Víctor Balaguer
Víctor Balaguer
 

Founder

Víctor Balaguer i Cirera (Barcelona 1824 - Madrid 1901) is considered to be one of most important Catalonian politicians and writers of the XIX century. From a very young age he would write about emblematic Catalonian places and figures. He understood that the construction of a country had to be done simultaneously from all spheres. For that reason his ideas are found incorporated in poetry, theater, prose, press, and, of course, in discourses and other political texts. During his first years as a writer (approximately since 1868) his works introduce concepts that would help to create a Catalan collective consciousness and, from that perspective, he has been considered a mentality creator. Many of the traditional Catalan symbols (Montserrat, Ripoll, Serrallonga, Poblet…) were revaluated in his texts of youth and maturity. He called himself "Lo Trovador de Montserrat". In the literary aspects stands out, apart from his poems and legends, his contribution to theatrical renovation with "Tragèdies"  (1876) and then in the nineties with the trilogy "Los Pirineus" (1892) an opera composed by Felip Pedrell.

He is one of the main driving forces of the "Renaixença", especially in the recovery of "Jocs Florals" (a medieval catalan literary contest), in which he lead the most liberal and transformative trend. He was the first Master in "Gay Saber". As a Barcelona town chronicler he named the streets of the Example after territories, institutions and personalities that belonged to the Crown of Aragon, which he always wanted to vindicate as a paradigm of liberal and democratic political organization; He explains this in the book  "Las Calles de Barcelona" (1875). He is also the author of "La Historia de Cataluña y La Corona de Aragón (1860-1863)" which had notable success amongst his readers.

Starting in the middle of the XIX century he progressively incorporated into politics were he excelled as the leader of the progressive party. He took part in a conspiracy to overthrow the Bourbon monarchy and for that reason he had to go into exile. After the revolution he devoted himself to politics and became very important for the political and economic benefits of Catalonia. Víctor Balaguer was a very distinguished member of the Freemasonry and, in four occasions (1881, 1882, 1884, 1886-88), took part in the governments of Madrid were he held the positions of minister of Public works and Overseas.