Olot has a long tradition of producing religious images. Today, the centre of this industry is located in one of Catalonia’s most singular museums, the Olot Museum of Saints.
The Saints Museum is housed in the neo-Gothic style building that is the former headquarters of El Arte Cristiano, the first religious imagery workshop created in Olot in 1880.
The museum aims to spread knowledge about the industrial activity of religious imagery production in Olot. Visitors are shown how a workshop functions, plus they can trace the production process and get historical information about this activity. The museum also has a collection of images of saints, Easter week parade floats, nativity scene figures, decorative figures, the town’s stock of traditional festival figures and emblematic figures from the former workshops.
Working days: 10-13 h and 15-18 h
Saturday: 11-14 h and 16-19 h
Sunday & Holiday: 11-14 h
Housed in a neo-Gothic building in the centre of the city, the Olot Museum of Saints shares premises with Art Cristià, a workshop of religious images whose activity is on display for visitors to see. Midweek visitors to the museum can watch as the workshop’s craftsmen go about creating the different figures that the company produces. A visit to the museum is an opportunity to witness all the different phases in the production of the images, from the moulding through to the painting and decoration.
The production of religious images was begun by Joaquim Vayreda, Josep Berga i Boix and Valentí Carrera and was an excellent way of providing work for the many students of the Olot Public School of Art. Today, the work produced by this workshop is to be found all around the world.
The first floor of the museum houses the permanent exposition, and includes examples of the pieces produced by the different workshops of Art Cristià, as well as elements of the famous faràndula (procession) of Olot – also created by this company – such as the old and new giants. Here too is it worth visiting the display devoted to the nativity scenes that includes figures of great artistic value modelled by Ramon Amadeu and figures from the Renart Collection.
The writer Marian Vayreda lived in the building that today houses the museum. His office, where he wrote some of his best-known books such as Memories of the final Carline War and The Stab, classics of Catalan literature, has been preserved untouched and can be visited.
·How the saints are manufactured (Monday to Friday).
·The original Olot faràndula
·The activities and workshops included in the Museum’s programme www.museusants.cat
Did you know?
·The local Garrotxa Museum is home to many paintings and sculptures by members of the Olot School of Art who established the tradition of manufacturing religious images in Olot.