The exhibition follows the evolution of 19th century funeral carriages as a background for the historical evolution of the city
This type of proposal is a way of shedding light on the personal history of a city. In the Montjuïc cemetery visitors are offered a unique, permanent exhibition of the funeral carriages which for 90 years carried the corpses to the cemetery, including a total of thirteen funeral carriages, six carriages for the accompanying families, and three motorised carriages.
The reason for the existence of these carriages helps one to understand the evolution of the city towards the end of the 18th and during the beginnings of the 19th centuries. The commercial expansion of the city coupled with the population increase meant that ordinary burials in the parochial burial grounds became a health hazard and, in an attempt to solve the problem, the cemetery was moved out of the city centre. The mayor at the time, Josep Marià de Cabanes, suggested that removal of the corpses be done by carriage. In 1836, the first carriage arrived in the Poblenou cemetery from the Sant Cugat del Rec parish.
From that moment on, the funeral carriage industry adapted to the changing times, maintaining a high level of artistic stylization and symbolic power, until they finally fell into disuse due to technological advancements. We can now enjoy this peculiar collection, the only one in Europe, in a permanent exhibition that includes a wonderfully illustrative iconographic and videographic accompaniment.
Publication date: Wednesday, 27 February 2013
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