The origins of Fossar de les Moreres

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Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
08 June 2023 Thursday 10:53
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The origins of Fossar de les Moreres

* The author is part of the community of readers of La Vanguardia

The origins of the current Plaça del Fossar de les Moreres in Barcelona date back to the 12th century. It was then that the parish priest of the church of Santa Maria del Mar, in need of a nearby place to bury his faithful, asked the powerful Bernat Marcús for the donation of the land he owned, without any agricultural use and which was full of mulberry trees. adjacent to the religious temple.

Bernat Marcús, who had always been a benefactor of the city, only put one condition to the parish priest: if within 15 days no parishioner had been buried on the site, he would consider that the cemetery was not as necessary as the parish priest claimed. .

Marcús had financed the old Marcús hospital, located in the current Marcús square, next to a chapel dedicated to the Virgen de la Guía. The hospital disappeared in 1401 due to the unification of all the hospitals in the city, with the construction of the primitive Hospital de la Santa Cruz, precursor of the current Hospital de San Pablo.

With the ceding of the orchard by Bernat Marcús to the parish priest of Santa Maria del Mar, there is a story, which may be true or legend and which is very difficult to verify but which should not be ignored.

Marcús, as a good merchant and fearing that what the parish priest wanted was ownership of the land, after the 15-day period, he went to the place to check if there had been a burial. And, seeing that no, he went to the church to cancel the donation.

The tantrum he caught was such that when he arrived at where the mulberry trees were planted he suffered a heart attack that ended his life, the donor himself being the one who inaugurated the new cemetery.

In the 18th century, with unsanitary problems due to overcrowding caused by the crowding of the walled city, one of the first measures adopted by the authorities was the removal of parish graves.

The new sanitary provisions thus meant the disappearance of all parish cemeteries, whose lots would be urbanized as new public squares.

The current result is that those lots of the primitive campo santos are currently the squares of: El Fossar de les Moreres, Santa Maria, del Pin, Sant Josep Oriol, Sant Felip Neri, Sant Just, Sant Pere, among others.

This radical change involved the construction of the first municipal cemetery, inaugurated in 1775 by the bishop of Barcelona, ​​Josep Climent, on land near the Mar Bella beach, the current Poble Nou cemetery.

However, the Fossar de les Moreres square contains an indelible feeling because, due to its location, it housed the corpses of many of those anonymous people who gave their lives during the siege of 1714 and who, today, year after year on September 11 brings together those who wish to honor his memory.

On September 11, the National Holiday of Catalonia is commemorated and homage is paid in this square to the defenders of the city, who died and were buried in this place.

Serafí Pitarra (Frederich Soler i Hubert), poet and playwright, wrote a text that can be found inside the square and which says:

No traitor is buried in Fossar de les Moreres,

even losing our flags will be the urn of honor.

(No traitor is buried in the Fossar de les Moreres,

even losing our flags will be the urn of honor).

About the Fossar de les Moreres there are still discrepancies that, despite the advances of science, it will be difficult to find out, if they belong to reality or could be some kind of legend,

According to inquiries and studies by qualified people, we can collect these three notes: