La República statue

Cultural heritage
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La República statue

La República, a sculpture dedicated to the president of the First Spanish Republic, Francesc Pi i Maragall, is the emblem of Plaça de Llucmajor and one of the symbols of Nou Barris. The group includes a statue and a medallion and was inaugurated in the centre of Barcelona in 1936 but after the Civil War  remained hidden until it was recovered in 1990.

Freedom and the future

Plaça de Llucmajor is at the junction formed by Passeig de Valldaura, Passeig de Verdum and Via Júlia. It is one of the nerve centres of the Nou Barris district. The square was remodelled in 1990, with a design that included a central roundabout and a large, abstract steel sculpture with a specific purpose: to create, at last, a place for the La República sculpture.

In the centre a large monolith accompanies a 4.5 m bronze statue called Flame, created by the sculptor Josep Viladomat. The nude figure of a tall young woman with one arm raised and a laurel branch in her hand, is a symbol of freedom and the future. At the base is a medallion by the sculptor Joan Pié with the face in relief of Pi i Margall, who became president of the First Spanish Republic in 1873.

Historical memory

Both pieces have a long history that goes back to before they were even made. In 1915 the City Council decided to draw up plans for a sculptural ensemble dedicated to the Republic and in honour of Pi i Margall to be placed near the obelisk at the centre of the square that was then called Plaça del Cinc d’Ors, at the Passeig de Gràcia-Avinguda Diagonal crossroads. But the sculpture did not materialise until the arrival of the Second Republic. The president of the Generalitat of Catalonia, Lluís Companys, unveiled it on 12 April 1936 but, after the Civil War, the Franco regime ordered the statue and the medallion to be removed and destroyed. Thanks to the architects Adolf Florensa and Joaquim Vilaseca, however, they were hidden in a municipal garage and survived. They stayed there until the restoration of democracy, when they began their new life. First they were put in Plaça de Sóller, before being installed in Plaça de Llucmajor, their definitive location, tailored to a neighbourhood and people that have adopted them and turned them into a symbol.


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