MAP BCN 1714: The battles of the 1713-1714 siege
Barcelona Cultura
MAP BCN 1714: The battles of the 1713-1714 siege

Llevant, Portal Nou, Sant Pere and Jonqueres bastions [no longer standing]

A bastion was a fortified feature projecting outwards from the wall or a curtain wall. Its triangular shape enabled defenders to cover the wall and the nearest bastion with crossfire. Artillery batteries were emplaced on bastions in order to force enemy guns away from the curtain wall. Barcelona had eleven bastions. The Llevant, Santa Clara and Portal Nou bastions were the scene of the first Bourbon assault in the early hours of 11 September 1714. French troops attacked the Llevant bastion and the breach opened in the wall in the mill area, between the Santa Clara and Llevant bastions, but the defenders managed to repel them. An attack was launched on the Sant Pere bastion some hours later, and was immediately successful. The assailants crossed the defence lines and entered the city. Holding aloft the flag of Santa Eulàlia, symbol of the grave peril the city was facing, Rafael Casanova led a counter-attack in the area of the all beside the Jonqueres rampart, near the bastion of the same name, where he was wounded in the thigh. Barely an hour later, the Junta de Govern governing body surrendered to the Duke of Berwick.

Migdia bastion (between Pla de Palau and the Estació de França train station)

This bastion was designed to protect the Portal de Mar and to protect Pla de Palau. The second and third offensives launched by the Bourbon troops on 11 September 1714 focused on this fortification, and the ferocious resistance of the defenders, led by Anton Paperoles, chief of the Fusiliers, enabled General Francesc Sans Miquel i de Monrodon to organise a counter-attack with the Coronela urban militia and various dispersed units. At the same time, captains Francesc de Castellví and Onofre Homdedéu had advanced as far as Pla d’en Llull and mill area, but could do nothing against the third offensive launched by the Duke of Berwick, who surrounded the bastion garrison. Hundreds lost their lives in that agonising last stand, including Anton Paperoles.

Santa Clara bastion [no longer standing]

A month prior to the final battle, on August 12, the Law Students company of the Coronela, led by the Professor of Law Marià Bassons, who died in battle, managed to repel the first Bourbon assault. Nonetheless, hostilities were renewed with even greater violence on the evening of the following day, and French-Spanish troops launched a simultaneous joint attack on the Portal Nou and the Santa Clara bastion, opening up a decisive breach in the badly battered walls. After sixteen fruitless hours of combat and rushed actions on both sides, the bastions remained in the hands of the Shoemakers, Notaries and Law Students companies, this last practically annihilated by now. These forces inflicted two severe defeats against the troops led by Duke of Berwick, who decided to continue punishing the weakened Barcelona defences with a constant bombardment. The battle continued for another two days, August 13 and 14, leaving the ground covered in the bodies of the fallen on both sides in what was one of the bloodiest battles in the entire war.

Fossar de les Moreres

The cemetery of Santa Maria del Mar parish, turned into a mass grave during the 1713-1714 siege, where those who died defending the Llevant, Migdia and Santa Clara bastions were buried. A monumental site was later established here to commemorate the fallen.

 

 

 

 

Fossar de Sant Pere (Plaça de Sant Pere)

A cemetery adjoining the former Convent of Sant Pere de les Puel·les, where defenders and attackers who fell in battle at the Jonqueres, Sant Pere and Portal Nou bastions were buried. The convent was partially destroyed by Bourbon troops after 11 September 1714.