The Giants of Barcelona
Don’t just say giant to a giant in Barcelona! Today, the city is still very proud of its dozens of giants who each have their own story, tradition and costume. Just think of the dragon, The Lion, Santa Eulàlia, the Santa Maria del Mar etc. Everyone is fond of the different historical figures, , from small children to the elderly.
Every year during the festival of La Mercè, the Giants are exhibited together in the Palau de la Virreina and you can admire them there.
During the year you can also visit them daily in the cosy Casa de los entremeses in El Born.
History of the giants in Barcelona
The first giant in Barcelona dates back to the 15th century, probably made for a Christian procession. Although historians also claim that it is just a tradition that arose from the Heathens to depict the clash between Christian and Arab religion.
We will never be able to figure this out exactly, but in the 19th century the city of Barcelona started with Carnival toot, a parade full of folklore and pride. Since then it has been immensely popular to parade on a feast day with Giants in the streets of Barcelona.
The first hero of Barcelona was the King Jaume I. He was war hungry and came to the city, as a strong giant in Barcelona… He received a Hungarian Gigantes Violant in the 18th century. They were restored and are still running with them today.
On behalf of the District of El Born, several giants were created in 1859 and they came to the Casa de la Caritat as entertainment for the orphans.
Each district also has his or her own giants and a feast to celebrate them, usually during a Fiesta Mayor with a procession and a dance.
As the newest member of the Gigantes family, on the Dia de Santa Eulalia in 1998, the Saint Eulalia (Laia) was added. She is the patron of Barcelona. It is buried in the crypt of the Cathedral of La Seu in the Gothic quarter. Gigantes Eulalia exudes courage and life force and was created by Xavier Jansana from original drawings by Carme Solé Vendrell.
Not only people, but also sacred animals that symbolize Catalonia are participating in the parades. They spoke of an eagle very early. In the 17th century the eagle was added to the Gigantes family and is part of the historical bestiary… He radiates strength.
Like the lion, the big mule, the bull, the viper, the dragon, the monster and the little horses.
Address : Casa de los entremeses in El Born. Plaza de las Beates, 2 in El Born, Ciutat Vella. Barcelona. Metro: Jaume I
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