In the 17th century, the Papiol family settled in Vilanova de Cubelles, what is now Vilanova i la Geltrú. Their power and their properties increased until they became one of the most influential families of the time
. A good demonstration of this can be seen in the house: a 5-storied mansion right on the main street, something which few families could afford.
The house was built in 1790 for Francesc de Papiol i Padró and it took 11 years to finish. An austere neo-classical façade
hides opulent lounges in which, right up until the 1950s, the local high society would gather. In 1961, it was opened to the public as the Museum of Romanticism, following in the footsteps of the Can Llopis in Sitges
. It has kept the original structure, layout and decoration.
The piano nobile
(main floor), the main residence of the family, reflects a refined nineteenth century taste in which the grisailles on the walls stand out. During the visit you can see the music room, the billiards room, and in particular the large ballroom, where the family received guests. The tour also takes in the private rooms of the master of the house and the bathrooms and dressing rooms. The house also has a small private chapel, in the neo-classical style, and a library of about 6,000 volumes dating from between the 16th and 19th centuries.
The mansion is further divided into two areas: the servants area (which includes a kitchen, a bread oven and pantry) and farm labourer’s area (barn, cellar and stable). At the rear of the residence there is a romantic garden that houses carriages and bicycles from the time.