The glorious age of the Penedès region arrived during the 13th and 14th centuries, a period when towns became consolidated and Gothic Art enjoyed a wonderful moment. Gothic Art is urban art per excellence and for that reason the best artistic heritage is found in Vilafranca, which was already the capital of the region by that time. The Basilica of Santa Maria Cathedral, in the Penedès region, is the most outstanding building, even though its construction was slow: begun on top of an old Romanic temple (from which the magnificent side door is still preserved) it wasn’t consecrated until the 15th century when the bell tower was finished. It is an obligatory visit. The Church of Sant Joan is a similar example. Its construction was ordered by Templar knights and it has a Romanic exterior, although its construction is inscribed in the Sant Francesc, from the Franciscans convent, which hosts one of the treasures of Catalan Gothic paintings: the altarpiece of Mare de Déu and Sant Jordi.
As well as the religious buildings there are also civic ones. We have to mention the Town Hall, with a side façade dating from the 14th century. However, the Royal Palace and the magnificent Baltà Palace are without doubt the two most emblematic buildings. The first is located just in front of The Basilica of Santa Maria Cathedral and dates from the 13th -14th centuries. Pere el Gran died there. It now hosts the Museum of Vilafranca. The second is found next to the Basilica. Construction started in the 14th century and was finished with late Gothic style in the 16th. This style is also evident in other civic buildings such as Can Gomà, which nowadays hosts the library Torras i Bages or Can Macià, next to the town hall, < second biggest town of the region, Sant Sadurní, only preserves the Gothic bell tower – which has been recently restored - the rest of the temple having been totally modified. In the Church of Sant Martí Sarroca we can see the Gothic altarpiece of Roser, while among the civic buildings the most outstanding example is the Big Palace of the Marqueses of Llió, at the urban centre of Sant Pere de Riudebitlles. Aside from this one of the most singular constructions from this period is the Hospital of Olesa de Bonesvalls, which was constructed by Els Cervelló in the 13th century to host the travellers who went from Barcelona to Vilafranca and Tarragona. There was a large network of these kind of hospitals (in the sense of guesthouse) but this is the only one of medieval origin that has been perfectly preserved.
The second half of the 14th and 15th centuries were not very good periods for Catalonia: the Black Death, bad years of vintage, dynastic change, civil war…The period was especially hard for farmers. But at the end of the century, partly thanks to the Guadalupe Judgement (1462), which meant servitude redemption in most cases, Catalan agriculture recovered part of its splendour, leading to the construction of many rural buildings. Gothic Art was not only present in the town centres but also in the countryside. Many of the best masies (Catalan rural houses) of the region were built during this period and many remarkable examples have been preserved, even though most of them were transformed and restored in later centuries. Among the ones which preserve obvious elements from a late Gothic style are Can Rialb d'Avinyonet, Cal Noia de Castellví, La Bleda Castle in Sant Martí, Can Soler in Sant Pere Riudebitlles and the extraordinary Torre-Ramona in Subirats, which is of Gothic-Renaissance style. In the present population centres we have to mention La Casa del Senyor de Gelida, La casa del Castlà de la Granada and the Old Rectory in Sant Quintí de Mediona.