Barcelona Photoblog: Ferrer i Guardia Monument in Montjuic

February 11, 2007

Ferrer i Guardia Monument in Montjuic

Francisco Ferrer i Guardia statue in Montjuic, Barcelona

This is a monument in honor of Francisco Ferrer i Guardia in Montjuic. It is one of the many sculptures scattered around these mountain paths. Francisco Ferrer i Guardia was one of those controverted characters in Catalan history. He was an anarchist and a teacher, arrested and executed without any proof by firing squad at Montjuic Fortress in Barcelona in October 13, 1909. 

Born in Alella, Catalonia, in 1859 from a Catholic family, he was known for his progressive and republican ideas and later on for his anarchist actions. Nonetheless he ended up creating what was known as Modern School in which by means of libertarian pedagogy pupils were taught in a different way of thinking that promoted reflection and rebellion against religious order. It was for this reason that his school was deemed a source of subversion and terrorism and although it was eventually closed he managed, after months in jail, to be acquitted and released. 

But his good fortune came to an end in 1909 when the Church falsely accused him of instigating a rebellion which led to attacks to convents and churches during the revolutionary events of the "Tragic Week" in Barcelona. King Alfonso XIII did not pardon him and Ferrer i Guardia was put to death by a firing squad in the Santa Amalia pit in the prison of Montjuic castle. 

This sculpture is a replica of an original in Brussels. Barcelona townhall, right after the II Republic in Spain, solicited that the Belgians sent the statue, to which they opposed in 1931. It was agreed then to make a copy and it wasn't till 1990 that such petition was finally carried out.
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