21 Mar 2017
A walk through the history of BARCELONA
A RIDE FOR THE CITY HISTORY.
For over 200 years, Barcelona was under Muslim rule, and, following the Christian reconquest, it became a county of the Carolingian Empire and one of the main residences of the court of the Crown of Aragon. The fruitful medieval period established Barcelona’s position as the economic and political centre of the Western Mediterranean. The city’s Gothic Quarter bears witness to the splendour enjoyed by the city from the 13th to the 15th centuries.
From the 15th to 18th centuries Barcelona entered a period of decline, while it struggled to maintain its economic and political independence. This struggle ended in 1714, when the city fell to the Bourbon troops and Catalonia’s and Catalans’ rights and privileges were suppressed.
A period of cultural recovery began in the mid-19th century with the arrival of the development of the textile industry. During this period, which was known as the Renaixença, Catalan regained prominence as a literary language.
The 20th century ushered in widespread urban renewal throughout Barcelona city, culminating in its landmark Eixample district, which showcases some of Barcelona’s most distinctive Catalan art-nouveau, or modernist, buildings. The Catalan Antoni Gaudí, one of the most eminent architects, designed buildings such as the Casa Milà (known as La Pedrera, the Catalan for stone quarry), the Casa Batlló and the Sagrada Família church, which have become world-famous landmarks.
The freedoms achieved during this period were severely restricted during the Civil War in 1936 and the subsequent dictatorship. With the reinstatement of democracy in 1978, Barcelona society regained its economic strength and the Catalan language was restored. The city’s hosting of the 1992 Olympic Games gave fresh impetus to Barcelona’s potential and reaffirmed its status as a major metropolis.
In 2004, the Forum of Cultures reclaimed industrial zones to convert them into residential districts. An example of the renewed vigour with which Barcelona is looking towards the 21st century
A TOUR OF HISTORY
To visit Cardona is to feel history in the making: you can walk around a medieval town, contemplate the grandeur of roman and gothic temples and relive sieges and battles at the most impregnable of castles. To visit Cardona is to experience finding yourself inside a salt mountain that is unique throughout the world and to enjoy routes through an exceptional natural and rural setting.
The Cardona Medieval Centre was created in 2005 as an interpretive resource for explaining the birth and growth of the town of Cardona, following council policy on protection and promotion of the old town centre.
Cardona and its historic county form part of the tourist-cultural Pyrenean Counties Route (dating from the birth of Catalonia) an initiative from the Department of Culture of the Generalitat. That route brings us to the heart of the formation of the country, in which Cardona played an important role. Very important to visit The Cardona Castle tour provides the opportunity to look around the modern fortress and the old parts of the count’s castle, such as the Minyona Tower and the exceptional collegiate church of Sant Vicenç, jewel of Catalan Lombard Romanesque.
The castle, the undefeated fortress, last bastion of Catalan freedoms, was the seat of the powerful lineage of the count-dukes of Cardona, “the uncrowned kings”, rich salt barons related to the most prominent European families.
Around the rich salt deposits and strategic crossing of roads, a medieval town grew up, which was governed by merchants and muleteers who built Cardona’s historic centre, which today is declared a cultural asset of national interest.
The repopulation of the plain of Vic and the creation of the county of Osona account for Wilfred the Hairy in 878 made possible the reconstruction of the old Auson, of which only the walls remained of the Roman Temple that had been used to build castle. The new town took the name of Vicus Ausonae, ie suburb of Ausona, from which derived the name of Vic. With the city restored the Episcopal seat and the cathedral was built in the floor. 1038 Bishop Oliba consecrated the Romanesque cathedral which have reached today the crypt and the bell.
The privatization of public power typical of medieval times did that Vic was divided in two matches, initially under the jurisdiction of a bishop, which was transferred to the king in 1316, and the other under the jurisdiction of the lords castle: the Moncada. This division mark the life of the city in medieval times, which grow around the cathedral, the castle and the Mercadal and will be surrounded by a wall with towers, rebuilt in the fourteenth century. In 1450, King Alfonso the Magnanimous bought the descendants of the Montcada his departure and thus united the city.
The crisis in the Middle Ages, fighting between factions, including those of nyerros and puppies, and wars with France will enter the city in a period of stagnation. The defeat of the supporters of the Archduke of Austria in the War of Succession in 1714 represented a mess Vic, having taken his side from the beginning.
The economic and demographic revival of the eighteenth century made possible the growth of the city, favored the emergence of important architecture and sculpture workshops and allowed the construction of numerous civil and religious buildings and the present cathedral.
During the nineteenth century the effects of the French War and the Carline Wars added to the economic crisis which involved the transfer of various industries in the Ter basin. Yet the city recovered thanks to, among other factors, the momentum of construction and the railroad that connected Vic with Barcelona in 1875. At that time, there was also a great cultural renewal operation that recovered Seminar tradition of the old medieval cathedral school and the University of Vic literary seventeenth century. Among the many students of the Seminary are names such as Jaume Balmes, Sant Antoni Maria Claret Verdaguer. Gathered around associations such as the Literary Circle or Flock Vic, they and many others helped with his work that Vic had a prominent role in the literary and political renaissance of the country.
After the break that led to the Civil War and the postwar half of the twentieth century, the city has recovered the weight that had traditionally been within the context of Catalonia.