For centuries, Barcelona has boasted a vast and fascinating history. Although the city known today as ‘Barcelona’ was founded in 1899, the historic site that this beautiful metropolis is built upon dates back to as early as 5000 BC.
As a center of commerce, trade, politics and art for the majority of its existence, the city has been shaped by a talented lineup of architects, craftsmen, politicians, and artists who each contributed to what Barcelona is today. To honor the memories of who and what aided in the creation of this unique community, many of the streets are named in accordance with notable people in Catalan history.
Of the hundreds of streets that make up the city, there are many named in dedication to significant political figures who were involved in Catalonia’s fascinating political journey including:
Carrer de Roger de Flor – Roger de Flor was an Italian military adventurer and commander of the Great Catalan Company in the late 13th century. Flor’s life was the inspiration for one of the most well-known medieval literary works in the Catalan language, Tirant lo Blanc, an epic romance that was published in 1490.
Carrer de Pau Claris – Pau Claris i Casademunt was a Catalan lawyer, clergyman and politician. He received a doctorate in civil law and canon law from the University of Barcelona in 1612, before becoming the Bishop of Urgell and Andorra, a representative of the church at the Parliament of Catalonia, as well as the 94th President of the Deputation of the General of Catalonia. He’s best known for proclaiming the Catalan Republic in 1641.
Avinguda de Josep Tarradellas – Josep Tarradellas i Joan was the 125th President of the Government of Catalonia, famously known for his proclamation of, «Citizens of Catalonia, I am here at last!», upon his arrival to a symbolic negotiation of reestablishing the Government of Catalonia with Alfonso Suarez, the former Prime Minister of Spain.
Not only are those who politically represented Catalonia given recognition through street names, but also the countless architects and artists who heavily influenced the formation of what many people believe to be one of the most aesthetically beautiful cities in the world. Some of them include:
Avinguda de Gaudí – Antoni Gaudí i Cornet was a Spanish architect, world-renowned for his highly-individualized works featured across Barcelona including: La Sagrada Familia, Parc Güell, Casa Milà, Casa Battló, among many others. His death in 1926 left his grandest project, La Sagrada Familia, unfinished. The structure has since been given a target completion date of 2026, to honor the 100th year since his passing.
Carrer de Joan Miró – Joan Miró i Ferrà was a Spanish painter, sculptor and ceramicist during the early to mid 20th century. Although internationally acclaimed for having a large part in introducing Surrealism artwork, Miró did not initially associate himself with the Surrealist movement, wanting to continue to experiment in other styles of art. In 1975 the Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona was established in dedication to his work.
Plaça de Mossèn Jacint Verdaguer – Jacint Verdaguer i Santaló, called the «prince of Catalan poets», was a Spanish writer and is regarded as one of the greatest poets of Catalan literature. As well as being a prominent figure of the Catalan Renaissance literary movement during the mid to late 19th century, he was also an ordained priest.
The next time you’re exploring the city, take a look at the street plaques. History buffs will be delighted to find the countless backstories attached to their names.
Roam around and read up on a few!