Argentona is a village of 11,500 inhabitants situated 30 kilometres to the north of the city of Barcelona, in Catalonia, Spain, close to the city of Mataró and the Mediterranean Sea.
Until the mid-20th century most of its people lived of agriculture, but at present its economy is based on small industry, mainly textile, and services. Although it has never had a tradition of making pottery, since the 17th century Argentona has hosted a pottery fair which has created strong ties between the city and ceramics. The village boasts a museum dedicated to pottery (specialized in water jugs and pots), a school of ceramics and a pottery fair.
The village boomed in the second half of the 19th century, when a lot of people from Barcelona and the surroundings were attracted to Argentona by its mild climate and the healthy water of its many fountains. More than 200 fountains have been counted within the village, which shows its abundance of water.
As a result, many buildings date back to the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. Most of them were the summer residences of rich people, designed by prestigious architects, such as Josep Puig i Cadafalch (contemporary of Antoni Gaudí), according to the Art Nouveau style, called "Modernisme" in Catalonia, which at the time was most popular in Barcelona and spread across Europe. The finest examples of this architecture can be seen along Baró de Viver and on the streets around this avenue. The most interesting buildings are Casa Garí (situated two kilometres away from the centre) and Casa Puig I Cadafalch (the summer residence of the homonymous architect).
Apart from the Art Nouveau buildings, Argentona has other interesting buildings, such as the chapel of El Viver (12th century) in Romanic style, the church of Sant Julià (16th century) in late Gothic, and many farmhouses called masies in Catalan, from XV to XVIII century, scattered all over the region.
Visitors can also enjoy the bars, cafés and terraces in the centre of the village, mainly in Plaça Nova and Carrer Gran, its pedestrian zone and commercial area, where the majority of shops and services are found.