The archaeological operations carried out inside the enclosure of the former market of El Born have revealed in detail a fragment of Barcelona’s urban fabric and uncovered traces of how life went on here.
Among the large quantity of documentation that has been conserved, the testaments of the residents of the neighbourhood and the inventories corresponding to many of the homes discovered have enabled us to learn at first hand how people lived in the Barcelona of that time.
Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, had some 38,000 inhabitants. It was a very diverse population, with a large number of residents originating from different places and cultures. It was a society that was well connected with the world thanks to its powerful commercial activity: a society that was well fed, with a passion for sweet things and strongly marked by religiosity and superstition, with a taste for vivid colours and ornaments in clothing and a devotion to festivity, dance, music, theatre and gambling.
Between 1691 and 1714, this Barcelona suffered the horror of war. After the defeat, nothing was ever the same again.
Objects and bombs
The exhibition displays some 1,800 objects that were found during the archaeological work in the site and have provided valuable new information for tracing a portrait of the everyday life of the inhabitants of the Barcelona of three centuries ago. The vast majority of the objects are exhibited in the large display case in the Sala Villarroel, constituting a moving tribute to the inhabitants of the district who were expelled from it after the defeat of 1714. These objects, which they were unable to take with them in 1716 and 1717 on being forced out of their homes, have been recovered by the Barcelona of the 21st century to show them to the world.
Related to the permanent exhibition, you can also visit three exhibition spaces containing objects. The most remarkable is the War Hall, which displays a selection of the more than three hundred bombs of various sizes, types and materials that were found during the excavation. This hall is located at the end of the itinerary through the site, and by way of a series of mirrors creating an endless reflection of the bombs it evokes the horror of the bombardments that the inhabitants of this small part of the city had to suffer during the siege of 1714.
The exhibition “Barcelona 1700: from Stones to People” is structured into five large areas:
- La Gran Casa (The Big Home)
- La Ciutat pròspera (The Prosperous City)
- La vida quotidiana (Everyday Life)
- La Ciutat atacada i mutilada (The Attacked and Mutilated City)
- La Ciutat refeta (The Rebuilt City)