The ‘Timbaler del Bruc’ historical fair has been timed to coincide with the remembrance of the military events that took place in June 1808.
On February 9, 1808, the general of the Napoleonic army, Philippe Guillaume Duhesme, entered Catalonia and by the middle of February, his troops had reached Barcelona. On June 4, 1808, the French army headed from Barcelona towards Manresa, Lleida and Zaragoza.
At that time, a serious economic crisis broke out in Catalonia and the population was starving. For example, in Manresa, 3,500 servings of “economic soup” (“sopa econòmica”) were distributed daily.
On June 6, the first battle for Bruc (Batalla del Bruc) began. The Spanish army, including Catalan volunteers, was led by Franz Krutter Grotz and totalled about 2,000 people. The French army was defeated. 300 people died.
On June 14, the second battle for Bruc took place which was much more important from a military point of view. The French forces were led by the experienced General, Joseph Chabran. However, the Spaniards, led by Joan Baget again won the battle.
The battles of Timbaler del Bruc became legendary because they debunked the myth of the invincible army of Napoleon. Virtually unarmed soldiers imitated the sounds of weapons with the help of echoing the sounds emitted by drums. This led the French to believe that the number of Catalan soldiers far surpassed the invading army.
Today, the fair is celebrated not in memory of military actions, but in honor of the sisterhood of nations and as a sign of the importance of peace.
Photo: Alex Monroe