In 2018, the most illustrious Catalan linguist and grammarian was born 150 years ago: Pompeu Fabra (1868 to 1948). Fabra starred in the reconstruction of modern Catalan, a language that in those days had been reduced to family and literary. Pompeu Fabra, born in the Gracia neighborhood of Barcelona, devoted his whole life, to build the foundations of the Catalan language, to establish the grammatical and orthographic bases and write the General Dictionary of the Catalan Language (1932) to make Catalan a language open to all and for all uses.
Much of this work, he did from Badalona, his host city. In fact, Maestro Fabra, as the Badalonese called him, lived in Badalona for 27 years.
That is why we propose a route that covers the spaces of Badalona where the life of Maestro Fabra passed, from the houses where he lived and worked, the entities where he collaborated, the relationship he had with the people of Badalona or some curiosities of the life of this illustrious Catalan.
La Fonda de Peret
The route begins in the same place where the adventure of the Fabra family began in Badalona in 1912. La Fonda de Peret, on Calle del Mar, n um 12 was the first place to stay, while the family was waiting for the transfer of the luggage that was to arrive from Bilbao, where he occupied a position as professor at the School of Engineers. Fabra will live in Badalona until 1939, when he will go into exile, passing through Paris, Montpellier and Prada.
Plaza de Josep Cortinas, "Can Balluga"
The first house where Pompeu Fabra was installed was in the current square of Josep Cortinas, where once there had been "Can Balluga". From this residence, the linguist wrote and worked a good part of the "General Dictionary of the Catalan Language" (1932), an authentic pillar of Catalan. The Dictionary shows the influence of Badalona in the writing of the work, with place names and Badalona words.
During this time he combines his work as a grammarian, with trips to Barcelona, where he was appointed professor of the chair of Catalan of the Diputación de Barcelona by Enric Prat de la Riba and member of the philological section of the Institute of Catalan Studies, of which Later he would be president.
The proximity to the sea was one of the main reasons that led Fabra to settle in the city. His daughter Teresa, had a delicate health and on the recommendation of the doctors he had to frequent the baths in the sea water and the walks near the beach. That's why Badalona's coast was one of the most popular places in Fabra, where he also used to chat with fishermen, since he was an open and hospitable person with working people. Just in front of the sea, on Calle Santa Madrona, number 33, he had one of the three residences where he lived in Badalona.
Pompeu Fabra went to work in Barcelona always with a tram. He did not like to travel by train or car. He took the tram at stop number 43, at the "Can Martri" bar, on Francesc Layret street , at the corner of Padre Claret. He took advantage of the journey to write or work, and if he did not have too much work he liked to talk with other passengers and have long debates about politics, culture or society.
School of Arts and Crafts
During his stay in the city, Fabra is fully integrated into social and cultural life as a Badalonese. He was the promoter of the Escuela Ma rcel·lí Antiguo (1927) and president of the Catalan entity Palestra in Badalona. Fabra also launched the Ediciones Proa, located on Avenida Martí Pujol, number 40. In 1915 the School of Arts and Crafts of Badalona was born, which later became the School of Work. He also participated in the Tennis Club and the Excursionist Center. However, the city wanted to return a recognition for its social and cultural involvement and in 1934 Fabra was called adopted son of Badalona.
Carrer de la Mercè, 34
This is the address of the last house where the Fabra family lived. In 1939 he would change the course of their lives with the arrival of exile. The residence was ransacked and much of the works and books of great value burned and disappeared. Today, approaching to this point we find a commemorative plaque on the facade that recalls that it was the last house where the family was established.
In 1968 this emblematic space hosted the tribute on the occasion of the centenary of the birth of Maestro Fabra. They were intellectual participants of the time and had a large influx of public. The poem "My People and Me" by Salvador Espriu was written for the occasion.
Pompeu Fabra Square
The central square where the L2 metro exits are named Pompeu Fabra in recognition of the Catalan linguist. The initiative was achieved through entities and citizens who claimed this action as a form of tribute to the adopted son of the city.
Monolith of homage
In the Assembly Plaza of Catalonia, 9 erects a monolith created by Òmnium Cultural. We can read a fragment of the "Homenots" that Josep Pla dedicated to Fabra, where he elevates the work and work carried out for the normalization of Catalan.