Skip to 0 minutes and 23 secondsHow do traditional and modern Catalan art interact? Well, not always, as I will explain, but it is true that in some special circumstances some buildings make it very easy for us, for example, I am referring, for instance, to Gaudí’s Casa Batlló, which actually what Gaudí did particularly to make the façade is to make a prefiguration, a representation of the legend of Saint George, so the façade, the roof is the spine of the dragon, and this tower we can see with this cross, represents the sword with which Saint George slayed the dragon. Why did Antoni Gaudí use this legend? Because Saint George is the patron of Catalonia.

Skip to 1 minute and 15 secondsHe has been since the 15th century and he knew very well what he was doing; he took this tradition that we really identify with, a tradition that is celebrated on 23 April, Saint George’s day on which all men give a rose to their beloved as a sign of their love and to remember the rose bush that sprang from the stain of blood that fell when Saint George slayed the dragon. But in addition, this same day is International Book Day and the Catalans also celebrate fusing the tradition of Saint George’s dragon of the legend with book day and in exchange for the gift of the rose that the man offers his beloved, she gives him a book.

Skip to 2 minutes and 4 secondsIt is a day that we Catalans experience by taking part and it is spread throughout the region, in big cities, in small cities, towns, villages, the streets and squares are filled with stalls selling roses and books and it is certainly the tradition that most distinguishes us.

Traditional and Modern Catalan art

Sant Jordi is a legend and a very special day in Catalonia that inspired Antoni Gaudí for one of his buildings.

This video is in Catalan language, so remember to activate the subtitles in English, Spanish or Catalan.

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This video is from the free online course:

Getting to Know Catalonia: An Introduction to the Catalan Language, Culture and Society

Pompeu Fabra University Barcelona