia, the Mercat Central, the Amics del Cavall de Reus or the Xiquets de Reus.
It is also worth noting the involvement of the city’s commercial sector since Unió de Botiguers and El Tomb de Reus will promote window display contests with modernist motifs among their associates during those days.
To participate in the historical re-enactment, a costume protocol has been drawn up that sets the criteria for the dresses of the time. A document prepared thanks to the advice of the expert dressmaker in modernist wardrobe, Ana de la Cruz. The guide, which includes all the information related to modernist clothing, is divided by social classes and trades to be set between the years 1888 and 1917 and not lose historical rigour. Items of clothing are described in detail, as well as footwear and accessories to wear based on social position.
Beyond the social class that you want to recreate, it must be considered that you cannot show tattoos, piercings, current jewellery or strident makeup and painted nails. In the case of women, they will have to wear their hair up. It is also a tool designed to guide all those interested when buying clothing or making it.
Artistic intervention in the Plaza del Mercadal
The interior designer Anna Pons and the person in charge of art at Casa Navàs, Guillem Duran, will be responsible for carrying out an artistic intervention so that the Plaza del Mercadal will travel back more than a hundred years in time. The intervention will consist of removing from the public thoroughfare those elements typical of the 21ST century and adapting them to the Reus of 1900. An effort that will take care of all the details and ratify the commitment to historical rigour. The intervention will have the collaboration of the Escola d’Art i Disseny de Reus of the Diputación de Tarragona, thanks to the support of merchants and neighbours.
Workshops to suit everyone
The program offers a set of activities and historical workshops that will allow key elements of Modernism to be put into practice. Casa Navàs will host four: a weapons workshop and a writing workshop from the beginning of the 20TH CENTURY, thanks to a collaboration agreement with the Jornades modernistes Els Pallaresos 1900; one of stone-cutting, directed by the master stonecutter Joan Mateu and organized by the Reus Chamber of Commerce; and a vermouth tasting from Vermuts Miró.
For craft lovers, the Gaudí Center will offer a ceramics workshop and a stained-glass workshop.
In the celebration, the gastronomic touch will not be missing either. Various restaurants in the city will offer dishes and menus from the modernist era. A contribution that will serve to rediscover the local tradition in the field of restoration, since in 1906 Reus already had 10 cafés and 114 bars and taverns.
The participating establishments will be Cal Gallisà, Casa Coder, the El Círcol restaurant and the Vermuts Rofes restaurant. The Déu n’hi do, the Barri de les Arts (Flaps, Txaranga Café Teatre and Xivarri Tasca) and the Museu del Vermut will also offer vermouths with modernist tapas. In addition, the Cal Gallisà restaurant has scheduled an absinthe tasting for Saturday the 15th in the afternoon.
Citizen collaboration of entities
The launch of “Reus 1900. Festa modernista” is possible thanks to the participation of some fifty entities and companies in the city that have endorsed the initiative. Some, such as Bravium Teatre, the Germandat de Sant Isidre i Santa Llúcia, TEBAC, the Associació Mandrilia, the Amics del Cavall de Reus and the Xiquets de Reus, will oversee historical recreations; others such as Ans Educació, Còdol Educació, La teva ruta or the Centre de Lectura will offer guided tours; some will be responsible for the gastronomic section; and there will also be activities resulting from the collaboration with Vermuts Miró, the Oliva Group, the Reus Chamber of Commerce or the Jornades modernistes Els Pallaresos 1900.
At the same time, the first Modernism historical recreation festival in Reus wants to serve as a precedent to encourage the connection between the different contests of this type in Catalonia. For this reason, the participation in some of the workshops by the Jornades modernistes Els Pallaresos 1900 is a first step to establishing this type of synergy.
A poster based on the work of Gaspar Camps
The first edition of the modernist festival in Reus has a poster based on an illustration by painter Gaspar Camps from Igualada. Known as one of the benchmarks of symbolic poster art and author of advertising of the time published in Reus, the billboard for “Reus 1900. Festa Modernista” shows a woman who evokes the concept of beauty. The design of this poster has been made by the Reus designer Elisabeth Tort.
Information and ticket sales
The whole program for «Reus 1900. Festa modernista” can be consulted through the web www.reus1900.cat; a space in which the set of scheduled activities will be detailed. Likewise, you can also find the “Costume Protocol” that has been defined for the celebration.
The event can also be followed through Instagram through the user @festaReus1900. Tickets for the various activities will go on sale on Friday, March 31 through the same website.