Fossar de les Moreres

The Fossar de les Moreres (Grave of the Mulberries) is a memorial adjacent to Santa Maria del Mar built over a cemetery where defenders of the city were buried following the Siege of Barcelona at the end of the War of the Spanish Succession in 1714. The monument bears the inscription “In the cemetery of the mulberry trees no traitor lies”, over which looms a torch-sculpture, added in 2002, and sometimes referred to as a pebetero (Bunsen burner).

Fossar de les Moreres

In the aftermath of the War of Spanish Succession, Catalonia suffered a loss of autonomy. The subsequent royal decrees known as the Decretos de Nueva Planta abolished the furs (fueros) of Catalonia as well as institutions that dated back to the time of the Crown of Aragon. At a later date the public use of the Catalan language was banned for public documents. These actions by Philip V have two interpretations. First there was an obvious desire to punish for the support that was offered to Archduke Charles. Territories in Spain that supported Philip V had a less severe restriction of their historical fueros. Second, Philip V was initiating in Spain a greater concentration and centralization of power that was occurring simultaneously in the other major European monarchies, namely Great Britain, France, and Austria. The Decretos dealt not only with Catalonia, but also with other parts of Spain and the empire as a whole. Philip V sought to regulate what had been a complex and sometimes conflicting polysynodal system of governance that characterized the first two centuries of the unified Spanish monarchy.