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Bye Bye Barcelona

sunny 22 °C
View Euro trip 2013 on travellinglise's travel map.

"Catalonia: The Next Independent State in Europe." - Banner in the main square in Barcelona. Hmmmm maybe....?

Foodie moment

Time for another delicious, good value 'Menu Del Dia'. As always we ordered different things so we could try more of what was on the menu. Starter included both of us trying Squid ink risotto for the first time... it was actually nice but definitely not a first date food...black dyed teeth and tongues are not attractive!


Cultural moment

As we travelled around Spain something became more and more obvious to us.... Catalonia (The region where Barcelona is situated) and the rest of Spain (particularly Madrid) don't really get along. We thought it might be a Melbourne vs Sydney type of thing but we found out there is a lot more to it. Until the 18th century, Catalonia was an independent state with their own language, political power and traditions. This ended when the new Bourbon king, Philip V of Spain imposed a unifying legislation and administration across Spain meaning an end to the Catalan ways. The independence of Catalan fluctuated and fell over the following years, depending on the leadership of the time. The most difficult time was under the dictatorship of Franco, where the Catalan language was banned and made illegal, only being kept alive in private conversations. Since Franco's death a level of autonomy has been brought back to Catalonia with the recognition of their language and promotion of their culture, a majority of those that live in Catalonia still fight for Catalonia's full independence. Our guide said that there is a referendum next year, and he is certain that the number of people who will vote for independence will be in the high nineties. Having said that, ultimately it is the government's decision so the voting may be completely irrelevant. So in the meantime, the Catalan people protest by flying their own official flag, often in the place of the Spanish flag!


Wow moment

Barcelona is filled with many cathedrals, each with their own style and features.


Wow in a different way was visiting one of the squares in central Barcelona. The walls of Saint Philip Neri Square are spattered with the scars of bullet fire and shrapnel, which occurred during the Spanish civil war in 1938. 42 people, including 20 children, where killed as they sheltered from the bombs in the church. The building has been left with the scars of the war to remind people of the impact of war.


What we learnt today

Eulalia of Barcelona is the patron saint of the city. She was a 13 year old Roman Christian girl who suffered martyrdom in Barcelona during the persecution of Christians, in the reign of the Romans. The legend of her execution is a great one. She was sentenced to death by being put in a barrel full of blades and broken glass, which was then rolled down a hill 13 times (one for each year of her life). It is at this point that the legend makes her a saint, because when the emperor opened the barrel he was shocked to find her still alive. He was so angry that he then strung her up naked to humiliate her, but at that point it started to snow and her modesty was protected by the cover of snow (hmmm snow in Barcelona?). Then the Emperor was really angry and he chopped off her head, and when he did a white dove was said to fly out of her body and off into the sky. Hence started the legend of Saint Eulalia. It is also said she shares the patron saint title, and is not too happy about it. As you know we went to a festival a few nights back in honour of Saint John, so when it rains on the day of the feast of Sant Joan the people say that is is Eulalia crying that, for one day, she is forgotten and someone else is being worshipped!

Posted by travellinglise 13:33 Archived in Spain Tagged barcelona

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