10/9/14

Catalonia gets ready for its National Day

Categories
Barcelona

The 11th of September has a special significance for many Catalans: it marks the day Catalonia lost its independence in 1714. “La Diada” commemorates the events of September 11th 1714, which means the fall of Barcelona in hands of Bourbon troops during the Spanish Succession War. The defeat brought the abolition of the Catalan institutions and Catalan language and culture were banned. This situation lasted until 1977 (except for the interval in 1931-1939, when the Second Spanish Republic took place), when the Generalitat de Catalunya, the Catalan government was restored. A new Statute of Autonomy was written, which meant that the citizens recovered some freedoms.

Demonstrations on this day are traditional, but they have been growing in the last few years as support for independence. This situation emerged and openly increased two years ago, when an unprecedented 1.5 million concentrated in Barcelona towards an independence referendum that continues to this day. That was followed by a huge human chain last year from the French border to Valencia (400 km). Both of them were organized by a civil organisation, Assemblea Nacional de Catalunya (ANC), and this year some citizens will take part in a massive V in Barcelona, which stands for “via” (way or path), “voluntat” (will), “votar” (voting) and “victoria” (victory). It will be a mosaic with the colours of the Catalan flag. It will start symbolically at 5.14pm (17:14h).

2014 is special for many reasons. Not only represents the tercentenary of the defeat, which has left in Barcelona lots of exhibitions, tours and discussions in the Born Cultural Centre (Barcelona), but the national day also comes two months before a scheduled vote for independence on 9th November. As it is a special Diada, Catalan president, Artur Mas, will laid a floral tribute on Wednesday 10th at 8pm at El Fossar de Les Moreres, the place where one of the last battles of the war took place. Closed to Santa Maria del Mar, it was the usual place chosen by Catalan separatist groups to express their claims every 11th September.

In addition to these events, every National Day is commemorated with concerts in the streets. So this date is a good opportunity to travel to Barcelona, discover the crowded streets and spend a night in our luxury hotel in Passeig de Gràcia, in order to not miss a detail of the national celebration. Throughout the day (10am-7pm), you can visit for free the Parliament of Catalonia (Ciutadella) and Palau de la Generalitat (Sant Jaume square), one of the few medieval buildings in Europe which remains as headquarters of the institution that built it.