57 years of the Cardenal Albareda square

On a day like today 57 years ago, the Plenary of the Badalona City Council approved to give the name of Cardinal Albareda to a square in the Congress neighborhood. It is an area where there are several public spaces that bear names related to religion and the Catholic Church, in recognition of the entity of Catholic origin Viviendas del Congreso Eucarístico, SA, which promoted, between 1963 and 1970, the construction of homes that they constitute the neighborhood.

Anselm Maria Albareda i Ramoneda (Barcelona 1892-1966), was a historian, librarian, archivist, theologian and ecclesiastic, who came to achieve the dignity of cardinal. Baptized as Joaquim, he took the name of Anselm Maria when he professed as a Benedictine. He lived in Badalona, ​​where his family settled when he was little and continued to be linked to the city throughout his life. He studied in the Marists of Badalona, ​​in the Montserrat monastery – where he would be an archivist – and in Rome. Between 1933 and 1961 he was prefect of the Vatican Library, which he reformed deeply. During the years of World War II he stood out for his work of saving bibliographic collections, among which that of Montecassino Abbey stands out. In 1962 he was appointed cardinal and soon afterwards the Badalona City Council granted him the title of adoptive son of the city. In 1963 he attended the conclave that elected Paul VI as the new pope. He is the author of several publications, many of which are devoted to the history of the Montserrat monastery, where his remains rest.

In 2016, on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of his death, the Museum of Badalona, ​​together with the parish of Santa Maria de Badalona, ​​dedicated an exhibition to him, which could be seen in the church of Santa Maria and, later, in the monastery of Montserrat .

 

Gallery: TITUS. From the first baths to the ballroom

This gallery is a proposal to go back in time and remember an establishment where our great-grandparents, grandparents and parents were entertained.

In 1880 Francesc Fonollà (aka) Titus installed simple wooden huts on the beach where people could swim in small saltwater pools or in the sea, grabbing ropes that were installed there. It has been 140 years since then and now the Titus Group has more than one dance and leisure room, both in the city and outside.

The photographs were transferred to the Museum’s Image Archive, Ramon Fonollà Ferrer,  Ramon, in November 2011, at the end of the 130th anniversary celebrations and once the publication TITUS platja. Des de 1880 al 2000.

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TITUS, el primer establiment de bany, el restaurant, la sala de ball

Who is the mayor of Ca l’Umbert?

The preparation of the exhibition Portraits, which the Museum will inaugurate as soon as it can restart its public activity, has caused us to review the information available from some of the paintings we have incorporated in the exhibit. One is the portrait of the mayor of Ca l’Umbert.

It is an oil painting portraying an elderly man sitting on a chair and holding a Mayor’s baton in his hand, indicating that he has a position, probably that of a mayor. It is unknown when this paint went to the Museum collections, who donated it and where it came from.

When in 1993 the Josep M. Cuyàs Archive was donated to the Museum, a photograph of this painting was located in its photographic collection, where, behind it, Mr. Cuyàs had scored “mayor of Ca l’Umbert”. Looking for the names of the mayors of the first half of the 19th century, we found Bartomeu Rovira Mandri (circa 1790-185?), who was mayor for two brief stages in the years 1833 and 1835, and we think he is the character portrayed, precisely by her relationship with the house today known as Ca l’Umbert.

Ca l’Umbert is a farmhouse located on Santa Barbara Street. This name, however, is relatively recent. Until the early years of the twentieth century, this house was known by the name of Can Rovira, as it was a family of this last name that had built it in the late eighteenth century. The aforementioned Bartomeu Rovira was the son of this house, so it should come as no surprise that Josep M. Cuyàs used the name of the house of the Mayor, Ca l’Umbert, to name him.

 

 

Portrait of the mayor of Ca l’Umbert, Bartomeu Rovira Mandri. Inv. 2322

 

In memory of Jordi Monés i Pujol-Busquets

It has left us Jordi Monés i Pujol-Busquets (Badalona 1928-2020), a recognized historian of education, who just a few days ago had been distinguished with the Creu del Sant Jordi “for his contribution to the knowledge of the history of education in Catalonia and for the defense of the Catalan school. ”

Initially trained in chemical engineering, Monés later studied education history, a field which he emphasized with intense research work that led to numerous specialized publications. From 1979 to 1993, when he retired, he taught at the Institute of Education Sciences and the Faculty of Education Sciences of the UAB.

In Badalona, ​​during the dictatorship years, he played an active role in the cultural world of anti-Franco resistance, from his role as president of the Centre Excursionista de Badalona and the Joventuts musicals. He also participated in the organization of the Fabra Year in our city in 1968.This and other aspects of Badalona are reflected in his memoir Els meus records, published in 2015.

From the Museum we want to emphasize in particular the articles of pedagogical theme that he published in our magazine Carrer dels Arbres, in which he collaborated in issues 4 (September-October 1979), 23 (March 1982) and 31 (January 1983) of the first period, and 14 (2003) of the third period.

 

Photography: ACN

The first tram in Badalona

In March 1887, so 133 years ago, the first tram linking Badalona to Barcelona came into operation. It was the result of a long history that had, among other works, involved the construction of bridges over Bogatell and Besòs, completed in 1883 and 1885, respectively.

The tram used animal traction between Barcelona and Sant Martí de Provençals, as the Barcelona City Council refused to authorize the use of steam engines inside the city. From Sant Martí to Badalona the traction was mechanical, and it was approved in 1885. Finally, on March 20th, 1887, the line was opened with the presence of the authorities.

Despite the irregular schedules, the tram was very successful and was used by a considerable number of people. You can find more information at the magazine Carrer dels Arbres, 3a època, núm. 6, 1995, p. 59-70. And if you want to read some anecdote firsthand, you must not miss the news published by El Eco de Badalona on March 12th, 19th and 25th, 1887.

 

Steam tram of the type that circulated in Badalona from 1887. Unknown/ Museu de Badalona. Arxiu Josep M. Cuyàs

 

Tram crossing Badalona. Unknown/ Museu de Badalona. Arxiu Josep M. Cuyàs

 

Tram crossing the Besòs river. Museu de Badalona. AI

The first pandemic in history: the Antonine plague

Did you know that the first pandemic in history happened in Roman times?

The coronavirus pandemic is testing a big part of our globalized world. But this is one of the different epidemics and pandemics that has recorded the history of mankind, which has suffered several times of health crisis, which were settled with more or less fortune.

The Antonine plague, also called the Antonine pest or Galenian plagues, was the first to affect the Roman Empire in the second century AD, in the western world. It happened at the end of the reign of the Antonine Dinasty (165-180 AD) that gives name to the plague.  To this Dynasty, one of ghe longest in the Roman Empire (96-192 AC) belonged the emperors Nerva, Traianus, Adrianus, Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius and Commodus.

 

Sestertius of Commodus (179 dC)

 

Although the exact place of the origin of this epidemic is unknown, it is known that it began in the East and from there it spread through communication networks, either by land or by the sea. One of the causes of the spread of the contagion was the return of military troops from the East, after the war with the parthians in 167 AD. Luci Verus, co-emperor with Marc Aureli, commanded one hundred thousand people, often lacking in hygiene, which  meant high epidemiological risk. One fact, according to Historia Augusta, a collection of biographies of the emperors of the second and third centuries AD, had the fatality of leaving traces of the plague in all the provinces where it passed until reaching Rome. Also spoke about he pest Amianus Marcelinus, a historian of the fourth century AD, who said that the plague “filled with disease and death all the territory located between the lands of the Persians, the Rhine and Gaul.”

Symptoms of the disease were described by Galen, a well-known physician in Pergamum (now Turkey) who traveled to Rome in 169 as a gladiator’s physician, but due to the epidemic soon had to heal senior Roman officials, until the emperor Marcus Aurelius appointed him as physician of Lucius Verus and Commodus.

According to Galen’s description of the symptoms, a specialist debate has been conducted to determine what the condition might be and it looks like it was an hemorrhagic smallpox.

 

Miniature from the 6th century AD of the copy of the book De Materia Medica of Dioscorides (c.40-90 AD). National Library of Austria

 

The History Augusta also states that, as Marc Aurelius was campaigning against the Marcomans in the Danube (170-174 AD), “an epidemic arose so great that corpses had to be transported in different vehicles and carriages.”

In the wake of the plague, Antoninian emperors were forced to enact numerous laws, which are still preserved in the Digest Treaty, on the ways to move and bury corpses, as well as the harsh penalties imposed if the rules were not obeyed.

It has been estimated that the Antonine plague affected 7-10% of the Empire’s population, which is estimated to be approximately 50 million people. Therefore, the epidemic took away between 3 and 5 million of people. When we talk about the army and the cities, it seems that the mortality could have been slightly higher, between 13 and 15%, due to the concentration of people in the same space.

This pandemic is considered the seventh most lethal in history. It affected all Roman social classes: Lucius Verus died shortly after arriving in Rome, and later, in 180 AD, when it is believed that there was an outbreak of the disease, Marcus Aurelius died in present-day Vienna.

 

Dupondius of Marcus Aurelius (170-71 dC)

 

The conclusion is that it was a global epidemic, what we now call a pandemic, both in terms of its geographical extension and its effects on the population. The mental, social, economic and military impact of the crisis was significant for the future of the Roman Empire, especially if we think that they didn’t have the medical or technological knowledge we have today to overcome a similar situation, to explain it, to understand its origins and, above all, to stop it.

In memory of Joan Cuadrench, a beloved priest in Badalona

Mn. Joan Cuadrench died this weekend from Covid 19. From the Museum of Badalona we want to remind his pastoral activity in our city for many years. He stayed first in the parish of Sant Sebastià de Pomar and, years later, he was the parish priest of the parish of Sant Antoni de Llefià. In both places, their work went beyond the strictly religious sense, and their figure had become a mainstay for the benefit of the community, a community made up of hard working people, many coming from outside Catalonia. His work was intense and he always sought ways to organize services designed to meet the pressing needs of a population with modest and often very limited resources. He also did an important job promoting Catalan courses to make it easier for residents and parishioners to get more education and access the labor market. Indeed, the book The Neighborhood Movement in Barcelonès Nord, by José Miguel Cuesta, published recently by the Museum, collects his testimony and mentions the enormous work he carried out in the mentioned neighborhoods.

The photograph that accompanies this note, from the Museum’s  Archive of Images, comes from the collection of the Historical Archive Association of Llefià, with which the Museum signed an agreement years ago to preserve and contribute to disseminate the collected photos and preserved by this entity.

 

200 years of the birth of Evarist Arnús

On March 21st of 2020, we commeorate 200 years of the birth of Evarist Arnús Ferrer (Barcelona 1820-1890). Financier, in 1846 he established himself as a stock exchange and exchange broker, and in 1852 opened his banking house, one of the most important in Catalonia during the 1860’s.

His relationship with Badalona goes back to 1859, when he began making real estate investments with the purchase, by public auction, of the estate of Can Solei, which he converted into a summer residence (the current Ca l’Arnús). In this house he received, in 1888, the regent queen Maria Cristina and the President of the Council of Ministers, Práxedes Mateo Sagasta , and as a result of this visit the Badalona City Council was granted with the treatment of Excellence.

As a very beloved person in the town, in 1884 Arnús was named adoptive son of Badalona for his philanthropy works, and in 1887, due to his onomastics and as a token of gratitude, the City Council agreed to give his name to Pilar Street, where, with his sponsorship, the Sant Andreu Asylum (currently school) had been built. The old Pilar Street is, so, the current Arnús Street.

The Museum preserves a portrait of Evarist Arnús, which presided the plenary session hall of the City Council since May 14th 1885, after this proposal was voted and approved by the Plenary Session of the City Council on May 13th, of that same year. This work can be seen in the exhibition Portraits, which will be presented at the Museum when the reopening will be possible.

The Museum also has a small sculpture of Evarist Arnús, with a dog, made by the sculptor Pau Rodó Samaranch (Terrassa 1843-Barcelona 1894), which was a donation made in 2014 by Ms. Adela Roca Olives.

To commemorate this anniversary, the Museum plans to carry out a number of activities in the fall, which will be published later.

All activities and guided tours postponed

The exceptional circumstances we are experiencing in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, and in accordance with the measures set by the authorities to prevent its spread, the Museum have postponed all activities scheduled for now, until Sunday, April 5th . This also affects guided visits to the Anis del Mono factory which are postponed until further notice.

For any queries, do not hesitate to contact us: 933 841 750. info@museudebadalona.cat

 

Dalt de la Vila almost fifty years ago

Not yet fifty years ago, the oldest district of Badalona, Dalt de la Vila, formed by streets that seem to never change and where it seems that nothing ever happened, was not – in any case – as it is now. In forty-five years, everything has changed a lot.

The photographer Jaume Sacasas made in 1975 several photo reports on Dalt de la Vila and some other areas of the city, commissioned by the Museum, with the idea of ​​documenting some houses and streets that had no protection in front of the constructive fever and, above all, that they were not considered anything special. They were basically perceived as old, but were not recognized as heirs to the history of an entire population.

Many of the houses and streets were claimed and became part of the catalog of historical and artistic heritage, which was approved by the City Council in 1980.

Watch the pictures and think if that protection was enough.

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Dalt de la Vila fa gairebé cinquanta anys