National Day of Catalonia

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National Day of Catalonia
(Catalan: Diada Nacional de Catalunya)
Rafael Casanova 11 Setembre.jpg
Floral offerings to the monument of Rafael Casanova, one of the commanders of the Catalan army during the Siege of Barcelona in Barcelona, 2005
Official nameDiada Nacional de Catalunya
Also calledDiada, Onze de Setembre
Observed byFlag of Catalonia.svg  Catalonia (Spain)
Type National Day
SignificanceCommemorates the fall of Barcelona during the War of the Spanish Succession in 1714.
CelebrationsFlag hoisting, floral offerings, singing patriotic songs and Els Segadors , speeches, demonstrations, entertainment and cultural programs
Date 11 September

The National Day of Catalonia [1] (Catalan : Diada Nacional de Catalunya [diˈaðə nəsi.uˈnal də kətəˈluɲə] ) is a day-long festival in Catalonia and one of its official national symbols, celebrated annually on 11 September. It commemorates the fall of Barcelona during the War of the Spanish Succession in 1714 and the subsequent loss of Catalan institutions and laws. [2]

Catalan language Romance language

Catalan is a Western Romance language derived from Vulgar Latin and named after the medieval Principality of Catalonia, in northeastern modern Spain. It is the only official language of Andorra, and a co-official language of the Spanish autonomous communities of Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Valencia. It also has semi-official status in the Italian comune of Alghero. It is also spoken in the eastern strip of Aragon, in some villages of Region of Murcia called Carche and in the Pyrénées-Orientales department of France. These territories are often called Països Catalans or "Catalan Countries".

Catalonia Autonomous area of northeastern Spain

Catalonia is an autonomous community on the northeastern corner of Spain, designated as a nationality by its Statute of Autonomy. Catalonia consists of four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. The capital and largest city is Barcelona, the second-most populated municipality in Spain and the core of the sixth most populous urban area in the European Union. It comprises most of the territory of the former Principality of Catalonia. It is bordered by France (Occitanie) and Andorra to the north, the Mediterranean Sea to the east, and the Spanish autonomous communities of Aragon to the west and Valencia to the south. The official languages are Catalan, Spanish, and the Aranese dialect of Occitan.

National symbols of Catalonia

The national symbols of Catalonia are flags, icons or cultural expressions that are emblematic, representative or otherwise characteristic of Catalonia or Catalan culture.



The Army of Catalonia that initially fought in support of the Habsburg dynasty's claim to the Spanish throne were finally defeated at the Siege of Barcelona by the army of the Bourbon king Philip V of Spain on 11 September 1714 after 14 months of siege. That meant the loss of the Catalan constitutions and the institutional system of the Principality of Catalonia under the aegis of the Nueva Planta decrees, and the establishment of absolutism. [3]

Army of Catalonia (1713–14)

The Army of the Principality of Catalonia was the army raised by the General Estates of Catalonia on July 9, 1713 after the English treason with the Treaty of Utrecht and the withdrawal of Imperial troops by the L'Hospitalet Agreement. The army was made up of 10,000 infantry, 1,600 cavalry and 1,000 naval troops. It is not known how many men formed the artillery unit but it did not exceed 700. In total, the army contained 13,000 regular troops.

Philip V of Spain 18th-century King of Spain

Philip V was King of Spain from 1 November 1700 to his abdication in favour of his son Louis on 14 January 1724, and from his reaccession of the throne upon his son's death, 6 September 1724 to his own death on 9 July 1746.

Catalan constitutions constitutions

The Catalan constitutions were the laws of the Principality of Catalonia promulgated by the Count of Barcelona and approved by the Catalan Courts. The Corts in Catalan have the same origin as courts in English but instead meaning the legislature. The first constitutions were promulgated by the Corts of 1283. The last ones were promulgated by the Corts of 1705. They had pre-eminence over the other legal rules and could only be revoked by the Catalan Courts themselves. The compilations of the constitutions and other rights of Catalonia followed the Roman tradition of the Codex.

The holiday was first celebrated on 11 September 1886. In 1888, coinciding with the inauguration of the Barcelona Universal Exposition, a statue in honor of Rafael Casanova was set up, which would become the point of reference of the events of the Diada. The celebration gained popularity over the following years; the Diada of 1923 was a great mass event, with more than a thousand floral offerings, acts throughout Catalonia and a certain institutional participation. But the demonstrations caused 17 wounded, five policemen and 12 protesters, and several arrests. The dictatorship of Primo de Rivera banned the celebration. During the Second Spanish Republic (1931–1939), the Generalitat de Catalunya (the autonomous government of Catalonia) institutionalized the celebration. [4]

1888 Barcelona Universal Exposition

The 1888 Barcelona Universal Exposition was Spain's first International World's Fair and ran from May 20 to December 9, 1888. It was also the first of the two held in Barcelona.

Rafael Casanova Catalan lawyer and politician

Rafael Casanova i Comes was a Catalan jurist, and supporter of Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor as a claimant to the Crown of Spain during the War of the Spanish succession. He became mayor of Barcelona and commander in chief of Catalonia during the Siege of Barcelona until he was wounded in combat while commanding La Coronela during the counterattack on the Saint Peter front on the last day of the siege, September 11, 1714. After the war he received a royal pardon for having supported the Habsburg claim to the Spanish throne. He recovered from his wounds, and continued his fight against absolute monarchy as a lawyer. It has been claimed that he is the author of the book Record de l'Aliança fet el Sereníssim Jordi Augusto Rey de la Gran Bretanya in which Catalonia reminds England of the Treaty of Genoa and their obligation to Catalonia.

Miguel Primo de Rivera Spanish politician; dictator, aristocrat, and military officer who served as Prime Minister of Spain from 1923 to 1930

Miguel Primo de Rivera y Orbaneja, 2nd Marquess of Estella, 22nd Count of Sobremonte was a dictator, aristocrat, and military officer who served as Prime Minister of Spain from 1923 to 1930 during Spain's Restoration era. He deeply believed that it was the politicians who had ruined Spain and that governing without them he could restore the nation. His slogan was "Country, Religion, Monarchy." Historians depict him as an inept dictator who lacked clear ideas and political acumen, and who alienated his potential supporters such as the army. He did not create a base of support among the voters, and depended instead on elite elements. His actions discredited the king and ruined the monarchy, while heightening social tensions that led in 1936 to a full-scale Spanish Civil War.

It was suppressed by Francoist Spain in 1939, and relegated to the family and private sphere, but continued to be celebrated clandestinely. The monument of Rafael Casanova was removed. Since 1940 the National Front of Catalonia took advantage of the day to carry out some propaganda actions: distribution of anti-fascist leaflets, clandestine hanging of senyeres, etc. It was celebrated publicly for the first time again on 11 September 1976, followed by a huge demonstration demanding Catalan autonomy in Barcelona the next year, on 11 September 1977, in which the Casanova's statue was repositioned in its place, and the celebration was reinstated officially in 1980 by the Generalitat de Catalunya, upon its restoration after the Francoist State, becoming the first law approved by the restored Parliament of Catalonia. [5]

Francoist Spain Period of Spain (1939 to 1975)

Francoist Spain, known in Spain as the Francoist dictatorship, officially known as the Spanish State from 1936 to 1947 and the Kingdom of Spain from 1947 to 1975, is the period of Spanish history between 1936 and 1975, when Francisco Franco ruled Spain as dictator with the title Caudillo.

National Front of Catalonia

The National Front of Catalonia was a Catalan separatist party which was active between 1940 and 1990. The FNC was created in 1940 by former members of the Estat Català and the Catalan Nationalist Party, with the latter dissolving and splitting its membership between the Estat Català and the FNC. The main goals of the FNC were to present an opposing front to the Spanish State of caudillo Franco and to advocate for Catalan independence. In 1946, the FNC became an officially independent party by breaking its relationship with the Estat Català.

Parliament of Catalonia Parliament that exercises the legislative power of the Government of Catalonia

The Parliament of Catalonia is the unicameral legislature of the autonomous community of Catalonia. It is formed by 135 deputies (diputats/diputados), who are elected every four years or after extraordinary dissolution, chosen by universal suffrage in lists with four constituencies, the Catalan provinces. The Parliament building is located in Ciutadella park, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.


Nationalist organizations, political parties and institutions traditionally lay floral offerings at monuments of those who led the defence of the city such as Rafael Casanova and General Moragues, marking their stand against the king Philip V of Spain. Typically, Catalan nationalists organize demonstrations and meet at the Fossar de les Moreres in Barcelona, where they pay homage to the defenders of city who died during the siege and were buried there. Throughout the day, there are patriotic demonstrations and cultural events in many Catalan villages and many citizens wave senyeres and estelades. The event has become more explicitly political and particularly focused on independence rallies in the 2010s. [6]

Josep Moragues i Mas Spanish general

Josep Moragues i Mas was a Catalan general during the War of the Spanish Succession. He fought on the Archduke Charles' side.

Catalan nationalism

Catalan nationalism is the ideology asserting that the Catalans are a nation.

Fossar de les Moreres square in Barcelona

The Fossar de les Moreres is a memorial square in Barcelona, adjacent to the basilica of Santa Maria del Mar. The plaza was built over a cemetery where defenders of the city were buried following the Siege of Barcelona at the end of the War of the Spanish Succession in 1714. The plaza retains its everyday use as a public space, but also prominently features a memorial to the fallen Catalans of the war, with a torch of eternal flame and a heroic poem by Frederic Soler, "El Fossar de les Moreres".

See also

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  1. National Day of Catalonia - Generalitat de Catalunya Archived 7 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  2. When the Treaty of Utrecht was signed between April and July, the Principality of Catalonia remained (alongside Majorca) the only realm of which still fought for the cause of Charles III. By 9 July, the General Estates of Catalonia decided to continue the war in order to defend the Catalan constitutions
  3. Mercader, J. Felip V i Catalunya. (Barcelona, 1968)
  4. La conmemoració durant la Segona República i la Guerra Civil.
  5. "Onze de Setembre" Archived 10 December 2011 at the Wayback Machine , in: Gran Enciclopèdia Catalana (online)
  6. Jones, Sam (10 September 2017). "Catalans to celebrate Their National Day with Independence Protests". The Guardian . Guardian Media Group.