The history of Mas Boronat
A Catalan farmhouse 1674 – 1919
The first image we have of Mas Boronat was taken at an undetermined time before 1919. The farmhouse dates back to 1674 according to the inscription on the lintel of the main door. It was at that time a typical Catalan farmhouse, destined to protect the herds of sheep that passed through the area. According to the older neighbors, the farmhouse must have been inhabited by different families over the years, the first being probably the Boronat, the common surname of the region for which the farmhouse had always been known. In addition to offering shelter for the branch, the farm was also dedicated to the cultivation of carob and olive trees, as did other neighboring houses. It was not until later, when the cultivation of the vineyard proliferated in Catalonia due largely to the phylloxera crisis that spread through France in the eighteenth century.
1919 – 1954 Narcis d’en Gosch
In 1919 the wealthy businessman of the marble Enric Mora y Gosch buyed the farm. For several years, “Siset” (that’s how the marble worker was known) had made important assignments that had given him a fortune. Notable among his most important works, the request made by the famous modernist architect Lluís Doménech i Montaner (Palau de la musica, Hospital de St Pau both in Barcelona), who commissioned the marble worker the work of the construction of a large mausoleum for the tomb of King Jaime I, who had been transferred from the monastery of Poblet. This work was commissioned to host the monarch in the city of Tarragona, but later returned to the monastery, where it is today, and the mausoleum was left exposed in the town hall of Tarragona, in a courtyard adapted to accommodate such a magnificent piece.
Siset found a country estate, with a typical farmhouse and already in quite bad condition due to the passage of time. When he acquired the property, he began the construction of the splendid farmhouse in post-modernist style that we can see today. For this he brought the renowned architect Enric Mora i Gosch (at the time municipal architect of Sant Cugat). He built the main tower on the left side, with a dovecote on top, which in those days was a symbol of wealth and peace, and adorning the south side with a specially well oriented sun clock and as the background of this the image of the legend of Sant Jordi striking the final blow at the dragon. There is a phrase that reads: “Welcome the new day, praised God who sends it!” And the date of completion with the name of the architect “E.Mora, 1923” (this was the way in which the architect signed his works.) To the right of the building, the house was also extended. On the back, the architect designed a square, with a large central tank that collected the waters of the roofs, a warehouse for wine production and on the other side of the house a row horse stables and area of cages for the animals. In order to build all this, a land mine was started in the lower part of the square, with an entrance at the end of what were the blocks, and which today can be visited since later the mine was rehabilitated and converted into cavas.
During the Spanish Civil War, the armies wreaked the place like with so many other farmhouses and to prevent theft Siset had two stone sheds “bunker” built where dynamite was stored (a sign was found that said “Polvorín”). In addition they were made to construct hiding places and false walls like those that can be seen in the winery.
Narcís Gosch fenced the entire farm and build a tower on top of the hill for their hunting parties, and began the production of wine and oil themselves, installing state-of-the-art machinery, which can now be visited as it has.
1954 – 1974 Carlos Slovinsky de Noreico
In 1956, after an economically very difficult period for the businessman, he had to sell the farmhouse. At this point appeared Carlos Slovinsky de Noreico, a Russian inventor with distant relatives within the family of the last zars of Russia. The Russian, that’s what they called him in the town of Salomó, lived in a simple way in the farmhouse with a strict control of the work that was done in the field. It is known that from time to time he went out to perform his surveillance rounds, pistol in hand, and more than one passerby took a scare when they walked through Mas Boronat when, pointing them with the gun warned them that the property could not be walked because it was private.
1974 -20- Oswald Voorbraeck
In 1974, towards the end of Franco’s dictatorship, Mr. Slovinsky, believing that communism could reach Spain upon the death of the dictator, sold the farm while he could and disappeared. It was then when Mr Oswald Voorbraeck, Belgian investor, acquired the property. He begun the renovation keeping the old buildings, and little by little turned the farmhouse into a charming different tourist complex.
First he built the set of 4 apartments “Amberes” with a pool in front, in memory of his birthplace. Then he made the 10 mated apartments “Catalunya”, on an elevation with views over the farmhouse, the vineyards and forests. Then he made another 8 apartments with a pool that he would call “Flandes”. To get the occupation, which was initially limited to summers, advertisements were placed in the local newspaper of Antwerp, Belgium, and those interested went to the businessman’s house to see the photo albums and make their reservations. This is how it was done before, in the absence of current internet and modern means.
The chapel in what was called “Plaza Catalunya”, located just outside the central square, had its origin in another interesting story. The “masovers” (couple who run the maintenance and cleaning), towards 1979, were very religious, and the woman one day believed to see images of the virgin in a figure that was of the entrance of the place. The word of mouth gave rise to certain traffic of people who came to put a candle or flowers and pray their prayers. Seeing this, Mr. Oswald had a chapel built that he would dedicate to the Madonna of Flandes and to the Virgin of Montserrat, patrons of his places of origin and present. The singular building is decorated by a whole set of furniture, and paintings by Bermejo, renowned painter in the ecclesiastical world for his reforms and works in dozens of churches and cathedrals throughout Spain. For this, the artist was lodged for 3 months in the farmhouse, painting only during the nights, which is when he found his inspiration. It should be noted a “fresco” that is seen at the end of the chapel, and stands out for being expressly painted on a warped wall, so that a three-dimensional effect is created and it seems that the Christ on the cross that is represented is closer to the viewer.
At the beginning of the 80’s, the restaurant was inaugurated in which the first calçotadas were offered, as well as grilled meats, paellas and other typical dishes that made the delights of the visitors.
In 1989, construction of the Malta hotel began where the horse stables were located. At that time, Mr. Voorbraeck belonged to the order of the knights of St John of Malta, and once his hotel was built, he hosted in Mas Boronat meetings of the order, which found in this place a suitable place for his discretion, comfort and tranquility. between the vineyards.
Finally, with the intention of creating a residential complex in the future, the farms of the highest part were divided and with views over the whole farmhouse. An ideal place to build houses and create a unique urbanization.
In 2008, Mr. Oswald passed away and left the continuation of the project to his family.