Practical guide / Ciutat Vella / La Ribera / The Fossar de les Moreres

The Fossar de les Moreres

The Fossar de les Moreres is a place of great symbolic significance where the weight of history takes centre stage. Here, right in the centre of the Born neighbourhood, was the site of the graveyard for the fallen during the 1714 Siege of Barcelona. A monument stands on the site as a reminder. The place sometimes goes unnoticed by visitors. For the Catalans, the fossar is more than a memory. It is a homage.

The 1714 Siege of Barcelona lasted more than a year. It ended with the fall of Barcelona to the troops of Philip V. Catalonia had lent its support to Archduke Charles of Austria as the successor to the Spanish throne, while Castile was favourable to the accession of Philip of Anjou. The 11th September has become the National Day of Catalonia, La Diada. On this day in 1714, Barcelona surrendered to the Bourbons marking the beginning of a period of repression for the Catalans with the abolition of laws and institutions.

In 1989, the architect Carme Fiol revealed the victims' burial site by demolishing the buildings that stood there, and covered the ground with brick as red as the blood that had been spilt. The burial site, which was originally the cemetery of the adjacent church, Santa Maria del Mar, was exposed to the public gaze. In 2001, the monument surmounted by a cauldron designed by Alfons Viaplana was placed on the site. An eternal flame burns on the top, a symbol of permanent tribute. At the back of the square, in the shade of the mulberry trees from which it takes its name (morera is Catalan for mulberry), a plaque reproduces lines of verse by Frederic Soler "Pitarra", which are read out every year during the tributes on the Diada: "In the graveyard of the mulberry trees no traitor shall be buried; even if our flags are lost, it will be the urn of honour".