Sant Pere de Ribes occupies the centre of the area, on the southern slopes of the massif of El Garraf and at the foot of a hill called Puig Montgròs. Its agricultural plain is one of the most important landscape values of the municipality – with the main production of the vineyard – together with the rich and numerous architectural heritage of farmhouses, houses of indianos and small palaces, many of which are converted into charming accommodation, restaurants and cellars.
Ribes, as it is called by the people of the area and the townspeople themselves, has grown spectacularly since the sixties: the charm of the town, its location at the entrance of El Garraf Park and the good connections have helped this.The walk can start at the original centre of the town: Sota-ribes, on the other side of the torrent of Ribes, formed around the old castle or Castell de Ribes (also known as Bell-lloc), already recorded in the year 990. It is a fortification that defended the passage between the mountain and sea in times of the Spanish March, the always sensitive and changing border between the Islamic and Christian domains. The most notable aspect of the castle is its cylindrical tower. It is now inhabited, but can be visited on certain days of the month through visits organized by the Tourism Office. Next to the castle is the old church of Sant Pere, with three naves, with large exterior supporting buttresses and a square bell tower with openings of semicircular arches. The origin dates back to a 10th century small pre-Romanesque church. The current building was agreed in 1663, after the War of Els Segadors. It was built in twelve years at the cost of the resources of the town and was used as a parish church until 1910. Note the so-called Portal de les Ànimes, from the 14th century, remains of the old temple. The site, between low hills and sparse pine trees, is completed with the Casa del Terme (15th century), old seat of the Town Council and today the tourism office, and the bridge of La Palanca, with the protected centenary pine.
We recommend that you continue the route through carrer Major until the crossroads with carrer del Doctor Marañón, location of the Redós de Sant Josep i Sant Pere, a Catalan Art Nouveau building constructed in 1901 with indiano money and with the function of a hospital and almshouse. It occupies a whole block of houses and the cloister, the chapel, the tower with battlements and the garden stand out. The route continues through carrer Major to plaça de la Font, with its Art Nouveau fountain which commemorates the arrival of piped water in 1906. Nearby is plaça de la Vila, with two emblematic buildings: the town hall or Casa de la Vila, with eclectic features and which has gone through different remodelling – the most radical in 1893 –, and Can Quima, a Catalan Art Nouveau building of multifamily dwellings from the early 20th century. Once you are here, you can take carrer de Mossèn Andreu Malgà to reach the hermitage of Sant Pau, near an old Roman town.
Back at plaça de la Vila you can continue along carrer del Pi, notable for the centenary tree which gives it its name and several houses of indianos, such as Can Maurici (number 16), Can Milà de Palou (number 52) or Can Giralt, at the end of the street. Very close by, in the neighbourhood of El Palou, you can see the magnificent farmhouses of the Casa Gran, La Granja and Can Pau Artigas. Returning to the centre, through plaça de la Vila and carrer del Comerç you reach plaça de Marcer, the very centre of Ribes, next to the square with the parish church of Sant Pere, inaugurated in 1910, in neo-Gothic style, with two raised twin towers.
It is worth taking the car to see Mas Solers and its small forest (leaving from Sota-ribes by the BV-2112). It is a residential building in classicist noucentista style, built in 1918 by the marquis and engineer Eduard Maristany. He first set in it some cellars and the current manor house, which was remodelled in 1979 to house, until a few years ago, the Gran Casino de Barcelona. Today it has become a venue for all kinds of events.