La Mercè, Barcelona´s City Holiday

  • Fiestas merce 2017

A Little Bit of History…

La Mercè – The Patron Saint of Barcelona

What´s the origin of La Mercè? On the night of September 24th, 1218, the Virgin of Mercy appeared to King James I of Aragon, Saint Peter Nolasco, and Saint Raymond of Penyafort at the same time. She gave all three of them the order to liberate the Christian monks, who were held captive by the Saracens, as the Moorish occupants were called. It was a time of religious wars.

Centuries later, in 1687, the Virgin of Mercy shielded Barcelona from a plague of locusts and freed the city of pestilence. The city council made her the patron saint of Barcelona, which, however, was not recognized by the pope (eliminate though). The decision was only ratified two centuries later in 1868. During the Spanish Wars of Succession, the Virgin of Mercy was handed the command over the city’s defence in a hopeless situation in 1714. On 11 September 1714, Barcelona was taken by the Spanish and French Bourbon armies.

Now every September 24th since 1902, the whole city of Barcelona celebrates their Patron Saint, La Mercè.

We want you to have an idea of how cool the La Mercè shows are! From very traditional to the most innovative performances…Check them out!

Brodas Bros

They were the first to bring urban dances to the stage and turn them into instruments for telling the most diverse stories. This is a futurist fable performed by dancers dressed as robots who, in a world of shadows, have the mission of entertaining and enlightening human beings. More info here

Giant-Heads and Giants Procession

This giants dance in front of all the visitors, performing their dances before going out for a festive stroll through the neighborhood accompanied by their friends, the giant-heads. It is one of the best family moments of La Mercè.

Big dancers

The performers are made of paper and light up with colored lights, but the real talent is hidden inside the bodies of these figures, where you’ll find skilful handlers capable of performing complex choreographies and turning the audience into perfect companions in a show filled…with light! Awesome show during La Mercè. More info here


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