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Photo by Iseult Larkin
Plaça Fossar de les Moreres. Metro: Jaume I (L4)
This rather strange but poignant monument celebrates those who gave their lives to protect Barcelona during the siege. The monument itself consists of a low marble plaça and a tall metal structure bearing a torch: the square covers the cemetery where the defenders of the city were originally buried while the torch represents an eternal flame honouring the dead. Along the length of the torch can be read the inscription of a heroic poem by Frederic Soler, 'El Fossar de les Moreres' (The Cemetary of the Mulberry Trees), from which the monument gets its name. Every September 11th, the landmark serves as a meeting point for Catalan nationalist groups.
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La Selecta. Rambla Catalunya 109. Metro: Diagonal (L3 & L5)
Come September 11th, proud citizens can be seen waving senyeres, as the Catalan flag is officially called, while many residents, businesses and organisations display it on buildings, hung from offices and private balconies alike. Nestled amongst the tapas bars and high-street shops on Rambla de Catalunya, the traditional haberdashery (merceria) La Selecta provides a multitude of material in varying lengths and thicknesses decorated with the region's iconic colours. This family business is the ideal place to head if you want to join in with the red-and-yellow colour-scheme of the day.
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Palau de la Generalitat. Plaça de Sant Jaume. Metro: Liceu (L3) or Jaume I (L4)
Various Catalan institutions hold open days to mark September 11th, including the Catalan parliament in Ciutadella park (10am to 7pm) and the Palau de la Generalitat (10am to 4pm). The latter has been the site of various key moments in Barcelona's history and features some fabulous art and architecture. But time your visit well, because the queues can get long; it's probably best to get there first thing or just before closing.
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Statue of Rafael Casanova. Ronda Sant Pere with Bruc. Metro: Urquinaona (L1 & L4)
Official dignitaries traditionally make the pilgrimage to the statue of Casanova every September 11th, where they pay tribute to the heroic leader by laying floral offerings at the statue's feet. Not to be confused with the legendary Italian womaniser, the Catalan is a great symbol of national pride and resistance. Casanova was the chief councillor of Barcelona in the year before the Bourbon invasion and troops under his command resisted three assaults in a row. Legend has it that Casanova escaped the city dressed as a monk only to reappear after an amnesty in 1719.
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Photo Courtesy Òmnium Cultural
Festa per la Llibertat. Passeig de Lluís Companys. Metro: Arc de Triomf (L1) www.omnium.cat
While September 11th is arguably one of the more low-key celebrations here, with official acts often the focus of the day, the organisation Òmnium Cultural - set up during the Franco dictatorship to promote the Catalan language, culture and identity - each year hosts this 'party for freedom'. It includes an evening concert by local bands, workshops for children in the morning and a lunch for 750 people (priced 12 euros; tickets available from Òmnium), as well as day-long activities open to all. In addition, this year, Òmnium is celebrating its 50th anniversary, which will be marked with special events throughout the day.