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Catalan Traditions

What is celebrated in Catalonia on September 11th?

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In the Succetion Spanish War the Aragon Crown bet on Charles of Austria in order to recover the politic power Aragon had had before joining Castilla. On the other hand the Bourbon saw the opportunity to enlarge his hegemony in Europe if they would occupy the Spanish Throne. This would affect the European stability and different countries took part in the Thirty years’ War. In the end England abandoned the conflict, leaving the Aragon Crown alone in front of the franc-Castilian army.

The opposition was hard and in 1713 the franc-Castilian army sieged of Barcelona city. The city with an army of 5000 soldiers didn’t surround, it maintained the siege 13 months, until on September 11 of 1714 when the franc-Castilian army crossed the city walls with 40000 soldiers. At that point the city decided to offer resistance street by street. Many of them died. And even the enemy chronicle speaks about the braveness of the citizens. Finally Barcelona felt and one year later Mallorca and Menorca did.

The punishment was great and the Institutions of the Crown, the Nation, the Laws, the Catalan language… were abolished or forbidden by the Decree of Nueva Planta. All power would be centralised from Madrid.

At beginning of the XX century, Catalonia adopted this September 11 as its National Day. It’s celebrated the braveness thought which they fought and Institutions are recalled which Catalonia and the Aragon Crown had possessed until then.

Fake Tour Guides

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Yesterday I was in front of the Cathedral of Barcelona with a group. When I finished my explanation two girls approached me and asked me about the “Castellers” (a human tower which is a Catalan tradition). They had gone there because the previous day a supposed tour guide told them that it was possible to see the Castellers every Sunday at 7 pm in front of the Cathedral. I told them that it is possible to see the “Sardana on Sunday morning but not the Castellers unless it were an special festivity.

I recommended them to choose the next time an official tour guide with the accreditation of the Generalitat (the local government). I have recently seen that there are foreign people who come here to spend some time or their holidays and they decide to work in the meantime as tour guides. They offer their services through the Internet. Some companies contract their services because they are much cheaper than the official guides.

It’s a shame that after deciding to contract a guided tour you only receive a lot of misinformation. In order to be an official tour guide we have to pass a hard exam to prove that we have the right knowledge and the qualification to transmit it.

If you spend a lot of money to travel, please don’t waste it with illegal professionals.

Here you have a picture of the official accreditation and here you can check the list of the official tour guides of Catalonia.

Enjoy your holidays!!!