The First Republic turns 150!

Spain’s General Courts proclaimed the First Republic on 11 April 1873, hours after the abdication of King Amadeo of Savoy. With 258 votes in favour and 32 against, that parliamentary session marked the start of a brief and turbulent period, essential for the country and Barcelona. This year marks 150 years since that point, with a programme of activities remembering the events, people and places in the city shaped by that historical development.

11/02/2023 10:37 h

Ajuntament de Barcelona

The first ceremony to mark the 150th anniversary of the First Republic will be the presentation of the re-edited La República a Barcelona, the work by Miquel González i Sugranyes, the Mayor during the First Republic, written at the end of the 19th century. The new publication includes a hundred documents and texts by the historians Jordi Roca Vernet and Ginés Puente, and will be presented in a ceremony at the History Archive of Barcelona on Monday, 13 February.

El Born CCM will be hosting a session on 25 March entitled “Shooting star of freedom: 150 years on from the First Republic (1873-1874)”. Eight history experts will be looking at matters such as the importance of the First Republic in the democratic policies that followed, such as suffrage, the democratisation of land, the regulation of working hours and secular education.

Three new historical information panels

The programme also includes the installation of three historical memory panels at points in the city linked with important people and events from the First Republic.

The first will be in Plaça de Sarrià, marking the last point of resistance led by the republican Joan Martí Torres, known as Xic de les Barraquetes, in the face of waves of violence from the troops of General Martínez de Campos the day after the uprising of 8 January 1874. The republicans were strong in Sarrià, with a group of volunteers in defence of the republican legality. Those who fell in this conflict were considered martyrs in defence of the Republic and are remembered in a tribute in Sarrià cemetery every year.

The second panel will be installed in Passeig de Sant Joan, in honour of the poet, musician and republican politician Josep Anselm Clavé. A parliamentarian in the General Courts and chair of Barcelona Provincial Council, he was also part of the Revolutionary Board and was imprisoned for taking part in the popular revolt against General Espartero. In the same passage we can find the work erected in his honour in 1888, which was the first public monument in the city by popular initiative. The piece was originally located at the junction between Rambla de Catalunya and Carrer Valènica, before it was transferred to Passeig de Sant Joan in 1956.

In the second half of the 19th century, theJardí dels Camps Elisis was a meeting place for the working classes in Barcelona. Located between the streets of Aragó and Rosselló, the gardens were the site for the first urban funfair in Catalonia and also the venue for Josep Anselm Clavé to conduct the first performance of a work by Richard Wagner in Barcelona, in 1862. All of this will be remembered on a memory panel on the corner between Carrer Mallorca and Passatge dels Camps Elisis, the name that remains from that former garden with republic airs.


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