Barcelona Events 2024

Diada Nacional de Catalunya

Dia festivo - public holiday in Catalonia and Barcelona

Event date:
Wed 11th September 2024

Event location:
Various locations Barcelona and Catalunya

Diada de l'Onze de Setembre, Diada Nacional de Catalunya. Catalunya National Day.

Onze de setembre is the Catalunya National Day and a public holiday both in Barcelona and Catalonia region of Spain.

Most shops are closed. Restaurants, bars and museums are open, but some might have reduced opening times.

Many Barcelona residents prefer to leave the city to enjoy the public holiday.

There are no public events of particular interest for tourists.

In recent years this day has been marked by political demonstrations organised by supporters of independence from Spain. 

Political parties who represent the slim majority of Catalans who prefer to remain part of Spain, often accuse the pro-independence forces of turning this day into an exclusionary political celebration, instead of a celebration for all Catalan citizens of their cultural herirtage..

Some feel that it would be more in line with a strong democracy, if independence parties might consider designating a separate date for protests thus allowing all Catalan citizens to come together to enjoy the national day together. Such a gesture might go a long way to healing divisions between pro- and anti-independence Catalan citizens.

The Catalan National Assembly (ANC) 2023 march for Catalan independence usually starts at 5:14 p.m. Route to be announced

Becuase of possible disruptions in traffic during protests and demonstrations, this is perhaps not a suitable day for city tours, or for arriving or leaving the city.

Visitors and residents alike are advised to use public transport and expect delays and crowds in public transport in the afternoon and early evening on 11th September. 

Visit the TMB Diada webpage to find information about disruptions to public transport on 11th September.  

You can also find public transport information on TMB Twitter and traffic news on the police Guardia Urbana Twitter page. 

There are two main separatist organisations - the ANC Catalan National Assembly and the Òmnium Cultural. These organisations usually join forces for an independence rally in Barcelona on 11th September.

In Barcelona the main separatist rally, organised by ANC Catalan National Assembly, usually starts around 5pm - 17.00 with a highlight of some kind at 17.14 hours - in reference to the year 1714 when Catalonia lost some medieval rights over 300 years ago.

History students will know that Catalonia was not an fully independent state or kingdom prior to 1714, but like many regions, it did have certain rights as a county and then later as a principality.

In 1714 Catalonia formed part of the Crown of Aragon as the Principality of Catalonia. The Crown of Aragon was an alliance with the Crown of Castille dating back to 1469.

The Crown of Aragon, which included the Principality of Catalonia was abolished by the Nueva Planta decree issued by King Philip V in 1716 as a consequence of his victory in the War of the Spanish Succession in 1714.

This was a conflict over the disputed succession to the Spanish throne following the death of the childless Charles II in 1700 which left the Spanish throne vacant. 

In 1714 Barcelona was defeated after a long siege that ended the 14-year War of the Spanish Succession, (1701–14),

The Catalan National holiday was first celebrated on 11th September 1886.

During the dictatorship of Francisco Franco the celebration was officially suppressed from 1939 onwards.

Following Franco's death in 1975 and the transition to full democracy, the Catalan autonomous community government was created and the  Diada Nacional de Catalunya celebration was reinstated in 1980

The Diada Nacional de Catalunya (often just called 'La Diada') is marked throughout the Spanish autonomous community of Catalonia. In recent years the celebration has largely become a protest against Spain and a call for independence by the part of the population.

Catalonia is a region in Spain, which is south of the eastern Pyrenees mountain range. It has a northern border with France. Politically Catalonia is called an 'Autonomous Community', like the other 17 regions of Spain.

The Catalan population is divided over the issue of independence with a growing majority in favour of remaining in Spain.

Catalonia as a region has four provinces: Barcelona, Tarragona, Girona and Lleida - and a population of around 7 million people. There are two official languages, Catalan and Spanish (Castilian). 

Spanish is still the most widely spoken language in Catalonia. According to a 2008 survey, in everyday use, 45.9% of the population habitually spoke Spanish, while 35.6% habitually spoke Catalan. 12% of the population used both languages on a daily basis.

In 2017 an estimated 350,000 people (as of 1 September) participated in protest demonstrations on 11th September in five different cities in Catalonia autonomous community of Spain which are Barcelona, Salt, Berga, Lleida and Tarragona. Similar numbers of protesters are expected in 2018

The 'diada' is often referred to as Catalonia's independence day, but actually the 11th September marks the siege and final fall of Barcelona in 11th September 1714, when Catalunya was on the losing side of the War of the Spanish Succession.

Catalonia fought in support of the Archduke Charles of Austria and the Habsburg dynasty's claim to the Spanish throne.

The other contender was Philip, the Duke of Anjou, of the French Bourbon dynasty. 

Charles III arrived in Spain in 1705 to make his claim and stayed for six years ruling as Charles III but he was only able to rule in Catalonia.

When his brother, Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor, died in 1711, Charles returned to Austria to assume the Austrian imperial crown and the title of Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI.

The 'the Grand Alliance' for his claim to the Spanish throne fell apart and the Bourbon contender for the crown, Philip of Anjou became Philip V of Spain. Philip was the first member of the French House of Bourbon to rule as king of Spain.

At the end of the conlict there was a 14th month siege of Barcelona which ended in 1714. The Catalan leader of the besieged Barcelona when it finally fell, was called Rafael Casanova i Comes

There is a monument to him in Barcelona near the place, where it is believed, that he was wounded in battle on the last day of fighting in 1714. The defenders of the city were buried in a mass grave now a square called 'Fossar de les Moreres' by the gothic church Santa Maria del Mar.

The war ended with the Peace of Utrecht which is a series of individual peace treaties signed in the Dutch city of Utrecht between April 1713 and February 1715. 

It should be noted that the Principality of Catalonia was not fully independent from Spain before the War of the Spanish Succession, but was part of the Crown of Aragon which was part of the Spanish kingdom.

After the 1714 defeat to the Bourbon dynasty, the Nueva Planta decree of 1716 was imposed by Philip V. King Philip V of Spain.

Inspired by the model of France rule he imposed a unifying central government and administration across Spain, suppressing the Crown of Aragon, banning the main Catalan political institutions and rights and merging Catalonia into the Crown of Castile as a province. 

Spain evolved from a personal union of different states to a centralized kingdom.

Are shops open on 11th September in Barcelona?
No, most shops are closed

Are musuems and sights open on September 11th in Barcelona?
Yes, museums and sights are usually open as usual - restaurants too. 

But in the afternoon and evening there can be disruptions to traffic due to large gatherings by organised by the various parties and organisations who support the separatist movement.

These gatherings usually start around 6pm so if you want to do sightseeing on that day in Barcelona it might be prudent to plan sightseeing before 3pm to avoid delays with public transport etc in the hours before the mass gatherings take place

What's on - Diada Nacional Catalonia National Day?

Open House events
Open house at Palau de la Generalitat on Plaça de Sant Jaume in gothic area from 10:30am to 6.30pm
Open house at Catalan parliament building in Parc de la Ciutadella from 10am to 7pm.
The MNAC Catalunya National Art Museum near Plaza Espanya free from 10am to 3pm
Free admission at MCH Catalonia History museum - Museu d'Historia de Catalunya from 10am to 2.30pm 
Free admission at Born Cultural Centre where at 11.30am you can enjoy a free half hour display of Catalan traditions including giants and human tower building. 

Ofrena floral al Monument de Rafael Casanova. 

A significant 'Diada Nacional' de Catalunya1 tradition on 11th September attended by Catalunya's current and previous presidents, the Mayor of Barcelona and other city dignitaries is the ceremony at 09:00 of laying commemoration wreathes at the Rafael Casanova monument created by Rossend Nobas in 1886. The Rafael Casanova monument is at the junction of streets Carrer d'Alí Bei / Ronda de Sant Pere in Barcelona.

Many citizens also lay flowers on the Diada at the memorial plaza Fossar de les Moreres by the Santa Maria del Mar basilica in Barcelona'a Gothic Quarter, where 4,000 people, who died in the siege, were buried in a mass grave. It is now a public square but still a memorial to the fallen Catalans of the siege and has a torch of eternal flame. 

There is also a wreath laying ceremony at the tomb of Rafael Casanova in the church 'Iglesia de Sant Baldiri de Sant Boi' in the town of Sant Boi de Llobregat near Barcelona.

Spanish and Catalan hero Rafael Casanova was the 'Conseller en Cap' Prime Minister of the Catalan government and commander in chief of the Barcelona troops, when Barcelona unsuccessfully defended itself against the invading Bourbon army of Phillip of Anjou in 1714 during the War of Spanish Succession.

Concerts 11th September Barcelona

There are sometimes local concerts at 7pm at the independence festival Festa per la Llibertat at the Arc de Triomf monument on Passeig Lluís Companys

If the Diada falls on a weekday local residents often take advantage of the holiday and leave the city for a long weekend called la 'Puente de la Diada.'

Feliç Diada a tots. Feliz Diada a todos. 

Barcelona Events
All public holidays in Barcelona
Festa per la Llibertat
Wikipedia Rafael Casanova
Wikipedia War of the Spanish Succession

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Diada Nacional - Catalunya National Day - Public holiday 2024
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