September 11th, 1714 saw the end of the War of the Spanish Succession, with the fall of Barcelona after a siege lasting 413 days. As a result, Catalunya was stripped of its political institutions and autonomy after backing the wrong horse in a battle between European powers to decide the successor to the Spanish crown. With the tricentenary of this historic defeat coming up next year, Barcelona City Council, in conjunction with the Generalitat, is organising a year-long civic commemoration aimed at helping us discover the city as it was in the 18th century. The celebrations are based around the motto ‘Viure Lliure’ (‘Live free’ taken from the expression ‘viurem lliures o morirem’, ‘we shall live free or die’), and the programme, curated by popular Catalan journalist Toni Soler, features over 80 activities, including the opening event, La Auca del Born. Directed by Jordi Casanovas and staged in the epicentre of all activities, the new Born cultural centre based in the refurbished neighbourhood market, this performance features 48 scenes reenacting life in the city at the time. Other activities to look out for include an exhibition showing the world as it was in 1714 at the Museu d’Història de Barcelona, an orchestrated cooking performance with internationally renowned Catalan chefs Ferran Adrià, Carme Ruscalleda and Joan Roca, and a large-scale map traced out on Passeig Lluís Companys, giving the viewer a bird’s eye view of the old city (pictured above). During La Mercè, the Parc de la Ciutadella will become a veritable time machine with period music, street performances, a 16th-century tavern and a re-enactment of the fateful Bourbon siege.
For more information click here.