What were the Masonic Lodges and what influence they have in the past in Barcelona?
We intend to answer these questions by two different ways: by hitting directly the nail and visiting the Grand Lodge, and, by doing a detective tour in search of the many tracks that this secret society left in buildings and city streets.
We begin our journey by visiting two Masonic temples of the Grand Lodge of Spain (GLE), in a palace in the Gran Vía. We will be received by a Templar teacher who will explain the meaning of the present Freemasonry as institution and its initiation rituals as he will allow us to ask him all those questions that we had have in mind.
Just strolling along the San Juan’s walk and crossing the Ciutadella park we would be able to see the significant economic and political influence of Masons in Barcelona since the late nineteenth century until the Second Republic. We will talk about people, for instance, the – mysteriously murdered – general Prim – and buildings such the Triumphal Arc, the castle of the 3 dragons (containing Masonic symbols) or the mysterious entrance to a lodge which was a former military academy.
We shall end our route visiting an airtight Masonic building full of symbolic character: The Xifre porches. Right there, was the first luxury ‘café’ in Barcelona: “On 7 doors”. This has all timely symbolic elements of the Freemasonry, not needed to mention the famous number “7”. There we will enjoy a glass of champagne discussing what we have seen or what … we still want to learn.
In the case of wanting to do a route on Wednesday or Thursday we will have the opportunity to visit the Library Arús, the first public library in Catalonia, founded in 1895 by a famous philanthropist and Mason: Rossend Arús. It preserves all its original decorations in a Masonic fashion, objects and an important bibliographic collection about Masonry that curiosly “survived” the Franco’s dictatorship.