Disfrute de sus vacaciones en la Lloret de mar con Rosamar Hotels: un grupo de hoteles dispuesto a hacer sus vacaciones inolvidables.

Haga hoy su reserva


   You are in: Home, Lloret de Mar, History

Busca información de forma avanzada insertando una o varias palabras.
 Tell to a friend
Envia esta información a tus amigos.

  March 2023 « »
mo tu we th fr sa su

Text size  -A  +A

History of the town

History of the town

The history of Lloret de Mar is undeniably linked to the idea of hospitality and the open-minded, welcoming nature of the townspeople. Back in ancient times, in the 4th and 3rd centuries BC, the Iberians living in the settlements of Montbarbat and Puig de Castellet had already established commercial relations and contact with other cultures and were thereby able to obtain tools and pottery from Greece and Rome. Later on, the Romans themselves settled in what is now Lloret and, through the trading post on Fenals beach, established commerce along the coast with neighbouring settlements such as Empúries and Barcelona. Today numerous remains still bear witness to this remote period of history: the Iberian settlements of Puig de Castellet, Montbarbat, Turó Rodó and Coll de Llop, and the Roman sepulchral tower.

The name Lloret, spelled LOREDO, appeared in written form for the first time in 966 AD. Different studies attribute the origins of this name to the Latin LAURETUM, meaning place of laurels. Shortly after, in the year 1001, Count Ramon Borrell and Countess Ermessenda of Barcelona traced the municipal boundaries of Lloret de Mar (formerly part of MAÇANEDO district) and granted the town to Sunifred, Viscount of Girona. During this period, two singular constructions were built: Sant Joan Castle (on top of the hill between the beaches of Lloret and Fenals), used as a watchtower and refuge; and the primitive church of Sant Romà (now known as Nostra Senyora de les Alegries), which still retains its characteristic Romanesque features, despite extensive renovations. At that time, the village was a scattering of farmhouses mainly situated inland from the shore, which explains why the original parish church in Lloret is so far from the present-day town centre.

Gradually, however, some families began to settle close to the sea, doubtlessly availing of the protection afforded by Sant Joan Castle, which provided refuge in the face of possible attack from pirates, or from the Turks, the French or the English. The shoreline settlers traded in goods from the hinterland (firewood, wood, charcoal, etc.) and made their living as fishermen and, increasingly, as traders up and down the coast. At that time it seems that links were forged with some Italian coastal towns, leaving a lasting impact on our culture, our traditions and even surnames.

At the beginning of the sixteenth century, a new parish church was built in the town centre, which by now had become firmly established on the coast. Work was completed in 1522 and the total cost came to some 3,000 pounds. The new church was built in the prevailing Catalan Gothic style and was also used as a refuge for the faithful during pirate attacks. The bell tower was fortified with battlements and loopholes, and the drawbridge gate opened onto a deep moat.

Around the middle of the eighteenth century, mariners from Lloret began sailing to Central and South America on missions of various degrees of legality. In 1778, however, King Charles III promulgated the Decree of Free Trade between Spain and its American colonies, thereby creating a boom for the shipyards of Lloret, where 130 ships were built between 1812 and 1869, and strengthening and consolidating the local merchant navy. As a result, an import and export trade developed in the area, enriching many members of the local population. Ships sailed for Santiago de Cuba, Havana, Montevideo and Buenos Aires laden with wine, oil, textiles, salt, flour and other local goods, and returned to Catalonia bearing cargoes of cotton, hardwoods, hides, sugar, tobacco, coffee, rum, dried beef, and many colonial products.

Many people from Lloret took an active part in the trading and invested money in shipbuilding and the purchase of trading goods. The sea captains of the time were not merely transporters of goods but also speculators with a vested interest in the cargoes stowed away in the holds of their ships.

The transoceanic trade of the nineteenth century also opened up new possibilities for personal enrichment in Central and South America. Many an adventurer took advantage of the sailing facilities of that time to seek their fortune working hard in the New World. If things went well and fortunes were made, these "Americano" or "Indiano" emigrants sooner or later returned triumphal to their native town, pockets bulging with vast amounts of money. They were greeted on arrival by the local brass band. A pattern soon emerged. After marriage to a young local girl, the enriched emigrants demolished the former family dwelling and built a magnificent neoclassical, eclectic or Modernist mansion in its place. The next step was to order a mausoleum in the new cemetery and after that they devoted the remainder of their lives to performing charitable works. Before long, Lloret became home to large numbers of rich, young widows inhabiting a town of elegant streets and squares, a sumptuous Modernist cemetery with funerary art by leading sculptors and architects of the day (Josep Puig i Cadafalch, Antoni Gallissà i Soqué, Bonaventura Conill i Montobbio, among others) and a number of outstanding public buildings such as the Town Hall, the church refurbished in the Modernist style, the parish schools, and so on.

Between 1880 and 1920, the physical layout of Lloret de Mar underwent radical change. However, the "Americano" emigrant phenomenon began to decline after the 1920s and the town entered a long period of economic stagnation of about thirty years.

The 1930s attempts to develop tourism were curtailed by the Spanish Civil War and Lloret did not become established as a holiday resort until the 1950s, when the town was transformed in order to meet the needs of the new tourist economy and way of life. Many of the old mansions were pulled down and turned into hotels and service facilities; new suburbs and housing estates were built on former vineyards, woods and fields.

Tourist development has endowed Lloret with a wide range of hotels and shops, excellent sports facilities, with athletics tracks, sports pavilions and football pitches and so on, as well as numerous leisure centres.

Today, Lloret de Mar is a town where history exists side by side with modern life, local traditions with a cosmopolitan outlook, local pride with a welcome for outsiders. Now at the beginning of the twenty-first century, we hope that Lloret will continue to be an open and welcoming town for all our visitors from near and far.

*Information taken from lloretdemar.org

Lloret Uncovered 2007© c. Barcelona, 3 3r 17002 Girona (Costa Brava)
Tel. +34 972 20 91 89 Fax +34 972 21 11 60 info@lloretuncovered.com

Legal warning -  Policy of privacy -  Credits