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Masllorenç

Baix Penedès


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History

The local tradition says that the name of our town came from a shepherd calles Llorenç or native from Llorenç del Penedès, who lived in a country house in the area. In fact though, it seems that Masllorenç came from the evolution of 'Villa Lorel' or 'Villa Lauredia', place mentioned in some documents from the 12th century.

The Reconquest started from Castellvell Extremer (the current Castellví de la Marca). In 1229, Guillem de Montcada, heir of Guillema de Castellvell, left for the conquest of Mallorca but beforehand, he made will in favour of the Monastery of Santes Creus. In 1233, his widow, Garsenda, donated the place to the Monastery. The 'Voltes de Cal Baró', a fortified enclosure made by the houses in the old part of town, date from that period.

Masllorenç started its growth in the beginning of the 18th century and reached its highest peak towards the end of the following century, due to the price rise of the wine and brandy made in town and the opening of a quarry. The urban development of the current city centre and the construction of its parish church also date from that period.

The decadence started after the philloxera plague in 1911 and kept going through the sixties-seventies because of the rural depopulation.

Masarbonès (208 metres above sea level) is located in the eastern part of township. It is said that its origin came from a house called 'Cala Margarita' that used to lodge a shepherd. In reality, its origin was a Christian watch tower that later became a country house nowadays known as 'Cal Martí'.

Masarbonès, together with Masllorenç, was a dependency of Guillem de Montcada's family that was also donated to the Monastery of Santes Creus. In the 14th century, two more farm houses ('Cal Curt' and 'Cal Calbet') were built near 'Cal Martí'. During the 14th and 15th centuries Masarbonès got larger and, in 1787 the place had already 52 inhabitants with their own Mayor and a Neoclassical church dedicated to Sant Bartomeu.

In 1830, the population went up to 105 people but, this number started to go down due to the philloxera plague, the Civil War and the rural crisis caused bby the frosts of 1956.



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