Catalunya Barcelona Film discusses Barcelona's sporting tradition with the head of the Catalan archive Enric Cobo


Enric Cobo

Interviewed July 24, 2017 for Catalunya Barcelona docuseries.

My name is Enric Cobo. I’m the head of archives of the Department of Culture of la Generalitat de Catalunya.


I was born in Barcelona. Actually, my family came from Lleida at the end of the sixties. I arrived to Barcelona because the internal migration process of Catalunya.

I was born during the first year my family spent in Barcelona. After my birth, we settled in Cerdanyola del Vallès.


Well, Primo de Rivera is one of the people that was more severe to the social and national movement

that during the end of the 19th century expressed the wish for Catalunya to be a country on its own, with its own identity.

Primo de Rivera was one of the architects that stop the seek for the Catalan identity.


The Second Republic is, as I would say, one of the most important political events in Catalunya. The Second Republic means the end

of all sort of social and political movements that, along with all the Spanish society, asked for a more vivid democracy, and for a more egalitarian political system.

And where the left-wing, the leftist movements claimed a greater presence of social policies, as well of the identities of different nations, or different parts of the Spanish state.

Which, until then, was a closed state. Repeatedly, it made actions against an opening process, of the most social policies and of respect for the diversity of different components,

that the conservative classes said in the Spanish State.


The Civil War was one of the hardest knocks for all Catalan society, were they right or left-winged. My family, in fact,

comes from a place that lived the withdrawal of Republican troops, and the advance of Franco’s troops, with everything that that meant.

My grandfather told me. [sentence unfinished] My family is from Figols de Tremp, a town that during its full glory had 100 inhabitants,

not more. During the rural population drift, it ended up having 20 inhabitants. During the time when the Civil War took place, it was a town close to the mountains or the Pirineu,

and to a transit point of Aragó’s troops in Catalunya. Then, all the society was very involved with this movement. My grandmother was a teacher during the Republic.

He practiced in Lleida during the Republic. She got the ??? and her degree. Later on, she was transferred to a town located in the Pirineus.

Then, at the end of the war, the passage of troops had a huge impact. In a town that had during that time around 60 or 70 inhabitants,

there were internal divisions. The passage of troops forced some families to go hide in the mountains, depending on which troops came. The withdrawal was violent.

The passage of Franco’s troops was harsh as well. People accused each other, and there were records that have just now came to light. Some of them were summary proceedings

of groundless reports against some people. We known the most important summary proceedings of political ideologists, but we need to keep into account that there were accusations in each town of Catalunya,

specially against people that had played a key role during the Republican period. The Civil War means a very harsh outbreak, deaths,

and situations, sometimes, irreconcilables. From a personal point of view, my family, my grandparents, lived in a village. They had to hide their properties during quite some time, because of the troops comings and goings.

They could have been repressed. From the forties on, once the war ends, they try to recover their life. A life that doesn’t open up until many years laters because the ideological and sentimental feelings towards what had happened.

In fact, my mother remember that period as it could happen again. The political ideals that had been persecuted during the Civil War, were pursued relentlessly during 30-40 years.

How was life under the Republic? It was more open, more social, and with a great freedom of speech. Liberties came to an end with the Civil War.

My family was, therefore, forced to hide in the mountains until the troops had abandoned the village. During the following years, it recovered its activity:

the agriculture. It was a small village, so for a living, they did cattle raising and agriculture. At the end of the sixties, because of the economical and agrarian crisis that took place in Catalunya and Spain,

they had to move to Barcelona. My grandmother was a teacher. Barcelona became the host city for Catalan internal migration, and for the external, too.

Andalucia, Extremadura, Asturies etc. My family found themselves in a very different place, in comparison to their town. They settled down. My grandmother is a teacher, my mother is a teacher,

my uncle is a teacher, and so is my sister. They are all teacher. Their modus vivendi was teaching.

However, during the end of the sixties, and the beginning of the seventies, teaching was still imbued with the dictatorship’s literature. That being said, school was in Spanish. Neither traditions nor language were

respected. It all changed in the eighties, when Catalan started to be used in schools. The Catalan elements that have led to today’s school, were regained.

Today’s school is, at least Catalan. It promotes the study of the language, and of the customs.


At the beginning Barcelona, and we have to go back in time. Barcelona, as other places in Catalunya, was made up by small settlements,

which we call them Iberian settlements. There was a tribu called Laietani that located around Barcelona. There’s a bit of a disagreement, but one hypothesis suggests that there was a

group of Laietani that got closer to a population center called Barcino. From the 1st century on, once Rome’s situation is stabilized… We need to keep in mind that the Roman Empire had crossed Catalan land

in order to get closer or to head for the Punic Wars against the Carthaginians. They knew the Mediterranean Basin inside out. In the 1st century, once the political situation was stabilized,

the Romans started to stabilize small colonies. The Romans had created a Via Augusta that linked the Mediterranean Basin with the north of Africa.

It’s in the 1st century, when the Romans decide that these colonies had to become consolidated establishments, although they don’t turn them into the cities we know today.

This is the case of Barcelona. Barcelona, in fact, is consolidated through a colony called Colonia Iulia Augusta Faventia, which at the end is known as Barcino.

It was a colony with the name of Iulia Augusta, and it had been created through these campaigns against the Carthaginians in order to avoid, in this case, being conquered.

The Roman troops wanted to assure this territory. Therefore, in the first century, once these settlements or small colonies are consolidated, the Romans believe it’s necessary to protect them.

Their protect them with a wall, a wall made up by what we know today as the center of the neighborhood: the Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia and la Rambla.

It measured around 1000 meters, and its perimeter as well. I believe it was 1,5m wide, or maybe 2. This lasts for as long as the Roman Empire is on power.

What happens, then? With the end of the Roman Empire, and the arrival of the Visigoths and other influences, the wall became small. More than a wall, it was a heap, it came to a standstill. People couldn’t move around. Hygiene and health were also a point at issue.

The wall didn’t allow the city to open up, and so during the 5th and 6th century, it started to be knocked down. In fact, a lot of buildings made the most of it by using the wall to build new houses.

The wall is, therefore, knocked down by the pressure of the society. They need more space. Having a protection wall is not important anymore because the city is no longer a point at issue.

They decide to knock down the wall little by little, not with a huge plan, but with the idea of urbanizing the center of Roman Barcino.

This lasted until the end of the 12th, 13th or 14th century, when another level of walls, which are wider and bigger, are promoted. It’s a part of these medieval modern walls.

The objective is different. It’s no longer a Roman city that needs protection. It’s a bigger city that needs protection against posible attacks and invasions, from the point of view of the modern period, and the first part of the contemporary era.

It was a bigger protection wall. The Roman Wall comes to an end because the social pressure makes it innecesary. Some parts are well-exploited, and the rest are guzzled

by the growing dynamics of Roman Barcino.


Well, the 1888 Barcelona Universal Exposition is a historical milestone. It’s an event that promotes Barcelona at a worldwide level.

We need to keep in mind that Universal Expositions start around 1850. The first one was held in London. Then in Paris, Amberes, Philadelphia I think… And then, Barcelona in 1888.

It’s an Universal Exposition that tries to show to the world, the big events, and the huge scientific discoveries. The main one, and the most acknowledged, is the incorporation of electricity to urban society,

and to the economic life. That’s why the lighting of the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc, which was a key element. It was an Exposition that brought to Barcelona around 400,000 people.

However, neither the means of transport nor the communication systems weren’t relevant. They were very complicated, and hindered visitors’ movements.

Incidentally, the Exposition occurred just when the period of social conflicts had ended. Let’s not forget the triennium during the sixties, in which a liberal revolution

put a strain on the monarchical system. The liberal one didn’t agree with the most conservative policies. Ten years later, after this important confrontation,

the Exposition was held. It was a meeting point for the constitutional and conservative monarchy. They [the monarchs] wanted to side with the most conservative

Catalan faction. They came across the Catalan upper-middle class, who wanted to show, as well, the international vision of Barcelona.

Indirectly, the constitutional monarchy took advantage of it, and tried to show that they were in favor of Catalunya. So, in short, this was the basis of the huge debate of what they were showing.

On one side, they showed scientific projects. Public figures from all over the globe, gathered, and Barcelona was showed. They came to an agreement with the constitutional monarchy. The same one that years before, took reprisals against

the most liberal Catalunya, the one that demanded more at both social and political level. Herein lies the reason. So, on one side, we had just got out of a period distinguished by tenseness with the State and the monarchy,

and, in the Exposition, they tried to bring the two sides closer with some sort of agreement. There’s a faction of the population that doesn’t recognize this alliance, and so they put a strain on it.

However, eventually, around 100 years later, the Universal Exposition is seen as an exposition that creates knowledge, international impact, and the opportunity to use on the most important discoveries: the electricity.

Barcelona was also ready to apply it.


The Palau de la Generalitat de Catalunya is one of the most important institutions in Catalunya. It houses the offices of the Presidency of the Generalitat de Catalunya, and is, therefore, one of the most consolidated institutions at an historical level.

We need to keep in mind that the Palau de la Generalitat de Catalunya It is one of the few buildings of medieval origin in Europe that still functions as a seat of government. Therefore, it’s a building that besides history, has a tradition, a series of institutions, and presidents that have made it singular.

The Palau de la Generalitat is a representative building of Catalan Renaissance architecture. It’s located in Sant Jaume square, within the oldest part of Barcelona.

It’s a place where a lot of presidents have governed, from the first one in the Corts that met in Cevera in 1359, until today. In the Corts de Cervera, in a very interesting document that we have in the Departament de Cultura,

the first Corts are summarized. The Corts that defined de first president. Because of this presidency, he had the need to have a place, a palace that could function as a seat of the government.

This palace, is the Palau de la Generalitat. The Palau de la Generalitat is purchased by the Generalitat in 1400. It’s bought to a well-known merchant from Barcelona.

The purchase is done by the three estates from the Corts: the military, composed by the nobles, the ecclesiastical, composed by church members, and the popular, which wasn’t actually so. It was composed by the privileged.

The deputies from these three estates, are the ones that bought the building as the seat of the Generalitat de Catalunya. That happened in 1400, and, from that moment until now,

it has been the place where the presidents of the Generalitat have governed from. The place from where they have devised its policies. It’s a well-known palace, both from its architecture,

and from the symbolism of Catalunya as a nation, as a place with its own identity, with its own language, and that alludes the most important events.

For instance, Francesc Macià proclaimed the Republic in 14th of April, 1931 from the Palau de la Generalitat. And, following a different direction,

all celebrations, whether they were sportive such as Barça or other football teams or from entities, have been celebrated from its balcony. This is an identity. It’s a palace that makes references at both a political,

social, and sportive level. It has shown what’s important for the Catalan people. It functions as a seat of government, it houses the offices of the Presidency, and it’s the main institution that

promotes and looks after the Catalan nation.


Yes. In fact it’s an unknown history of Barcelona. Barcelona’s coastline was very different at the beginning of the 10th century, for example. It was a coastline that

took in what we know today as palau del Mar and Estació de França. There was a small island in the area known today as the Barceloneta. It was linked through a thin piece of land

It wasn’t exactly and island, but a place connected by a very thin line of land. From 15th century on, the first important harbor project in Barcelona is developed.

An engineer from Genoa, Anastasi Alexadria, is in charge of it. He plans the harbor of a huge city. It had to be a reference for communications in the Mediterranean sea.

Specially built for the purpose of goods transport, not only people. In fact, Barcelona’s harbor is, in the sense of being a landmark of goods transport in the Mediterranean,

born in the 15th century. One of the few matters they suggested once they started building docks, was whether the water depth allowed ships to enter without any difficulty.

This happened around the 15th century. This envolved, and these docks made that the coastline moved forward. That is, that it eats a stretch of sea, until he proposes the construction of the Ciutadella

as a huge fortress, a huge space in this sense. The king Felip V transferred the fishermen and the Rivera neighborhood, to what we know today as the Barceloneta.

He urbanizes it, and then gives it to a series of workers that were linked to the sea. They [the workers] could be in the frontline, and specialize themselves in these types of buildings or business.

What’s curious, is that, since then, the Barceloneta became a neighborhood close to the sea. No one remembers that the coastline was a few hundred meters behind.

And the Estació de França, the Ciudatella, and the Pla de Palau are places distant to the coastline. Therefore, a place that gains the sea is taken up/established (?).

A new neighborhood is established. A very unique neighborhood because of its economic situation, which was very linked to the sea, the fishing, and the relationships that the sea involves. In the Ciutadella,

the type of neighborhood established is quite different. It’s linked to a defensive construction with connotations. It played a very important part in the battles of 1714.

There’s no need to say so. What’s built in this moment is a huge fortress that will play a key role in the War of the Spanish Succession.


The Palau Reial is a noucentist building built in the 17th century, and it’s, in fact, a very singular building in Barcelona. It occupies 30,000m2. It’s from the Noucentisme period.

One of the greatest virtues of the Palau Reial de Pedralbes, is its gardens. We need to keep in mind that both the building and the gardens, are created by Joan Martorell, the architect; and by Antoni Gaudí.

It creates a confluence of styles based on the Noucentisme. They plan a palace at the end of the 17th century. A palace that wishes to have a garden like the one that Lluis XVI had in France,

just like other French kings whose palace were surrounded by gardens in which they could walk around. Pedralbes’ case is no different than the rest. Pedralbes is finally acquired by the count Güell, the same one that will later acquire the Palau Moja and other important buildings in Barcelona.

He wishes it to be a place full of life, but a place of amusement as well. We need to keep in mind that nowadays, there are a lot of events such as concerts held in Pedralbes’ gardens.

It’s a very nice place to hold any type of events. It’s a palace with 30,000m2 of gardens. Antoni Gaudí is very important because he left his unmistakable mark in some sculptures, specially the forge ones.

They are placed around the garden, and they represent places and sculptural scenes linked to mythology and animals. They are also linked to the life in the gardens,

and to the daily life that was, back then, the well-off life of Barcelona at the end of the 17th century, and at the beginning of the 18th. It’s a palace that places the noble, a class that acquires properties in Barcelona.

They do it in a wide way. They buy palaces in the center, but also on the outlying area. They are great properties because of their gardens and their business. The palace has also been linked

to the monarchy. During the 20th century, the monarchs used to stay in the palace when they visited Barcelona.

It’s a palace that has welcomed nobles, aristocracy, and the great Catalan and Spanish upper-middle class from the 19th century and the 20th.


The Palau Robert is a palace on Passeig de Gràcia, next to Diagonal. It’s a palace that represents the value of Robert.

It’s a palace build with the willing to show what he had acquired by being a great owner and a great businessmen in the context of his economic production.

We need to keep in mind that the palm trees located in the garden of Palau Robert are from the Universal Exposition. They wish to build a palace that reproduces the American World,

because trade with the Caribbean was being promoted. He tries to reproduce the houses of the Caribbean.

He does it by bringing palm trees and other decorative elements that belong to the Caribbean world. It’s a way of representing symbolically the great owners of business

in America. They were also trading in America. They brought the elements that could give them some sort of character, and they installed them in Barcelona’s city center.


The Palau de la Virreina is one of the most singular constructions located in La Rambla. It’s built in a rococo style, a bit overelaborated.

One of the main characteristics is that it’s named Palau de la Virreina because it’s a palace built for the Viceroy of Peru [Manuel d’Amat i Junyent] in the colonial part that the Spanish Empire had back then.

He was a very well known person called Virrei Amat. Somehow, he wanted to reproduce in Barcelona, or to place a huge palace downtown, that

dignified him as the great Viceroy he had been in Peru, Unfortunately, he didnt spend a lot of time there because he died. His wife was the one that stayed in the palace longer.

And this is why it’s named Palau de la Virreina and not Palau del Virrey. The viceroy build it, but the one that lasted on time was the vicereine, his widow. He spent some years living in the palace.

Today, it belongs to the city council of Barcelona, and hosts various photography exhibitions. It houses the headquarters of the Culture Institute.


The Palau Moja is a palace built in 1784, and located next to La Rembla de les Flors. The construction started in 1777, approximately,

and it lasted 10 years. It’s a palace commissioned by the Marquès de Moja [marquis Josep de Copons i d’Oms]. This is where the name comes from. The family was originally from the Maresme,

but they wished to settle in Barcelona’s city center. They took advantage of a place that was starting to grow. Let’s not forget that during that time, La Rambla started to be urbanized. It was no longer a river, but a avenue. It’s a place where

the wall doors opened. People could communicate. A communicative structure was build with different streets. That’s why this noble family from the Maresme settled

in the Palau Moja. They built it, and 100 years later, the last descendant of the family, left no children behind. Around 1870,

when the marquis, the Güell family, a noble one, married their daughter to the Marquès de Comillas, a nouveau riche. He was born in Cantàbria, he had a great acquisitive power, and he was in touch with the most aristocratic Spain.

Therefore he(?) allowed this alliance with a nouveau riche. He had important titles and he created his own 19th century version of the Transmediterranea company.

He became related by one of Güell’s daughters and stablished his headquarter in the palace. A palace that is decorated with a series of objects related

to the travels that this company that owned the Marquès de Comillas had done around the world. We need to keep in mind that the background of the Transmediterranea

was a fleet that went from Africa to America, from Spain to America. Overall, they traded. So much so that a lot of the most important paintings in the Palau Moja,

are related to America, to the contact with this new world and with the comercial relationships. The paintings are also from Francesc Pla, called the “vigatà”. He was originally from Catalunya’s interior.

They are the main paintings of the Main Hall, which is the Saló Vigatà. You can also find pieces of art from other sculptors and painters. They incorporate their knowledge to the palace’s style.

The Palau is divided in an area that allows the entrance of carriages. It allows people to arrive to the first floor through a marble stairway. The big halls are located on the first floor, and they were used, basically,

to socialize. The Saló Vigatà is a hall where the official receptions are held. It’s also used for business events, feasts, dances. All the Catalan bourgeoisie and all the Spanish aristocracy is invited

in order to clinch the deals. The Palau Moja has in this floor other spaces such as the Saló Rosa, Saló Blau and Saló Verd. They complement the activity of the palace. We don’t have to forget that

the Marquès de Comillas was a man that travelled abroad, and his business was basically related to maritime transport. He went abroad with his reliable priest,

Mossèn Cinto Verdaguer. Mossèn Cinto Verdaguer is one of the most significant poets in Catalan history and literature. He made the most of the travels.

They travelled round the world and they could sail for 4,5 or 6 years. He uses these travels to write his novel L’Atlàntida. He writes this novel because in the ship he had a lot of time to think and overthink.

They allow him to write one of the most famous Catalan novels. Once they returned from these travels, he settled in the Palau Moja. He makes the palace

his place, and he settles in a room that allows him to see La Rambla. From there, he can give all the religious services to the family of the Marquès de Comillas, and to his wife,

the inheritor of Güell’s family. He has the trust of the family as a priest. The situation becomes more complex because Mossèn Cinto has

a few non-elegant situations with the Marquès, and let’s not forget he was the one providing all the services. Mossèn Cinto had a strong personality, he was someone with a

willing to give things to the poor people, and to offer charity. He managed the marquis’ fortune to offer money to the beggars that lived in the area.

Finally, after a few years, the Marquès de Comillas believes that the Mossèn Cinto loses his raison d’être.

Finally, the marquis, along with Barcelona’s bishop, decides to ? propose to Mossèn Cinto a spiritual retreat in an area of Catalunya. The reason, and this should be contrasted, is that

the Mossèn Cinto was a man that had started to do a series of exorcisms. This put a strain on the marquises relationships, and to the rest of the family. For this reason, he decided to go without his services.

He offered him the possibility to go to another place to do his spiritual retreat. This was the end of the history that was very interesting during some years because it allowed one of the most important Catalan poets

to absorb the inspiration through some travels. He got to know new places, and in the context of this palace, he was a person of reference of all the society that was around.


The Ateneus llibertàris [libertarian cultural centers] first of all are a formula of social relationships. It’s a model of social relationships that allowed during a lot of years to contextualize within this society a lot of the aspirations.

The political dynamic was impossible to allow so. The political activity wasn’t the society’s itself but the social class, specially before the seventies and eighties.

Of course. It was a way of betting for the result of the social will. The Ateneus Llibertàris gathered this social request and they promoted it.

This obviously generated many commitments to the system and the established regime. But it was a way of seeing the counterpoint to the conservative political proposals that were established for many years. Nowadays, what would represent an Ateneu Llibertàri [sentence unfinished]

There are actual organizations that could be contemporary to that figure. Ways of popular associationism that are born not from the politicians’ will, but from the people’s.

This would be a summary of what the Aneteus Llibertàris proposed. It’s just another way or organizing social, economical and productive activities. They want to be differentiated from the rest of social programs and associations.

They don’t want the politic to be done from above, but from below, from the society’s will.


In the late 1960s, when Franco’s regime in some way saw its end, in Catalunya, it occurred a very common phenomenon that had taken place in other cities, not only from Spain but from Europe.

It is the loss of the productive capacity of agriculture of what was all the sector linked to the world of agriculture, livestock. This caused
that many rural areas that until then had been able to subsist more or less precariously…

They saw that it was impossible to continue their productive activity. This, combined with the growth of industrial activity in Barcelona and its metropolitan area.

This provoked, indisputably, an avalanche, and an emancipation of all that labor. Unitl then, they had in the agriculture sector its economic activity, and now they had to look for other ways. This was

in some cases, the result of great migratory processes in Andalusia or elsewhere. We tend to pay close attention to the migration of southern Spain, but we don’t have to forget the migratory processes from northern Spain,

and from within Catalunya. In Catalunya, a very relevant sector of what today is Lleida and Tarragona, seek in Barcelona a migration space

in order to survive an untenable economic situation. The fall in the price of agricultural products, the competition with other countries that generated enormous extensive production made local production uncompetitive.

And therefore there’s a displacement in large cities. This means that many of the towns lose progressively its inhabitants. The towns are almost depopulated.
Then, the big city made that not only Barcelona,

but its metropolitan area, to grow exponentially. We have to keep in mind that Barcelona approximately has about 11km in length and about 10km of distance between the sea and the mountain. Therefore this demographic pressure of immigration caused that the area of the Vallès Occidental essentially, and of the Baix Llobregat

increased substantially, with a type of internal migration of Catalunya but also external. They were looking for a new economic scene, and a new way to survive.

When it comes to my own family, it comes from Lleida, from a small town called Fígols de Tremp. They abandon their productive activity, which was focused on agriculture, and they focus on a new activity that had become very important for my grandmother:

teaching. She was a teacher, a profession that back then wasn’t represented in the Pirineu.

Being a teacher in a town of 80-100 inhabitants was fine, but teaching in a town that only had 20 inhabitants made no sense. She moved with all the family to Barcelona.

The main activity was no longer my grandfather’s, the pater familias, I’m not sure if it’s the right expression, but the secondary activity, my grandmother’s, the teacher. This steady job in Barcelona assured them a salary.

My family first moves to Barcelona, and then to Cerdanyola del Vallès. There, she develops her activity as a public school teacher, and the family grows bigger. The children end up being

two teachers, and so the grandchildren. The productive base of the family is focused on teaching. However, they don’t lose its roots with their native town, and this is very important, not to lose the ties with the town that has seen you grow for the last 100 or 200 years.

The activity, however, is located on the metropolis. This great metropolis has to host millions of people who, until now, had very different customs. This, in some way, is also the great virtue of Barcelona. This mixture, this ability to unite

different people that come here wanting to survive, basically. Then everything is stabilized, everything improves. In the 1980s and 1990s, democracy slowly improves. Economic life makes these families already consolidated as they have their core of life

in the metropolitan area of Barcelona. In many cases, they don’t lose the ties to their native towns that have seen them grow and live for many centuries.


Catalunya is a country with a great tradition when it comes to writing down the things that its inhabitants have done for many years. We have to think that a file system

is no more than that. A system is a set of archives and institutions that ensure that all this documentary heritage is well preserved in archives.

The file system allows these documents not only to be stored in these spaces, but also to be accessible to any citizen. We have to think that the archives of this country keep the documents so that people can access, and know them.

We base our history on documents, the history of Catalunya is explained in very singular documents. From the Catalan courts that are identified, they are written in documents,

up to any act of a town, up to any notarial protocol. Any document that the files of this system have, show history.Therefore, if we say that Catalunya is a 1000 years old country,

or 800. If we look at the courts of 1359, we are saying that Catalunya is a country that has 1000 years of history. It has many more years of documented history, and looking at documents from the 9th century,

8th century, and 9th century, the first Catalan documents. Therefore, Catalunya already wrote what they did, their activity, it’s recorded from the 9th century.

From then on, what’s the purpose of an archival system? Files give the guarantee to the institutions and to the citizens, in order to be able to access these documents, whether they are public or private.

And therefore, they give faith to what has been the history of institutions and people that have lasted hundreds and hundreds of years that have generated an activity, and that have been recorded it in the documents.

Catalunya is a country that has a very large archival path. It has a great capacity to conserve these documents, so much so that we have almost 1000 km of documents. It is a country with a lot of documentary production.

But we are also a country that shows it. We have more than 5 millions of documents online so people can access them. An archival system has to guarantee the access to both public and private information.

The file system is algo a guarantee of administrative transparency. The archive system also gives assurances that we are a transparent country, that we want all public activity to be known and accessible to citizens.

This system does not only value that that is old or historic, it also guarantees the access to the citizens and recognizes that the administration has to be transparent.

It has to be clear and it has to ensure that the citizen trusts the administration. Somehow, this is an archival system. A series of public institutions that look after the system. These archives, are not only

kept, but also shared with the society. We allow them to access it.


Sport in Catalunya is one of the emblems, one of the most important symbols because Catalunya is a country that has a great sports tradition. This is clearly seen in the documents.

We have almost 90 clubs that are more than 100 years old. Catalunya has climbers that have reached all peaks of 8000m. It has very unique soccer clubs, one of them might be one of the most singulars of the world.

Today’s sport is influenced by the history of sport in Catalunya. We need to keep in mind that sport in Catalunya is born because associations, specially the social ones. People

gather to play sports. The Centre Excursionista de Catalunya is a center that have been gathering people to play sports, to know Catalunya, to climb mountains and to know unknown places for more than 100 years.

It has its origins in associationism, in people’s relationships, and in sports. This is consolidated through time until today. We have winners in all disciplines, and also great players.

I would like to link this with the archival world. How do we know the milestones, the great adventures, and the great sportive experiences of this countries? Well, through documents. The documents show through pictures, but also through posters,

and through valuable events to sportive history. We need to remember that in 1922, when the 20th century was beginning,

there were competitors in yacht race from northern Europe that came to Tortosa, to the river Ebre to compete. They made a sports category that was until then unknown, known. To give more examples, and not only at the professional level,

when the first wildwater canoening are held in Sort, the area of pallars becomes one of the most important points in Europe. This is seen in archives. The archives explain how in the 60s there were people that came to the Pallars to do an activity

that was very different to agriculture, the basic productive activity. It was something very singular, right? Right now we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Olympics. The main events of the Olympics have in the documents back then, their source of information.

Tomorrow we do a presentation in the Seu d’Urgell, of the 25th anniversary of wildwater canoeing competitions in the Parc del Segre. All this exposition is based in archival documents. Documents that have been in these archives,

and that they are spreaded through online platforms or through spaces and archives. The relationship between sport and culture, and in this case, with the documentary world, is very clear.

In Catalunya there are thousands of clubs, and many federations that have in their documentary heritage treasures that allow access to the citizen or anyone inside or outside Catalunya

to some content that relates a successful sporting activity with everything that would be a documentary heritage that shows it. It makes it visible to the whole world in a fairly universal way.