The Modern Age

About the year 1519 Catalonia fell down in the decadence. Although the kings promised to respect the privilege of the city, they were living in Castille and Barcelona was not the capital of the monarchy anymore.

The Royal Palace was closed and Virrei, a representative of the King, ruled the city and the Principality and lived in his own place: El Palau de la Virrei (The Palace of Virrei).

This supposed the economic contribution of the Catalans to the maintenance of the troops, but also they also paid for the excesses of the out of control mercenaries during the war of Philip IV against France. An armed uprising broke out in Catalonia and on the day of Corpus of 1640, bands of peasants entered Barcelona. It became known as the Corpus of Blood, The War of Reapers or of Succession. It lasted eleven years and Barcelona was besieged repeatedly until finally the city was defeated and, as consequence, a permanent garrison of the Royal Spanish army was established in Barcelona.

The city lost its military privileges: the walls and the bastions, Montjuïc's castle and the dockyards stop being an exclusive heritage of the inhabitants of Barcelona. However, the Catalans had only two options: living under the kingdom of Philip V, belonging to the dynasty of the Bourbons, who wanted to impose an absolutist and centralist monarchy, or under the archduke Charles from Austria, who guaranteed the constitutions of Catalonia. Obviously, the inhabitants of both Barcelona and the other regions of Catalonia did not think it twice and gave their support to the archduke.

The filipistas built a ciudadela (a new city within a wall’s boundaries) in the sample place the seaworthy neighbourhood of the military Bank and where the adversaries were imprisoned and executed had occupied before. However, from middle of the 18th century the city experiences a great recovery both economic and demographically and throughout the century two of the current main boulevards, La Rambla and El Passeig de Sant Joan, are constructed. At the end of the century, Barcelona’s markets are full of products, the manufactures are significant and signs of active and developed industry can be appreciated.

Barcelona was besieged for 13 months until the city fell down on September 11th 1714. That was the beginning of a period of repression.