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Historical walks through the 20th century Barcelona  

Nou Barris

ROUTE SITES


This large roundabout used to be known as Plaça de Llucmajor until 2016, when it was renamed to commemorate the 2nd Spanish Republic (1931-1939). Its renaming was part of a series of changes to names of streets and public spaces in the city aimed at recovering the Republican heritage in squares and streets.

The first republican symbols were put up in the square in 1990. These consisted of Josep Viladomat's sculpture entitled Flame, representing a female figure as a symbol of the Republic, and the medallion with an effigy of Pi i Margall, the Catalan politician who was Spain’s first Republican president (1873-74). Both these elements had been part of a series of sculptures officially unveiled in 1936 at Plaça del Cinc d’Oros, at the junction between Avinguda Diagonal and Passeig de Gràcia. It was at this site that the sculpture Flame crowned an obelisk, the only element to have been kept in its original place over the years. The Pi i Margall medallion stood at its foot, a work by Joan Pie.

As the Francoist troops entered the city in January 1939, the sculpture and medallion were removed and the obelisk rededicated to the fascist victory by incorporating a female statue created by Frederic Marés. But Viladomat's sculpture and Pie's medallion, instead of being destroyed, were hidden in a municipal warehouse on Carrer Wellington throughout the Francoist dictatorship, alongside other statues that had been removed from public spaces representing Catalan-nationalist figures. It was not until Pasqual Maragall became mayor of Barcelona that these works were returned to public streets and squares. A large monument designed by the architects Albert Viaplana and Helio Piñón, integrating Josep Viladomat’s sculpture and Pi i Margall's medallion, was unveiled in 1990 in the Nou Barris district.

It was only 20 years later that a formal demand was made for renaming the square. The Coordinating Committee for Nou Barris local residents’ associations and entities organised a collection of signatures calling for this. The District approved it from the start but the City Council did not ratify it. An alternative solution was approved two years later: the esplanade at the entrance to Parc de la Guineueta was renamed Jardins de la Segona República, where a plaque was also put up in homage of Nou Barris’ Republican fighters.

Even so, the calls to change the name of the square continued, and the project was finally approved under a new municipal government in 2015. A year later there was an exchange of names: the central space was renamed Plaça de la República, and the gardens Llucmajor, thereby avoiding the need to remove the name of this Majorcan town with strong ties to the neighbourhood.

Address: Plaça de la República || Coordinates: (LAT, LONG): 41.438527000, 2.174509000

  • Periods:
  • Second Republic
  • Civil War
  • Francoism
  • Transition
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