Catalonia

KLICK on the photo for the Album: Catalonia

There is presently a strong wish amongst the Catalans  in Spain to become a new independent state in Europe, totally free from Spain.

The Catlans is not only present in North of Spain but also in the Southern part of France in the region Languedoc-Rousillon there are many Catalans living - even if they do not claim to be independent in the same way that they do in Spain. The photo above is from a Catalan dance group situated in Perpignan, France as they perform in the village Collioure by the foots of the Pyrenees and the shore of the Mediterranean in France.

Catalonia is a region situated in the North of  Spain and the very South of France. As we have an apartment in South of France, we are well aware of the strong bounds that exists in the region from the Catalans and this gave the idea to build a little album with photos from our tours and stay in Catalonia of today.
This album was published under a tour in May 2014 - and will develop accordingly with our travels in Catalonia - France and Spain.

Klick on the photo above for a link to the album: Catalonia

From the history of  Catalonia:
In 711, the Moors crossed the Straits of Gibraltar and swept through the Iberian Peninsula. They captured Barcelona in 717 and then crossed the Pyrenees and went as far as Poitiers before being checked by the Franks. In desperation the inhabitants of what was to become Catalonia turned to Charlemagne, the powerful Frankish leader for help in return for pledging allegiance to the Carolingian Empire. Girona was retaken in 785 and Barcelona in 801, and the province of the Spanish March, a buffer zone between Christian France and Muslim Hispania, was born.

The Spanish March was governed by local counts, who had political and judicial functions but were ultimately responsible to the Frankish king and were appointed and could be dismissed by him. The most powerful of these counts was Guifre el Pelós who managed to unite the counties of Urgell, Cerdanya, Girona and Barcelona, and so controlled a swathe of land that stretched from Barcelona to Perpignan along the coast and inland to the Pyrenees. It was Guifre’s son, Guifre Borrell, who became the first hereditary ruler of Catalunya Vella, Old Catalonia. The next step on the road to nationhood came in 985 when the Moors, under Al-Mansour, managed to cross the River Llobregat and sack Barcelona. Having received no military support from the Franks, Count Borrell II declared independence, and although not recognised by the Franks until 1258, an independent state called Catalonia was born.

The next two centuries were spent consolidating their territory and pushing the Moors south towards the Ebro, and in 1137 Count Ramon Berenguer IV married Petronella, the infant daughter of the King of Aragon. His son, Alfons I, became the ruler of the most powerful state in Southern Europe, the Catalan-Aragonese Confederation, which consisted of Catalonia, Aragon and the whole of the south of France. With considerable help from the Knights Templar, the Moorish threat became a thing of the past.

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