Do you think you know Sitges like the back of your hand? that you’ve heard all the stories that have been and will be told? Well, we regret to inform you that we will surprise you, and very much so.
Did you know that the first beach bar in Spain opened in Sitges?
And he’s still here over a hundred years later! Tourists and locals visit “El Chiringuito” daily, a charming beach bar located on the Paseo Ribera de Sitges, which opened its doors in 1913. The first ´Chiringuito´ in Spain as it displays proudly on its door.
Another curiosity about this picturesque place is that in addition to serving its customers, it also gave its name to the concept of a beach bar “Chiringuito”. Apparently, this expression comes from the way of consuming coffee in Cuba, through a filtering system with a sugarcane and a stocking. This process was known as jet -“chorro” or “chiringo”- and to go for a coffee made with this system was to go to the chiringuito.
Photo by Karl Fredrickson on Unsplash.
Did you know there’s a piece of La Concha beach in Sitges?
The beaches of Sant Sebastià in Sitges and La Concha de San Sebastián are twinned, and the city council of San Sebastián gave the city a replica of the iconic railing of its promenade. You can see it on the promenade next to a stone plaque with a message in Catalan that says: San Sebastian and Sitges, two charming movie villas in love with the sea and culture.
By the way as a further curiosity, the plaque is also written in Basque, but it contains a spelling error.
Did you know that whales visit the coasts of Sitges?
El Garraf is an area commonly visited by whales, in fact, in 2017 alone 300 sightings have been recorded. Until now, it was believed that the reason for their visits was that the coast was part of their migratory corridor, but a recent study by the Fin Whale Project has shown that they go to the Garraf to feed. So, we can proudly say that the waters of Sitges, and of the Garraf, are to the liking of these powerful mammals.
Did you know that the cannons of the Baluard defended Sitges for over 200 years?
The six cannons of the Baluard defended the city for over 200 years. Including the historical combat of 1797 against English frigates that, after four hours of cannon fire, had to withdraw and could not catch the four merchant ships they were chasing and who were anchored on the coast of Sitges.
The original cannons – from the 18th century – have been restored and are kept in the Sitges Museum. In the current Baluard we can see an exact replica made of silicone and fiberglass.
Did you know that Sitges was attacked by pirates?
Like all major coastal cities, there was a time when Sitges was the target of pirates, bandits and ruffians. Because of these attacks the city fortified farmhouses and watchtowers that can still be seen today. One of the most famous buildings of that period is La Fragata, an 18th century defensive building located just below the church of Sant Bartolomeu i Santa Tecla in La Punta.
Did you know that Sitges is the town with the most marinas?
Sitges is the only town in Spain with three marinas: Port Ginesta, Port Nàutic del Garraf and Port d’Aiguadolç. Each one has its own personality, being more or less urban, but all three have all the services that the client could wish for.
Did you know that Sitges has the best urban beach in Europe?
Europe has some of the most incredible urban beaches in the world and, of all of them, the beach of San Sebastià in Sitges was chosen as the best by the New York Times. In that article, the newspaper picked up the best urban beaches, and praised the coast of Sitges compared to Saint Tropez, Capri or the Island of Hvar.
Did you know that the Sitges Fantasy Film Festival is the first of its kind in the world?
This festival was the first to highlight the value of fantasy cinema. What began in 1968 as the “1st International Fantastic Film Week”, designed to attract more tourism to Sitges, has grown into international awards and a benchmark for fantasy and science fiction cinema. However, the beginnings were not easy. The Festival was not a success in its first years, due to the natural borders between Sitges and Barcelona at that time and the projection of foreign films without any subtitles, among other reasons. It was not until the 1970s, with the formation of an official jury and the awards, that the festival achieved significant notoriety.
The veteran event, whose official name is Festival Internacional de Cine de Catalunya, is one of the three most important film festivals in Spain today, both in terms of numbers and projection. It shares the podium with the San Sebastian Film Festival and the Valladolid International Film Week.
Photo by Jens Moser on Unsplash.
Did you know that Sitges has been the scene of several films?
The city of Sitges is an imposing urban and natural setting and, over the years, has been the setting for the shooting of various films. Some of the best known films shot in Sitges are “3 bodas de más” with Quim Gutiérrez and Inma Cuesta, “Ismael” with Belén Rueda and Mario Casas or “Flores Negras” by Jordi Torrent.
Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash.
Did you know that the world’s first Pachá opened in Sitges and that the logo was not two cherries?
One of the biggest icons of the night was born in Sitges. The first Pacha club opened its doors in 1967 and, until its closure in 2008, was a benchmark for the Sitges night. Currently the headquarters of the Pacha Group is in Ibiza, and there are many other clubs all over the world. But…. did you know that cherries aren’t their original logo? The first logo of Pachá was an eye, inspired by the famous actress Carmen Sevilla.
Photo by Matty Adame on Unsplash.
Did you know that Bacardi Rum was founded by a family from Sitges?
Facundo Bacardi was born in Sitges in 1814, but left for Cuba in 1830 with his family. It was there that he began to distill rum using a new formula, softer than the rest of the drinks, and in 1862 he founded Bacardi. And although his history was forged in Cuba, in the city of Sitges you can visit his birthplace, now converted into a museum in homage to his figure and the company.
Do you recognize the bat logo? The iconic Bacardi logo is also closely linked to Sitges, because in Catalonia this animal symbolises good fortune, as well as the persistence and determination that has always accompanied the family.
Today Bacardi is the second best-selling rum in the world, and the company owns such well-known brands as Eristoff vodka, Dewar’s whisky and Bombay Sapphire gin.
Photo by Ash Edmond on Unsplash.
Did you know that Sitges has one of the oldest racing circuits in Europe?
The Autodromo de Terramar was inaugurated in 1923 and although it has been out of use since the 1950s, it was the first circuit in Spain and one of the oldest in Europe. Specifically, the third oldest in Europe – after Monza in Italy and Brooklands in the United Kingdom – and the fourth oldest in the world if we add the American Indianapolis circuit to the list.
The second Grand Prix of Spain was held at this now forgotten racetrack in 1923, and although it seems unbelievable it still has its original pavement!