Destinations Magazine

The Sundials of Gualba

By Monkeys And Mountains Adventure @Laurel_Robbins

1 of the 17 sundials in Gualba, this one on a churchGualba is small town of 1200 residents sits at the foot of Montseny in Catalonia, Spain.  And it  has a rather unique claim to fame – it’s famous for its sundials!  Gualba is home to a whopping 17 sundials!  Josep Maria Llora even offers a sundial tour in which you can see 10 of the sundials.  I’m convinced it’s a world record for the most sundials per capita, but I couldn’t find any stats to support this (if you know where I can find this let me know).
A water sundial in Gualba. The sundials were built by local resident James Salichs a painter, sculptor who later  ventured into sundial building.  Salichs passed away a few years ago but has left a legacy for years to come bringing back the ancient wonder of telling time that dates back to 3500 BC.  One of my favorites was the water sundial pictured above.  It’s a block of large stone with a concave middle.  The hours are indicated by steel buttons and the time indicated by the water stream.  It’s the most innovative sundial I’ve ever seen – although I’m certainly not a sundial expert, but dare say I am a sundial enthusiast after the tour.

I thoroughly enjoyed the Sundial Tour.  I hadn’t really given sundials much thought before my visit to Gualba but I love tours like this that are off-beat and make me think about something in a new way.  I had no idea that sundials varied so much in design and had fun trying to spot them as I strolled through Gualba.

One of the 17 sundials in Gualba

Know Before You Visit the Sundials in Gualba

  • Gualba is located approximately halfway between Barcelona and Girona, making it a great day trip.  Alternatively  spend the night in one of the fully equipped apartments offered by Rural Montseny.
  • Sundial tours are offered by friendly local Josp Maria Llora.  He speaks excellent English and is very knowledgeable about sundials and  James Salichs.  You can contact him at:  info (@) for more information.
  • You may also be interested in visiting Parc de les Olors, an aromatic park and Castell de Montsoriu, Catalonia’s greatest gothic castle.Note:  I was a guest of Rural Montseny but as always all opinons are expressed are my own – they had no idea that I would become so fascinated with sundials and neither did I until my visit to Gualba.

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