It was also interesting to notice just how much more common spoken Catalan is than Castilian in the streets, shops, and tapas places in Barcelona. And how much more prevalent the Catalonian flag is than the in-theory legally mandated flag of Spain. And the yellow ribbons everywhere, attached to every building, painted on every street, and wore by many many many people. And outside of Barcelona, in the countryside, it got even more common and even more blatant.
It was also interesting to notice that most of the text inscribed on the doors and walls of the Basílica is in Catalan, not Castilian.
We asked one of our guides how Catalan had so robustly survived. His answer: all the hundreds and hundreds of villages that were a hard walk from the main roads. The kings and then later the junta could pass all the decrees they wanted to, but they couldn't control the language spoken in the villages.
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