Barcino, Barchinona, Barcelona

A city, a bishop, a territory

At the end of the 3rd century, the emperor Diocletian made a new territorial distribution of the Roman Empire: from that moment on it will be divided in two demarcations, the Eastern and the Western, and each one of them in dioceses and provinces. Parting from this territorial division, the Church began configurating and distributing itself throughout the whole Empire; also here, in the Hispania Tarraconensis, where the province capital will be Tarragona (Tarraco) and there will be certain dioceses -episcopal sees- that will emerge later, like Barcino in the 4th century and Egara in the 5th century.

This territorial organization -with few changes- was maintained until the 15th of June of 2004, when the pope John Paul II erected two new dioceses: Sant Feliu de Llobregat and Terrassa, converting Barcelona in metropolitan see and these two in their suffragans.

Throughout the centuries, the parish has been and continues to be a fundamental institution in Church’s history and in culture’s history itself, because it has shaped the territory, the villages, and its population the way we know them today. Thanks to the peculiarities of each zone, the parishes’ map of the old Barcelona diocese makes a rich geographical, human, and cultural mosaic, a mosaic that can begin to be appreciated in the Museu Diocesà de Barcelona.

Barcelona on the street

To see and to be seen. The Corpus Christi procession

Coinciding with the festivity and immersed in the celebrations of the 700th anniversary of the first documented Corpus Christi procession in Barcelona, the Museu Diocesà inaugurates this exhibition curated by Amadeu Carbó and Nil Rider. Through a careful selection of some of the most important works from the Museum’s collection, the exhibition brings us closer to this festivity, its long history and the way in which, since medieval times, its processions –which will vary the route on several occasions over the course of 700 years– have called every member of Barcelona’s society to take to the streets to participate in them, always in an orderly manner and in the corresponding order of precedence: from the blind, hunchbacked and disabled, to the Consell de Cent, the count and the bishop, each one occupying their place.

The exhibition also includes elements of the intangible heritage such as l’Ou com balla (“the dancing egg”), the presence of festive estremeses such as the gegantons of Pi, a collection of lead figures to play in the procession and a polychrome table by an unknown author where the processional entourage of 1793 is represented.

In the space “The invited piece”, objects or documents that complement the contents of the exhibition will be exhibited throughout the year, about the Corpus Christi festivities in other places or singularities of this solemnity. The first invited pieces come from the Fons Amades de la Direcció General de Cultura Popular, and highlight the literature of “cane and cord”.

The facade of the cathedral 1408-1913

Singular stories around sculpture

The exhibition, devoted to the construction project for the neo-Gothic façade of the Barcelona Cathedral, opens a window on the architectural project and its sculptural part, in which Agapit Vallmitjana i Barbany (1832-1905) should be highlighted.

The exhibition aims to discover one of the most emblematic and representative architectural spaces and iconographic program of the city, located in a singular religious building in the cultural landscape. It goes through history intertwining contemporary and medieval worlds, beauty and technique, and patronage and art. Likewise, the visitor takes part in specific episodes that are set aside from the great stories, emphasizing the human part and the personal stories that make up the particulars of history. It is about the “singular stories” of the Cathedral.

Organized by the Cathedral of Barcelona and the Diocesan Museum of Barcelona, along with the University of Barcelona, it was inaugurated within the framework of the Any Vallmitjana (2019) activities.