You have probably read or heard that on 11th. September, 2012, one and a half million people came out and demonstrated in favour of Catalan independence. Our region has suddenly become the focus of attention for current European politics. What’s happened to make such a huge part of the Catalan population wish to separate from the rest of Spain? How much do the language, history, culture and traditions differentiate this nation from those others of the Iberian Peninsula, and most of all from the Castilian majority? Which historical events have created this state of Catalan feeling? Did Spain arise as a state, effectively under the Catholic Kings rule at the end of the 15th century? Was it because the War of Succession between 1701 and 1714 meant the end of the Catalan state? What was the situation for Catalans (and the Basques) under General Franco’s dictatorship? How do these minorities feel right now within Spain’s democracy?
I hope to answer these and any other questions on a tour which centres on the history and current political situation in Barcelona, visiting some of the places related to these matters. Our walk will take us through the old city, the Gothic Quarter, and the Ribera district, close to the renowned church of Santa Maria del Mar, by way of the most significant sites of Catalan nationalism, as far as the old military citadel. This was built as a way of controlling Barcelona, subsequently becoming the site for the 1888 Universal Exposition, with its interesting neoclassical and ‘modernist’ monuments.
Urban tour of 3-4 hours. Should group interest require, a conference room can be made available.