Terrassa: welcome to Catalan Hollywood

Have you ever wondered if Spain produces major film productions like Hollywood does? Well, you’ve just found them. While it might go unnoticed by many tourists, Terrassa is one of the cities with the most film shoots in the country. Here, you’ll find everything needed for audiovisual creation: cultural heritage, modern facilities, and a top training center.

Terrassa’s relationship with the audiovisual world may surprise you, but it is quickly understood. A few years ago, the Parc Audiovisual de Catalunya was established, a large complex of film sets prepared for large-scale productions. Perhaps the only similar place in Spain is the Ciudad de la Luz in Alicante. This audiovisual park is located in the former Hospital del Tórax, which has been transformed into a versatile stage used for countless productions.

In terms of training, Terrassa is home to the Escola Superior de Cinema i Audiovisuals de Catalunya (ESCAC), a leading technical and artistic training centre dedicated to film and audiovisuals. You probably know some of the directors who graduated from ESCAC, such as Juan Antonio Bayona (“The Impossible”, “Jurassic World”), Mar Coll (“Three Days with the Family”) or Dani de la Orden (“Barcelona, Summer Night”). In Terrassa, high-level professionals are trained, and this is one of the main filming locations. So, it is easy to see how this circle closes. Completing this chain of convergences is Terrassa Film Office, the office in charge of attracting and boosting film productions in the city.

A cinematographic route through the most famous scenes of Terrassa

There is no shortage of successful productions being shot in Terrassa, both in the city and in the Parc Audiovisual de Catalunya. You’re probably familiar with the film “Un monstruo viene a verme” (J.A. Bayona, 2016), the series “Bienvenidos a Edén” (Joaquín Górriz, 2022), or the latest Netflix hit, “El cuerpo en llamas” (Laura Sarmiento, 2023). You may be more familiar with RTVE’s TV programme “Días de cine” or have heard about the next edition of “Operación Triunfo”. All these productions take place in Terrassa.

With so many stars in the area, it is only natural that in recent years the city has been attracting more and more fans of screen tourism. For them, Terrassa Film Office and Parc Audiovisual de Catalunya have created two film tourism routes.

Route: Terrassa de cine

Terrassa has a valuable cultural and architectural legacy that provides it with countless possibilities for recreating different environments, from exotic India to 1930s Los Angeles. Not for nothing does the city hold the status of City of Film awarded by UNESCO, a recognition of the work that has been done. Terrassa also has an advantage in its long industrial past. The city was one of the main engines of the Spanish textile industry from the end of the 19th century and much of the 20th century. Today, many of these old industrial warehouses are still standing, reminding us of the authentic New York Soho, a real set of which there are few left in the world.

Filming at Casa Alegre i Sagrera / Terrassa Film Office

Terrassa de Cine is a route through the city centre, with quite a few locations. The route starts in the centre, in the Plaça Vella. Following the pedestrian streets, you’ll come to the Casa Alegre de Sagrera, an exceptionally well-preserved Art Nouveau mansion that belonged to the Alegre i Sagrera family. Today, it serves both as a museum, open to visitors, and as a filming location for period audiovisual productions. Among the works filmed here are the series “El día de mañana” (Mariano Barroso, 2018) and, more recently, the music video for “Quizás” (2023) by the singer NoBro.

The visit continues in the building of the CECOT Business Confederation, which stands out for its early 20th century architecture, and thanks to the predisposition of its owners, it is an ideal place to film period films. This is where blockbusters such as the very recent “Marlowe” (Neil Jordan, 2022), “Los renglones torcidos de Dios” (Oriol Paulo, 2022) and the series “De la ley a la ley” (Silvia Quer, 2017) have been filmed.

Filming at the CECOT building / Terrassa Film Office

The Visit the Parc Audiovisual and the Hospital del Tórax route gives you a unique opportunity to step onto the sets and explore the mysterious Hospital del Tórax, which itself functions as a film set. During the visit you’ll learn about the complex inner workings of major productions, while also getting a close-up look at some of the sets stored in its warehouses.

Visit to the Audiovisual Park of Catalonia

The Visit the Parc Audiovisual and the Hospital del Tórax route gives you a unique opportunity to step onto the sets and explore the mysterious Hospital del Tórax, which itself functions as a film set. During the visit you’ll learn about the complex inner workings of major productions, while also getting a close-up look at some of the sets stored in its warehouses.

Audiovisual Park of Catalonia, with the imposing building of the Torax hospital / Terrassa Film Office

Visiting a major film set is a thrill, whether you’re a die-hard film buff or just an amateur. Here, the magic of cinema can be felt in every corner and has nothing to envy of the great Californian Majors. Once inside the park, you will discover where Jaume Balagueró filmed “REC 2″ in 2009 and returned in 2014 for “REC 4”. You can see where “Contratiempo” (Oriol Paulo, 2016) was filmed, starring Mario Casas, who returned to Terrassa with “Bird Box” (Álex and David Pastor, 2023). The series of the big streaming platforms are also common in Terrassa. Recently, the series “Who is Erin Carter” (2023) and “El cuerpo en llamas” were filmed here, starring Úrsula Corberó and Quim Gutiérrez.

In short. If you’re looking for the perfect plan to enjoy a weekend morning, don’t hesitate, Terrassa offers you a unique cinematic experience. You’ll also have the chance to explore the city and discover its rich industrial, modernist and cinematographic heritage. Before concluding this article, we can’t fail to recommend a visit to the National Museum of Science and Technology in Terrassa, an essential stop in the city and an ideal place to take the little ones.

By Víctor Cervelló

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