Víctor Balaguer i Cirera (Barcelona 1824 – Madrid 1901) is considered one of the most important Catalan politicians and writers of the nineteenth century. From an early age he wrote about important figures and landmarks of the Catalan culture. He understood that building a country had to be done simultaneously from all areas. That is why his ideas are incorporated in poetry, drama, prose, press and, of course, in political speeches and other political texts. During the first years (until about 1868) he was introducing concepts in his writings that helped to create a Catalan collective consciousness and, from this perspective, he has been considered a mentality creator. Many traditional Catalan symbols (Montserrat, Ripoll, Serrallonga, Poblet …) were revalued in the texts of youth and maturity. He called himself LoTrovador de Montserrat (The Troubadour of Montserrat). On the literary side note, apart from his poems and legends, we should highlight his contribution to the theater renovation with Tragèdies (Tragedies, 1876) and since the nineties the trilogy Els Pirineus (The Pyrenees, 1892), opera conducted by the musician Felip Pedrell.
He was one of the main drivers of the Renaissance especially in the recovery of the Jocs Florals (Floral Games) in which he led the most liberal and transformer movement. He was the first master in Gai Saber. Chronicler of the city of Barcelona, he named the streets of the Eixample corresponding to the names of the territories, institutions and personalities of the Crown of Aragon which he always claimed as a paradigm of liberal and democratic political organization; the book where he explains them is The Streets of Barcelona (1865). He is also the author of History of Catalonia and the Crown of Aragon (1860-63), which had a remarkable success and influence among its readers.
From mid nineteenth century he progressively joined politics and stood out as leader of the Progressive Party. He participated in the conspiracy to overthrow the Bourbons so he had to go into exile. After the revolution he worked intensively into politics and he influenced in the interest of political and economic interests of Catalonia. Víctor Balaguer was a very prominent member of the Freemasonry and was part, on four occasions (1871, 1872, 1874, 1886-88), of the Madrid governments, where he held the ministries of Public Works and Overseas.