Castillo Rocabruna: modernist farmhouse in Santa Maria d’Oló

Castillo Rocabruna masia modernista en Santa Maria Oló
August 26, 2020
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Castillo Rocabruna is an eclectic country house in Santa Maria d’Oló (Moianès) included in the Inventory of the Architectural Heritage of Catalonia. Also known by the name of Torrebruna, it was built between 1918 and 1920 next to the old country house of the same name, with which it is connected, by the textile merchant Juan Gorina y Sans.
The industrialist from Sabadell and Balcells‘ (the architect) brother-in-law, Joan Gorina i Sanz, commissioned him to convert a farmhouse documented from the 10th century and which had been abandoned in 1785. Gorina’s grandiose vision makes the commission a castle that Balcells did in a mixture of eclecticism and modernism. The castle has a small neo-Gothic chapel dedicated to Saint George.

Castle located about 12 meters from the old Rocabruna country house, with which it joins through a raised corridor made of stone. The house, with a more or less square plan, is built in stone, combining grayish limestone with reddish sandstone. The construction, which simulates a castle, has three floors and has a roof at four winds, with a central dome.

Rocabruna Castle, Santa Maria d’Oló (Moianès)

The main façade is closed by two towers, the eastern one a little higher than the western one (which imitates the Romanesque). The center of the façade presents two large balconies suspended by ornate columns with capitals where raptor animals and floral decorations are sculpted.

Rocabruna Castle

Neo-Romanesque, Neo-Gothic, Modernist elements, and other characteristic elements of eclectic architecture can be seen on all sides of the building. The interior, now empty, is centered by a large crushed stone staircase, which ends up imitating a cloister. The light is given by a cupola decorated with stained glass.

A little bit of history…

A wool manufacturer from Sabadell, Joan Gorina, buys the merchandise of a German ship, held in the port of Barcelona, at a very good price. He resold the goods in France and Italy, making his fortune. Gorina had the whim of building a castle and with the money obtained he bought the Mas Rocabruna and the farms of Guell, La Villa, and El Alodio, commissioning an architect to build a castle next to the old Mas de Rocabruna. In three years (1918-1920) the construction was completed. The old house was destined to the butler and servants, and in the new construction, the necessary rooms are prepared for the residence, as well as a museum, weapons room, chapel, music room, billiards … among others. Years later the Gorina family bought Mas Rocafort and other nearby houses.

Joan Gorina, advertising posters for the Fabrics Factory

Since 1980 it was owned by Saad Bin Abdul Al Saul, Prince of Arabia, since then it was practically impossible to access the property. At the moment the entire historical complex is for sale.

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