HOME Morelands PROJECT Listen to the Songs Online Shop Catalonia,  what's that? CONTACT & LINKS


                           1.-What is Catalan? 

                           2.-What is Catalonia? 

                           3.-Symbols of Catalonia 

                           4.-Catalan culture and traditions 

                           5.-Catalan Celebrities 

                           6.-Catalan Links













1.-What's Catalan?          (Go Back to the Menu)



Catalan is a language spoken for about 10 millions people all over the world. So we must consider it as an important European language.


 It is spoken in Catalonia,  País Valencià (called Valencià), Illes Balears, Rosselló (south of France),  Andorra, in some parts of Aragó and in Alguer (small city in the Italian island of Sardinia).


That means that Catalan is spoken in 4 European states: Spain, France, Italy and Andorra (where is the only official language). The whole of these Catalan speaking zones is called "Els Països Catalans" (The Catalan Coutries).



The total population of these zones is of 13 million speakers, and about 10 millions use it regularly.

 It has co-official status in Catalonia, València, Illes Balears and official status in Andorra. These zones are where the Catalan is strong and alive. Whereas, it is not recognized in the south of France or in Alguer, and for this reason it weakens day after day in those zones.

 Catalan is a Latin language, so it has the same roots as Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Rumanian, Occitan and French. The most similar language is Occitan. French and Italian resemble more to the Catalan than to the Castilian. The Catalan spoken in País Valencià is called  Valencià. It differs from the standardized Catalan as the Provencal differs from the standardized Occitan. The valencian vocabulary is basically Catalan, although its pronunciation seems closer to the Spanish one (but that doesn’t mean that it comes from the Spanish!).


 (Go Back to the Menu)





2.-What is Catalonia?

Catalonia is a nation inside the Spanish state. The Autonomy Estatut of Catalonia collects this national feeling of the Catalan town. The Spanish state, however, except in the times of the Republic, has never recognized the existence of the Catalan Nation, considering it just as a nationality.

The language of Catalonia is the Catalan, and its capital is Barcelona.

  Catalonia is located in the North-East triangle of the Iberic Peninsula, limited by the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean Sea.

 Its culture has traditionally been democratic and pro-European; Catalonia has always been a defender of the liberties. But the Spanish state has persecuted its language and its defendants all over the centuries. While the Franco’s dictatorship, for example, the use of Catalan was reason of jail; and the defense of the Catalan Nation, of execution.

  The survival of the Language and Catalan Nation until nowadays can only be explained by the strong identity, the immovable willpower and the strong economy of the Catalan Town, who heroically resisted all the blows.

 It must be said that, nowadays, with the co-officiallity recognized for the Spanish Government and the immersion politics and linguistic normalization of the Catalan Government (called Generalitat of Catalonia), the Catalan is again teached in schools, and it’s again normal in the daily life. It is spoken in the streets, which augurs a potentially good future for its survival.

 Catalonia has about 7 millions of inhabitants and it’s characterized for being one of the most economical powerful regions,  rich and industrials of Europe, and, logically, from Spain. Nowadays is in the course of National reconstruction, at the same time that leads the mediterranean axis project, which will be converted in one of the economical poles of Europe.


(Go Back to the Menu)





3.-Catalan Symbols

3.1.-Coat of arms:

The Catalonia’s coat of arms is the shield of the sovereign count kings of Barcelona. This is one of the most ancient shields of Europe, because its first appearance in a document is in a stamp of the count Ramon Berenguer IV in the year 1150. 

From 1137 until 1714, the shield of the counts of Barcelona, already with the title of kings, was the shield of the called Corona of Aragó and nowadays forms the third quarter of the Kingdom of Spain’s shield.


3.2.-The flag (La Senyera):

The flag
of Catalonia is an heraldic one. Possibly the count’s flag or standard was previous to the shield. We don’t have any documental reference until the XIII century, but is one of the most ancient of Europe.

 At the beginning, the sticks of the shield were represented both vertically and horizontally in the flag. This last disposition was the one which ended up imposing and is the official flag of the Catalan Nation: made with five yellow sashes and four red ones, all of the same thickness.

3.3.-Catalan anthem:

Els Segadors is the national anthem of Catalonia since the ending of the XIX century. The text uses elements from the oral tradition, of events previously occurred. So before the anthem it must be seen a primitive song born from the historical events of 1640: the Catalan war against the king Felip IV, in which the peasant performed important events.

 The anthems have the characteristics of a strong call in order to defense the liberty of the ground. Solemn and firm, it unites the volunteers in favor of the survival of a town who claims for its national reality.

 You can listen to the Heavy Metal version of Morelands pressing:  Els Segadors


To listen to the original anthem with the lyrics, or in order to know more about the Catalan symbols, here you have some links:

English: http://www.gencat.net/catalunya/eng/simbols.htm#seccio2

Castellano: http://www.gencat.net/catalunya/cas/simbols.htm#seccio2

(Go Back to the Menu)





4.-Catalan culture and traditions

I won’t mention all the traditions and cultures, but at least I will name a few, so you can have a general idea:

It means human castles, which can elevate to 17 meters.

I have allowed myself to publish some Castellers de Vilafranca’s photographs (I hope that they don’t mid). If you want to see more, go to their web:




4.2.-Giants meetings and "correfocs" (Firerunners)
: After the town turn with the giants and figures with a huge head, there come the correfocs (“firerunners”). Watch the public enjoying themselves jumping and dancing under the flames. The inhabitants of the nearer houses use to throw water through the window in order to refresh and minimize the risk of burnings...

Photos: Morelands

: The most important and famous team of Catalonia is the FC Barcelona (Barça). Great world-wide stars of all the times, as Cruyff, Maradona, Romario, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, etc have played with Barça.


In the days of the Francoist repression, this team was converted in the soul of national reivindications of Catalonia; it was like a kind of national Catalan selection.



4.4.-Bread with Tomato:
It is very simple to prepare, typical Catalan and delicious. It is made of bread (better if it’s toasted), tomato, olive oil and salt (some people scratch a clove of garlic in the bread before spreading the tomato).

The ingredients must be put in the following order:

Bread, (garlic), tomato, salt, olive oil.



To know more:

4.5.-The Sardana:
is the most famous dance of Catalonia. The musical composition that accompanies the dance is also known with the name Sardana. The circle can be of different sizes, depending of who is going to dance, and the music is always performed for a Cobla (a kind of musical formation). Both the music and the performers are of a great quality, so some people assist to the Sardanes just to listen and see.

To know more:

(Go Back to the Menu)





5.-Catalan Celebrities

The following ones are not the only ones, but they are world-wide recognized as Gaudí or Dalí, or transcendental in the course of History, as Joan Pujol.


-Antoni Gaudí: Architect. He designed the Sagrada Familia of Barcelona, etc.

 -Joan Pujol: Spy who disguised himself as a Nazi spy. He lied to Hitler giving to him false information that allowed the Normandy Disembarkation, which was the end of the Second World War.

 -Pau Casals: Cellist

 -Salvador Dalí: Painter

 -Cristòfor Colom: America discoverer. Once ruled out its Genovese origin, one of the current theories says that Colom was a Catalan speaker, specifically from Majorca or Barcelona. 

-Joan Miró: Painter

 -Joan Oró: Biochemical. He has been President of the International Society for the Study the origin of life (1989-1993).

 -Abad Oliba of St. Miquel de Cuixà: First Peace Treaty of the history. S.XII

 -Montserrat Caballé: Soprano.

 -Josep Carreres: Tenor.

 -Pau Gasol: The first player of  Catalan Basketball (2m 15cm) that plays in the All Stars of the NBA.

 -Gabriel Ferreter i Mora: philosopher



(Go Back to the Menu)



6.-Catalan Links

If you want to go to Catalan Links, press  HERE


 (Go Back to the Menu)





© Morelands

Last Updated: 27/02/2010