Maria and El Masnou

The history of el Masnou is a history of comings and goings. Like other places in the Maresme county, the Iberians created the first precedents, before the Romans arrived and installed in the area, attracted by the fertility of the soil. Romans started to organize the whole coastal area, dividing them into agrarian centres named “vil·les”. But... View Article


The history of el Masnou is a history of comings and goings. Like other places in the Maresme county, the Iberians created the first precedents, before the Romans arrived and installed in the area, attracted by the fertility of the soil. Romans started to organize the whole coastal area, dividing them into agrarian centres named “vil·les”. But when those peaceful times reached to an end (third century a.C) those places nearer to the coast were abandoned in favour of mountain villages, by fear of pirates. It was not until the year 1000 that people started to move closer to the coast, settling around churches seeking for protections. But those churches were still quite far from the coast. In the town of el Masnou, people started constructing their houses around the churches of Sant Feliu d’Alella and Sant Martí de Teià, starting to define what will later be the limits of the town.

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Although it might sound strange talking about a coastal town that has always lived facing the sea, the economy of the town has always been related with the agriculture, more specifically the cultivation of vineyards, wheat and legumes; while fishing has only been important as a mean to survive. The vineyard culture in the are has survived since Roman times, excluding those times where it could not be cultivated, and surviving the arrival of the phylloxera.

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We could keep on talking about the history of the town and the archaeological remains of different times that can be found all over the town and the Maresme in general. Or about the magnificent legacy left by the Indians in the town. But you are surely more interested in the legend.

This legend explains us, not only the origin of its name but also the origin of the town itself. The legend explains that in Teià (the neighbour village) there was a really beautiful young woman, daughter of one of the wealthiest farmer in town. Her beauty was know even in Mallorca, that was invaded by the Moors. Hassan, one of the main pirates of the Mediterranean, took a few of his servants and sailed to the coast of el Maresme, with the intention to kidnap the girl. The pirates waited for the best occasion to chase her, and they found a perfect opportunity when she was alone, walking home from the church. The crew tried to convince her to go with them through a ravine leading straight down. A group of passers-by realized what was happening and decided to approach them. After a fight, the group saved the girl and killed the group of pirates. The ravine where Hassan was killed is nowadays known as the “Torrent de l’Ase” ( the ravine of the donkey), although it was first known the “Torrent d’Hassan”.

And what happened with Maria? She married a local guy and they both started a new live in a house located near the beach, named the Mas Nou (the new house).

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