Understanding Catalan Independence and Identity
As we amble through the area, we will find broader clues to the Catalan identity. We will see Antoni Gaudí's first commission, the fantastical Casa Vicens, where the architecture genius first used organic philosophies and symbols of Catalan nationalism (for more on this, see our Barcelona Gaudí Tour). We will pass through Plaça de la Revolucio, commemorating the Glorious Revolution of September 1868 that deposed Queen Isabella II, underlining the rebellious spirit of Barcelona, and in particular Gràcia. In addition, underneath the square is an important bomb shelter from the Spanish Civil War (covered at greater length in our Spanish Civil War Tour in Madrid). This will lead to discussion of Catalonia's importance as bastion against General Franco. We may pass through the Plaça del Diamant, which lends its name to Catalan writer Mercè Rodoreda's iconic novel ( translated into English as The Time of the Doves), set in a troubled post-civil war Barcelona.
Catalan Culture Tour
As we continue, we will pass by the homes of some famous Catalans such as rumba musician Gato Perez or opera singer Montserrat Caballé to talk about how their work figures into national identity. We may also stop by some traditional shops, particularly specialty food shops, that have been in the neighborhood for generations and are now becoming a dying breed with the increasing globalization of the city (those looking to dig further into Catalan cuisine should try our Barcelona Food Tour). We may enter a particularly ancient bodega, going back in time as we admire its dusty but charming bottles of local vermuts and wines, or a bakery known for its Catalan breads. Interacting with shop owners also allows for a brief lesson on Catalan language, its survival a testament to the power of the Catalan identity.
Catalan History with an Expert
FAQ About the Catalan History Private Tour
What is a private tour?
Is this tour walking-intensive and/or wheelchair accessible?
The general route may include narrow sidewalks and cobblestoned streets; please contact us to discuss in more detail your mobility concerns so that we can best advise. We are always happy to design a private, adapted tour for visitors with mobility concerns.
Is this tour appropriate for children and teens? We cover mature topics on this tour. It is not designed as a family tour, though we welcome inquisitive minds of all ages. Please contact us to discuss further if you're concerned about age-appropriate content.
A native of Barcelona, Biel has a degree in Art History from the University of Barcelona, where he wrote his thesis on Catalan artists. He is active in the Barcelona art scene, and as a Catalan, he has tremendous knowledge of the region's history and culture.
Daria is a Russian journalist who covers Barcelona and Catalonia for a range of Russian media outlets. She wrote her Bachelor’s thesis on the Catalan media, and as a journalist specialises on social issues and urban development. Her article on the radical 'superblocks' project that is transforming Barcelona has been read by over half a million people. While covering Barcelona, Daria has spoken to the city’s leading urban designers, the organizers of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and even the last tenants of La Pedrera, thus helping her to accumulate an extensive knowledge of the city’s contemporary life and aspirations. However, Daria is forever biased about Barcelona: she first arrived in the city on the day of her 18th birthday and the Catalan capital has had a special place in her heart ever since. As a guide, Daria loves welcoming people to Barcelona, her one true urban love.
Manfredi is a historian and politologue, having studied a Masters' in Political Science and History at the university of Bologna, Italy and Masters' in European Policies and Law at the university of Leuven, Belgium. He worked and lived in several countries and cities (including Bologna, London, Brussels, New York, Berlin) until he found, 8 years ago, his adoptive home town in Barcelona, with which he developed a loving relationship. He has since become an official tour guide for the whole region of Catalonia. His mission: to transmit this love and knowledge to anybody who visits the city, and to light up the flame of curiosity and discovery stimulating a genuine vision of one of the most beautiful city in the world through the eyes of an adopted local.
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