Map BCN 1714: The geography of the Catalan constitutions
Barcelona Cultura
Map BCN 1714: The geography of the Catalan constitutions

Convent de Sant Francesc [no longer standing] (from Plaça Medinaceli to Carrer del Dormitori de Sant Francesc)

The Three Braços or estates (royal, military and ecclesiastic) met on the benches of this convent to hold the Courts of 1701-1702, at which Philip V swore the Catalan constitutions, after more than one hundred years in which no other monarch had done so (the previous case was Philip III at the Courts of 1599).

Palau de la Generalitat (Plaça de Sant Jaume)

Archduke Charles held the Courts of 1705-1706 in the Saló Sant Jordi to emphasise the respect that he wished to profess for the Catalan institutions and constitutions, as this was where the Diputació del General government met. The military braç, or estate, which had become one of the firmest guarantors of the Catalan constitutions, met in the adjoining Sala de Contrafaccions. These two rooms were also, at times, the venue for sessions of the Conference of the Three Commons, which took place on a rotary basis in each of the rooms occupied by the Commons: Diputació and military braç in the Palau de la Generalitat and Council of One Hundred in the Saló de Cent in the City Hall. In 1704, Viceroy Francisco Fernández de Velasco banned these meetings, deeming them to be hostile to the king. In 1705, when Archduke Charles entered the city, he was urged to re-establish them as a necessity. The last session of the Conference of the Three Commons took place in the Casa dels Drets (Portal of Sant Antoni) on4 September 1714.

Saló de Cent (Carrer de la Ciutat)

The Council of One Hundred exercised political leadership to combat the abuses of royal power. Unlike the Diputació, this institution represented all three estates, and the guilds wielded decisive power in it. During the siege, since the Generalitat’s authority had been curtailed due to the fact that most of Catalan territory was in enemy hands, political power fell to the city authorities, who met in the Saló de Cent.

 

 

 

 

Casa de Ramon Gorgot [no longer standing] (former Plaça Jonqueres, no longer standing)

Ramon Gorgot was a Filipist (supporter of Philip) whose house was requisitioned during the siege of the city so that the last sessions of the Council of Government could take place there, as it was near the combat zone. On the morning of 11 September 1714, after the chief councillor, Rafael Casanova, had been wounded, the main civil and military authorities (the second councillor, Salvador Feliu de la Penya, the sixth councillor Jeroni Ferrer, Charles of Austria’s secret agent in Barcelona, Francesc Verneda, the deputy governor of Catalonia, Francesc de Sayol, the cavalry colonel, Sebastià de Dalmau, the infantry colonel, Juan Francisco Ferrer, and Manuel de Ferrer i de Sitges, knight and leader of the radical faction) met and agreed to give orders to continue the resistance against the Bourbon forces, despite the fall of the highest authority, the chief councillor. The fighting continued and, at three in the afternoon, the supreme commander, Antonio de Villarroel, unable to muster more men to launch another counter-attack, proposed that the city should surrender to the Duke of Berwick. Colonel Pau Thoar then quickly called for a parley with the Bourbon military authorities, without previously informing the Commons.

Towers of the Portal of Sant Antoni [no longer standing] (at the junction of Carrer de Sant Antoni Abat and Ronda Sant Antoni)

This is where the Great Council of the Three Commons, which included representatives from the Commons (Generalitat, Council of One Hundred and military braç) and members of the Governing Council, met for the last time. The political authorities decided to publish a proclamation calling on all citizens to assemble in Plaça Jonqueres, Pla de Palau and Plaça del Born in order to organise the final defence of Barcelona. However, at that same moment, on the other side of the city, Colonel Pau Thoar, obeying the wishes expressed by Antonio de Villarroel, was calling for a parley with the Bourbon authorities with a view to surrendering to the Duke of Berwick, shortly after which he started out for the Bourbon camp in order to begin negotiations. When the civil authorities learned what had happened, they met again in Saló de Cent to agree the capitulation, ratifying the decision taken by the military authorities.