“An Almanac for the curious”, a proposal for rediscovering the city’s history

In June, the online section of Historic Archives of the City of Barcelona (AHCB) focusses on the inauguration of the city’s first horse-drawn tram

Every month, the Almanac per a curiosos, or Almanac for the curious, part of the website of the Arxiu Històric de Barcelona (Historic archives of the City of Barcelona), includes copies of historic documents relating to a particularly noteworthy date, anniversary or event. This June, the almanac features the incorporation of the tram into the Barcelona transport network at the end of the 19th century.

Inaugurated on the 27th of June, 1872, the city’s first tram service departed every seven minutes from the Pla de la Boqueria to the Travessera de Gràcia by what was then the carrer Major. In September the same year the service route was extended, connecting then independent town of Gràcia with the Drassanes district and the port.

Drawn by three or four horses the tram route was marked by ground-level tracks and the trams themselves contained 36 seats divided between the covered lower deck and what was known as the “imperial” upper deck, which was off limits to women at the time and was accessed via a semi-circular wrought-iron staircase. The promoters of the tram line, Aleix Soujol and Eduard Biada, transferred the concession to the British company Barcelona Tramways Company Limited, which was entrusted with the operation of the service.

The Historic Archives of the City of Barcelona contains documentation dating from the initial creation of the city of Barcelona in the mid-13th century up to the revolution in the mid-19th century, and the Almanac for the curious is an attempt to provide the user with access to its documentary, bibliographic and newspaper archives in a manner that encourages rediscovery of the city’s past history.

Publication date: Tuesday, 17 June 2014
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