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Blanes (Catalan pronunciation: [ˈblanəs]) is a town and municipality in the comarca of Selva in Girona, Catalonia, Spain. During Roman rule it was named Blanda or Blandae. It is known as the "Gateway to the Costa Brava". Its coast is part of the Costa Brava, which stretches from Blanes to the French border. The township is 18.29 km2 (7.06 sq mi). Blanes is a popular tourist town, and it is known for the Concurs de Focs d'Artifici during the Santa Anna festival; this event includes many fireworks. Other places of interest include botanical gardens, coves such as the Cala Bona, and beaches that are surrounded by mountains.
|• Mayor||Àngel Canosa Fernàndez (2019) (ERC)|
|• Total||17.7 km2 (6.8 sq mi)|
|Elevation||13 m (43 ft)|
|• Density||2,200/km2 (5,700/sq mi)|
|Click on the map for a fullscreen view|
The population in 2017 was 38,813.
|Vertical bar chart demographic of Blanes between 1900 and 2010|
Legal population (1900-1991) or Resident population (2001) according to the population census published by the Instituto Nacional de Estadística.
Population according to the municipal register of 2010 published by the Instituto Nacional de Estadística.
The history of Blanes predates the Roman conquest. Iberian activity has been attested in the area. Romanization of Blanes and its surroundings began around the third century BC. Roman remains of the Blandae site lie nearby. After Roman rule ended the area shared the fate of much of the Peninsula, being conquered successively by the Goths, the Moors, and the Christians shortly after. In the 13th century, after the Christians regained power, important architectural developments took place in Blanes. Some examples are the palace, Palau Vescomtal, the Església Parroquial church, and the city walls.
In the 17th century, during the Catalan Revolt (Guerra dels Segadors), Blanes was practically burned to ashes. The Palau Vescomtal was completely destroyed.
The War of the Spanish Succession also affected Blanes. Following this, reconstruction and the expansion of agriculture began.
One of the botanical gardens in Blanes is the Marimurtra, which covers almost 15 hectares (37 acres). It includes over 4,000 different plant species and is visited by 300,000 people every year. Another garden is the Pinya de Rosa, consisting of over 7,000 different plant species.
The Festa major or festival of Santa Anna and Sant Joaquim (on 26 July) is usually celebrated in the third or forth week of July, from 21 to 27 July, annually. During the eight days, this major festival is celebrated as well as the European Concurs de Focs d'Artifici which attracts more than 500,000 visitors. This is an international competition. Over 500,000 kg (1,100,000 lb) of fireworks are detonated at each event. Most people watch the fireworks from the beach.
The first documented date of a firework launch in Blanes is 1906. It was not until 1962 that the launch became an annual event. 1971 marks the first Fireworks Competition, taking place over three nights; this number has fluctuated over the years to as many as seven nights. Since 1958, firework launches have always been done from Sa Palomera, a big rock that separates the two parts of the Blanes coast and is symbolically considered the beginning of the Costa Brava.
Every night of the celebration, a different firework company presents its work to the public who come to the beach, each spectacle lasting between 20 and 24 minutes. This is rated by the Popular Jury, designated each year, who responsible for choosing the winners.
The fireworks competition nearly always runs in the last full week of July. The year 2018 marked the 48th edition of the competition. According to a local radio station, Radio Marina, nearly one million people visited the fireworks competition during its five-day course.
Prior to 2012, the competition ran for five consecutive days. At the height of Spain's financial crisis it was decided to drop the event to four days to save money. In 2016 enough sponsors were found to restore the fifth day of the event. Likewise in 2017.
The Festa menor or the feast of the co-patrons (Sant Bonòs and Maximià), is traditionally celebrated on "la Nit de la Caminada Popular" (English: the night of the popular walk) in mid-August and has been around for over 30 years as of 2021. This is a wholly family-oriented trek which many people walk accompanied by their children, pets, etc. It is approximately 8 km (5.0 mi) long. The reward is a memento and a slice of watermelon.
On 26 December 2008 an unusually strong storm struck Blanes' beach on Boxing Day. The port of Blanes was hit hardest. The old seawall was unable to resist the storm. Many boats were damaged and/or smashed onto the beach. Before the storm, plans had been made to upgrade the harbor but repairs were delayed. The poor state of the harbor made it more vulnerable to the storm surges and resulted in the heavy loss in the Boxing Day storm. This storm has been commonly referred to by locals as the worst storm Blanes had seen since the 1950s.
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Blanes is home to the Club de Futbol Obispado. The city has a roller hockey team, Blanes Hoquei Club, and competes in the main League OK Liga. Blanes is also home to an international roller hockey tournament, the Golden Cup.
- "Àngel Canosa, cap de llista d'ERC, proclamat nou alcalde de Blanes pel mandat 2019-2023". gironanoticies.com. Retrieved 16 June 2019.
- "El municipi en xifres: Blanes". Statistical Institute of Catalonia. Retrieved 23 November 2015.
- Municipal Register of Spain 2018. National Statistics Institute.
- "Blanes Fireworks Competition 2018".
- "Blanes, Costa Brava sees worst storm since the 1950s". 28 December 2008. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
- "La Costa Brava padece la peor tempestad desde los años 50" (in Spanish). 28 December 2012. Retrieved 20 November 2012.