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Revolte de les Quintes

23 May, 2009 (05:00) | Living in Europe | By: admin

Sometimes my life here in Barcelona is so saturated with amazing, small events strung together like a magical lantern that I become lost in the detail. I’m so busy living my life, all I have time to do is photograph or record the sound of events as yet another year here in Gracia, Barcelona whizzes by.

Combine that with the fact that Partners in Rhyme has realized our lifelong vision of separating the business from our personal life and its easy to understand how I havent kept up with my writing. As of May first we have been renting the place next door to us, formerly a uniform store that went out of business with the global crisis. I’ll dedicate a separate blog to that.


Meanwhile, one festival I would like to share some images and sounds from is only celebrated in my neighborhood, Gracia. This is a celebration that takes place on the 26 of April every year. It is an impressive re-enactment of The Revolt of the Quintes of 1870 in which Gracia fought for its independence. The first year we were living here we were taken by surprise. We were spending a nice, quiet Sunday at home when all of a sudden we heard guns and explosions nearby. It sounded like a war going on. I grabbed my Nagra digital recorder and followed my ears to the nearby Plaça Rius y Taulet (recenty renamed Plaça Vila de Gracia) where we found men and women in uniform shooting blunderbusses and canons, apparently a re-enactment of a battle that took place here 150 year ago. There were a group wearing blue hats fighting a group of red hats. I’m still not sure who the blue hats represent, nor who the red hats represent.

We observed papers being thrown by women off the Town Hall balcony, swept up into a big pyre and then set on fire. We got some great recordings of the unexpected and somewhat odd experience which we now sell on

Sound of the re-enactment of the Revolte of the Quintas

I tried to find out more about what we had just witnessed, but could not find anything about it in any language except Catlan. From what I pieced together, it has to do with Gracia and its independence. This year I was better prepared in that I saw posters around my neighborhood announcing the Revolta de les Quintes, so I grabbed my camera and earplugs and reserved a seat at the plaça café next to all the action.


I took photos and videos, but I am still puzzled by the event itself. Who do the blue berets represent? Who do the red berets represent? It is clear that women played a major part in this revolution but exactly what was their role?

The GRANDE FINALE (not as impressive as everything preceding it,)