The history of Manresa: from Palaeolithic period to nowadays

Despite knowing that the Bages area was already populated during the Palaeolithic period, we must go back to the Neolithic to find the first traces of the people of Manresa, specifically in the forest of Marcetes near Viladordis. There pit tombs dated approximately to the year 3,600 BC were found. The existence of a place to bury dead in this area means that near here there should have been a small village, and fields where to plant cereals, as we are reminded by the name of Viladordis. They were rather sedentary human groups that, for the first time, began to produce pottery and work on agriculture.

From the Iberian era we find samples of population in the Puigcardener, where today the basilica of Santa Maria de la Seu is located. At the beginning of the 20th century while the Neo Gothic facade of the church was built, a set of ceramic pieces was discovered. This hill has three sides with steep slopes that are easy to defend and difficult to attack, and also with water nearby. The structure of the streets is not known, since the hill has been occupied for many centuries, during which many buildings have been built and demolished, but surely it must have been quite important in its area.

The only materials that the Iberians left us are remains of ceramics. On one hand, pieces of gray Iberian pottery from the 3rd century to the 1st century BC have been found. On the other hand, some pieces of ceramics imported from Greece, from the 6th century BC to IV BC. The presence of these Greek pieces indicates the existence of a trade, probably, of a commercial network shared with other towns, especially the coastal zone. The area of ​​Manresa, according to sources, was occupied by the Lacetans tribe, who dominated Central Catalonia today.

This Iberian settlement was romanized, but it is not clear at what level. We do not know how was this population center, or what social organization it had. In addition, in all the documents written in that period, Roman place names in the region of Catalonia clearly appear, without the city being mentioned clearly. Therefore it seems that Manresa did not play an important role until much later. Archaeological discoveries show us pieces of various stages of Roman colonization, from the 2nd century BC to the late empire from the 3rd to the 6th centuries, but the one thing that they show us is that the Puigcardener was occupied during those times.

Probably Manresa was an important crossroad between the coast, Cardona (where salt was mined) and La Segarra, where the Roman town of Sigarra (els Prats de Rei) was located.

Twelve funerary cysts from the end of the Roman era were also found in the Comtals area. Little known about the inhabitants of the Puigcardener during the Visigothic occupation, between the 6th and 7th centuries. It is likely, that due to the insecurity that existed at the time, a large part of the peasants living in the dispersed nuclei would gather around the city, which offered better defense conditions.

Later, Muslims or Saracens from North Africa spread throughout the Iberian peninsula. We know that by the year 785 the Arabs left Manresa. Probably because it had such a small population that there was no need to leave any military detachment.

Afterwards the Franks occupied it, Count Borrell de Cerdanya promoted the restoration of the old Puigcardener Iberian settlement and provided the city with a term or territory. The situation did not change much until the end of the 9th century, when Count Guifré el Pelós placed under his command what we now call central Catalonia. The hill of the Puigcardener was walled and a church and a castellet added, where the vicar comtal lived, as the main authority of the territory.

This nucleus is known in the documents from the 11th to the 14th centuries as la ciuta (the city). On the other hand, outside the walls began the construction of houses, which were grouped in neighborhoods, such as Puig, under the Puigcardener or the neighborhood of Todesind, in the Escodines.

Because in these lands, then bordered with Muslims, the population density was very low, it was necessary to settle with people from other places, mostly with people of Lluçanès and Berguedà. Demographic growth was followed by economic growth, thanks to trade between the two groups – Muslim and Christian – in contact.

In 889, the frank king Odó granted to the city several privileges like the title of city. In this document the name of Manresa appears for the first time.

At the end of the 10th century, Manresa was on the land of a border, this fact caused the Saracen captain al-Mansur to start fire and destroy the city.

In 1022, Countess Ermessenda, together with his son, Count Berenguer Ramon I and the Bishop of Vic, promoted the repopulation of the city, which had been badly damaged by the Saracens’ raids.

The only walled area in the city was the Puigcardener, which is why, in case of danger, the inhabitants that lived outside the walls ran to hide there. The city was governed, in the name of the king, by the so-called Vicar Counts.

The majority of the population at the time lived of agriculture, especially with bark plantations or from the 11th century of the vineyards. There are also documents that prove the existence of ceramic furnaces and forges or places where iron was worked.

The city, which appeared as such in the 10th century, continued to expand throughout the 12th and 13th centuries.

Little known about it from the 12th century, and not known if the city was affected by the invasion of the Almoravids. Knowing however, that Almoravids rapid attacks of destruction and looting affected, among other places, Sant Fruitós de Bages, surely they also made some raid in Manresa. This fact probably motivated the petition to the king to fortify the city with the construction of new walls, that protected the inhabitants from inside and from outside the city.

During the 13th century, Manresa ceased to live almost exclusively from agriculture, as artisanal workshops began to appear. This fact generated a growing economic dynamism, which caused the city to grow and build new houses, both inside and outside the walled enclosure.

The expansion of the urban space is the result of the arrival of families from other places, attracted by the economic expectations of a prosperous industrial and commercial activity. The intensity of this commercial life caused that in 1238 the king Pere el Gran granted the city the privilege to annually celebrate la fira de l’ascensió (annual fair of ascent), that today is still celebrated. The medieval city of Manresa can still be discovered today at Carrer del Balç, a street that still retains its medieval aspect and which shows the city from the time of Pere III the Ceremonious.

Historians agree on pointing out the 14th century as the most prosperous moment in the history of the city. However prosperity was truncated in 1359 by a major crisis. Within the same century, there was a spectacular growth during the first half, followed by a severe crisis and decline during the second half.

The growth of the city resulted in the construction of a new layout of the walls, which partly took advantage of sections of the old wall. The economic boom caused that king Jaume II, in 1311, privileged the city with the celebration of a second fair at the end of November, on Sant Andreu.

During the 14th century, the city saw many large constructions. The construction of the bridges of Rajadell, Vilomara, la Séquia and the so-called Pont Nou or the expansion of the walls.

Among these great works, the most important civil work is la Séquia (the Drought). As a result of very serious droughts, which occurred at the beginning of the fourteenth century, city councilors decided to bring water from Llobregat through a canal from Balsareny. After commissioning the construction to the Barcelonian architect Guillem Catà, King Pere III authorized the Balsareny water channeling project in Manresa in 1339. Once the works began, Vic’s Bishop, Galzeran Sacosta, prevented the passage of the Drought by the lands of Sallent, his property.

But the Manresans, disobeying the prohibition of the bishop, continued the works. In response, the bishop closed the churches of Manresa for five years and excommunicated the advisers, jurors and the workmen who worked there. This conflict was resolved with the advent of a new bishop but traditionally it was considered that the resolution was possible thanks to the Mystery of Light (Misteri de la Llum), which is still celebrated every year on February 21 and has become a party included in the Inventory of the Festive Heritage of Catalonia (l’Inventari del Patrimoni Festiu de Catalunya).

After many interruptions in the construction due to pests, wars and other conflicts with neighboring towns, after forty-four years, the Llobregat water reached the city.

Apart from the civil buildings, during this century, many religious buildings were built, such as the Cathedral of La Seu (la basílica de la Seu), the monastery of Valldaura and the churches of Carmen, Sant Pere Màrtir, Sant Andreu, Sant Miquel, Sant Pau, Santa Clara and Santa Llúcia.

Out of them all, La Seu is the most significant building in the medieval city. Commenced at the beginning of the 14th century, under the direction of the architect Berenguer de Montagut, it was not finished until many years later. The first stone was placed in 1328. After twenty-four years the roof of a part of the temple was completed. The remaining part, where a large rosette was built, was not finished until after 1480. The bell tower was not finished until the 16th century, and the main façade, until the beginning of the 20th century.

During the second half of the 14th century, a considerable economic crisis broke out, which continued throughout following century. This decline was also common in other towns and cities of Catalonia. The demographic decline of the Catalan population, which was due to the mortality caused by the plagues, hunger, misery and constant civil wars, is worth mentioning. This strong crisis caused that at the end of the 15th century, Manresa had approximately one thousand four hundred inhabitants, compared to the nine thousand that it had in the previous century. In the economic sphere, it is paradigmatic that in the whole of the 15th century only a new guild of artisans was created.

The 16th century meant a change of tendency, and of the one thousand five hundred habitats of the late 15th century it increased to more than five thousand in little less than one hundred years. The survival of the epidemics, and notably the massive influx of newcomers greatly compensated for the devastating effects of illness and misery, and enhanced the demographic and economic recovery of the city. These immigrants came, above all, from the region of Occitania.

The shy economic improvement during this century caused that as of 1552 Prince Felipe granted to the city the right to celebrate market, every Tuesday and Thursday, throughout the year. Despite the increase in population and the economic improvement, the city remained within the perimeter of the city walls.

The stay of Saint Ignatius of Loiola

On March 25, 1522, a Basque knight, named Íñigo López de Recalde, arrived in Manresa, wounded in war, he decided to abandon his arms and change his life. Born in Loyola (Loiola), in the Basque Country, he set out to pilgrimage to Jerusalem. On his way to the holy city, he passed through Montserrat and stopped for a few months in Manresa. During the ten months he was in Manresa, the future St. Ignatius of Loyola taught catechism and led a contemplative life of prayer, meditation, and penance. Years later, in 1540, Pope Pau III approved the creation of the religious order of the Jesuits or the Society of Jesus, founded by Saint Ignatius, and spread throughout the world.

The figure of Saint Ignatius has become an international reference and the track of his stay in Manresa is still recognizable and has been claimed as a distinctive feature of the city. Currently, through the Manresa 2022 program, the municipality is looking to strengthen Ignatian Manresa for the 5th centenary of the saint’s stay in the city.

Conflicts and brigandage

During the 16th and 17th centuries the phenomenon of banditry spread throughout the Catalan territory. The economic crisis, the plagues and the epidemics, the climate of general malaise, and the constant struggles between members of the small nobility and the peasants, led to the appearance of the brigands, who assaulted the muleteers or made raids in towns and cities. The strong crisis that was experienced in those times also led to some uprisings or revolts. The revolt that best exemplifies the tensions of the moment is the uprising of 1688, known as the Avalot de les Faves, which began when people refused to pay the tithes to the canons of La Seu.

During the 17th century the population of Manresa grew a lot and very fast. Only in twenty years it reached five thousand inhabitants.

In the middle of the 17th century, the Reapers War (la Guerra dels Segadors) took place, followed in 1650 by the havoc of the bubonic plague, that coming from Valencia, spread throughout the Principality, and only in Manresa caused more than one thousand deaths.

After some years of stagnation, towards the end of the 17th century the population grew again and the economy resurged, thanks to the cultivation of the vineyard and the whitewash. During the 16th and 17th centuries, the city’s physiognomy closed inside its walled enclosure, did not undergo many changes. Apart from some reforms, some public buildings were built that have remained to this day, such as the Jutjats at Baixa de la Seu or La Cova.

Burnt city. The role of Manresa in the War of Succession (la Guerra de Successió)

On 5 July 1713, Junta de Braços began in Barcelona, it was decided to be a war at all cost. One of the participants of the Junta de Braços is the Ombudsman (síndic) of Manresa, Dr. Josep Sala i de Miralles, father in law of the brother of Rafel Casanova, chief executive of Barcelona. During the month of July the city of Manresa is placed under the governance of the Bourbon general, Duke of Populi. A week later, however, coronel Josep de Peguera and Cortit arrived in Manresa to recruit men to fight for Catalan resistance. This fact motivated the will of the Bourbon High Command to punish the city.

Thus, on August 13, 1713, a large Bourbon army, formed by four battalions of Spanish guards, and twelve grenadiers’ companies, commanded by General José de Armendáriz and the Count of Montemar, with express orders from the general Bourbon Duque de Pópuli, set fire to the city of Manresa. The fire affected 522 buildings, including the Casa de la Vila, the Carmen church and some gunpowder mills. Approximately half of the city was affected by this fire, which represented a clear desire to exemplify repression by extending terror, in order to obtain the peaceful submission of the peoples of central Catalonia.

The Manresa fire motivated many towns to go under governance of Philip V. The city burning occurred three weeks after the siege of Barcelona began and was the main example of repression and Barbarism against Catalan civil society.

The New Plant decree (El decret de Nova Planta), restored by Philip V, entailed a different territorial division: the old vegueries were replaced by corregiments. And this was how Manresa became the head of a corregimiento that included the old vegueries and sots vegueries of Manresa, Berga, Lluçanès and Moia.

After such convoluted start of the century, there was a period of relative calm, and population growth. If at the beginning of the century the population was about 9000 inhabitants, towards the end the number had increased to 12000. The economy of the moment was supported by two pillars, the wine and the silk. The whitewashers and cigar-makers, craftsmen who since the Middle Ages had devoted themselves to this profitable trade, converted themselves into silk knitters. To prove the importance of the sector, it must be said that only in Manresa there were more than six thousand people employed in manufacturing.

Architecturally, after the fire of 1713 that affected about 300 houses, the city underwent some transformations: new buildings, new street alignments, and from this time dates the construction of the House of the City (la Casa de la Ciutat) such as we know it today. It was built between 1739 and 1777 on the ruins of the houses of the veguer, the mayor and the Council of the City.

Between the years 1808 and 1814, the Peninsular War (la Guerra del Francès) took place, with adverse consequences throughout the country. Faced with the invasion of the Napoleonic troops, the people of La Rioja expressed their rejection by publicly burning the sealed paper, a symbol of French power. This lead to the French general Murat ordering that an army of three thousand eight hundred soldiers, with cavalry and guns, occupy Manresa.

The people of Manresa, willing to face them, concentrated the civil defence organisations (els sometents) of Manresa and its wider the region and of Igualada, on the Can Maçana pass, in the Montserrat massif, a place of necessary passage for the French. There the invading troops were intercepted by surprise by a contingent of two thousand men, who made them go back thanks to the knowledge of the land and the help of Walloon and Swiss troops. Finally the French managed to get to Manresa and repeated it on several occasions. The first two incursions were not very serious. The third occupation was the most serious. On March 30, 1811 an army of more than eight thousand men, led by General Macdonald, plundered the city and set fire to it, after executing eight people. There is written evidence that, from 1100 existing buildings, 713 were destroyed. They also burned factories and workshops, so that more than three thousand three hundred families were left without work.

Later took place clashes between supporters of the Old Regime (that is, priests, peasants and craftsmen) and the liberals (basically merchants and industrialists). During the same century, three more wars broke out, called Carline Wars (Guerres Carlines), between Liberals and Carlists or supporters of the absolutist regime. Due to these conflicts the military presence in the city increased, and constructed a fortification in Puigterrà and the tower of Santa Caterina.

The industrial city

In the nineteenth century there were a whole series of economic, social and demographic events that had a major impact on the evolution of the city, which stopped being a manufacturing nucleus, and became a first-rate industrial focus.

Between 1801 and 1808, ten mechanical filatures settled at the torrent of Sant Ignasi, and initiated the industrialization of the city. All worked with hydraulic wheels driven by the water of la Séquia.

In 1818 the first industrial building is constructed that deserves the qualification of modern factory in all Spain, the factory of Panyos.

The Panyos factory also commences a second phase of Manresa’s industrialization, where new dams and channels will be built on the banks of the Cardener along its passage through the municipal district. One of the most important events that reinforces the central role of Manresa in Catalan industry is the arrival of the Barcelona railway line in Zaragoza in 1859, which revolutionizes the communications and the mentality of the time.

The third stage of this industrialization process came when the waterfalls were all occupied and the possibilities of making new ones were exhausted. The industries colonized the Llobregat and Cardener basins, first with factories located in the Nearest towns, and towards the last third of the century, with the creation of the industrial colonies of the Bages and neighboring counties. Meanwhile, thanks to the emergence of hydraulic turbines and steam engines, small and medium-sized factories were built in the city that took advantage of the flow of water from the branches of the Séquia.

The last decade of the nineteenth century is the full incorporation of Manresa into the world of steam with the construction of the impressive factory – Nova de Serra and Bertrand in Remei. In 1855 the first steam engine was installed, in 1876 there were fifteen, and just by 1900 they were in most factories.

The stage of steam was short, since at the beginning of the 20th century electricity distribution begun in the city of Manresa. Thanks to this, during the first four decades of the 20th century industry was located in different parts of the city. In those years, the Catalans rail line also arrived, which reinforced the role of Manresa as a communications hub.

Because industrialization demanded a lot of workforce, the coming of people from other areas was necessary. If, at the beginning of the 19th century, Manresa had a population of more than 12,000 inhabitants, by the end, it had more than twenty-three thousand. This spectacular rise, which transformed Manresa into the fifth city of Catalonia, is due to the arrival of many immigrants. The majority came, basically, from the counties of Bages, Anoia, Berguedà and Solsonès, as well as the surroundings of the Pyrenees. Also immigrants from Aragon came, especially from the province of Huesca (Osca), and from the Valencian Country (País Valencià).

The working conditions of the time were very hard. In order to defend their interests, workers began to organize themselves in mutual support associations that provided them with help if they were ill or were unemployed. As a pressure measure, the workers convened strikes, such as the one of 1890, in which higher salaries were requested, or the one of 1897, in protest of the decision of the direction of the Factory Nova (la Fàbrica Nova) to force the weavers to be in charge of three looms instead of two, for the same wage. Many of these strikes ended in retaliation and entrepreneurs dismissed the most conflicting workers, events that provoked strong tensions in the city.

Towards the modern city

During the industrialization, the panorama of the city completely changed. The most spectacular changes took place in the second half of the 19th century. The massive influx of new labor to the factories made the construction of more houses necessary. Because in the walled city, space was no longer available, it was necessary to build new houses outside. The walls, erected during the medieval period as a wall of defense and to control the entrances and exits of the city, were finally demolished after the last Carlist war in 1877.

One of the most important changes was the distribution of potable water, this advance caused a reduction in infections and mortality, since water pollution had been very high up until then. Other important services were the construction of the sewerage network or the restoration of the garbage collection service. In the mid-nineteenth century in order to prevent the accumulation of decaying bodies from emanating epidemics, the City Council (l’Ajuntament) ordered to build a new cemetery away from the urban center.

Others changes in the life of the people of Manresa are the arrival of new sources of energy, such as gas and electricity, as well as the construction or remodeling of some facilities such as the Casa Caritat, the Sant Andreu hospital or the theater conservatories.

At the end of the nineteenth century a new Catalanist party appeared and in 1892 Manresa welcomed the celebration of the Catalanist Union Assembly, which drafted the Bases of Manresa. This document was the first formulation of political Catalanism.

The first two decades of the 20th century, in Manresa as in the rest of Catalonia, were characterized by a situation of important social and labor instability. A paradigmatic case is the Tragic Week (a Setmana Tràgica), in Manresa the confrontations between strikers and the army led to the death of two people, half a dozen injured and about forty detained. In addition to the destruction of three churches.

During the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera – in the 1920s, conflict was reduced as a result of the repression exercised by the army over trade unions, but it will explode again in the following decade. In those years, the industrial bourgeoisie, enriched with the benefits obtained during the first European war (1914-1918), constructed a new set of modernist and neoclassical houses, designed by the architects Ignasi Oms i Ponsa and Alexandre Soler Marc, and built on the Paseo de Pere III. Examples of the constructions include Ca la Buresa, Torre Lluvià, Cal Torra, Cal Davant or the Casino.

The II Republic

On April 14, 1931, the proclamation of the Republic took place. After the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera and the reign of Alfonso XIII, this democratic and progressive regime was very well received by the great majority of the people of Manresa. While the Republic lasted, the city government fell mainly on the left. Among the first performances of the new Republican government, it is worth mentioning the construction of the Municipal Pool, the foundation of the Municipal Music School, the Fire Station or the Renaixença School Group.

In 1934, the proclamation of the Catalan State, immediately canceled by the arms, by Lluís Companys led to the imprisonment of the mayor of Manresa as well as that of all the left-wing councilors.

On July 18 the Civil War began with the military uprising against the Republic, commanded by General Franco, it will be stopped thanks to the defensive action of the popular organizations of their republican institutions. Popular organizations were constituted in revolutionary committees, which took responsibility for control of the city. The headquarters of the right-wing parties were confiscated, as well as some religious buildings, which were occupied by the unions and the leftist parties. During the first days there was a great disorder. People of right and ecclesiastical were assassinated. The anti-clerical nature of the earliest times materialized in the demolition of seven buildings: the churches of Sant Pere Màrtir, Sant Miquel, Carme, Sant Ignasi and Sant Bartomeu, the convent of Caputxines and the old hospital of Santa Llúcia . Of ‘la Seu’ the pyramidal tower of the bell tower and the sacristy were demolished.

The manresana life of those years was marked by the compass of the war, strongly stirred by the revolutionary atmosphere that was breathed in the city. Large companies were collectivized and many industries became war industries.

During the war there was an avalanche of refugees, more than 4000 from Asturias and Euskadi, territories under the command of the Francoist army, the City Council had to expand the welfare centers and dining rooms, which also hosted children, elderly, and wounded soldiers.

Despite being located far from the front, Manresa suffered two considerable bombings, each by Franco’s aviation. Despite the existence of refuges and trenches, the bombing caused 35 deaths, as well as multiple destructions, useless bombings strategically, aimed solely at attacking the civilian population and sinking their spirits. Finally on January 24, 1939, the Francoist army, who came from the Calaf sector, entered Manresa through the Cardona highway, and occupied it.

The victims of war, exile and the drop of the birth rate caused a reduction of the population in Manresa. A total of 508 people of Manresa died at the war front, many others died in different circumstances: 158 murders in the republican rear, 35 deaths due to bombings by Franco’s aviation, 5 murdered at the entrance of the Franco’s troops in to the city, 6 in Francoist detention centers, 28 executed in the Bota Field (Camp de la Bota) by Franco’s dictatorship and 18 murdered in Nazi extermination camps.

On April 1, 1939, the Civil War ended, at that time, Manresa and the whole country entered a stage of economic misery, lack of freedom and very important political and cultural repression.

Francoism

During the Franco dictatorship, the new mayor and councilors were named among the most faithful people in the new regime. The postwar period was marked by famine and electricity restrictions. Iin January 1947, for example, there was only electricity three days a week. It was precisely, in part, due to the malfunctioning of the electric service that occurred during the strike of 1946 in Manresa, one of the first strikes of the Spanish postwar period. In spite of the repression and the control exerted on the population, there were always those who fought clandestine against the dictatorship. On the other hand, people who were part of legal entities tried to keep Catalan culture alive.

In the first years of the postwar period the neighborhoods of Mion, Montalegre and also of Sant Pau were born.

As for the demographics in 1950 Manresa had just over forty thousand inhabitants. After twenty years, in 1970, the population reached 58,110 inhabitants and, just five years later, reached the figure of 66,027. A growth that represents the most important of the century and all the demographic evolution of Manresa.

The end of the autarchic phase and the beginning of a liberal economic policy, with the influx of foreign capital, strongly pushed the productivity of the factories and the need to increase unqualified labor. This manpower came from the most agrarian regions of Catalonia, but also from the most backward agricultural areas of the state, such as Andalusia, the two Castelles, Extremadura and Aragón. As of the second decade of the sixties the arrival of migrants decreased and concentrated mainly in Barcelona and surroundings. This led to the fact that, at the beginning of the century, Manresa was the fifth largest city in Catalonia, after Barcelona, Reus, Tarragona and Sabadell, in the sixties it already occupied the seventh place, and in the seventies the thirteenth.

Immigration and the natural growth of the population provoked population growth, and urban development, it is then when the districts of the Xup, Font dels Capellans and the Balconada were built.

In the sixties the textile crisis broke out, as a result of which many factories closed, and workers, especially women, were left without work. The crisis was strong, but the city suffered relatively lightly thanks to reconversion to companies that manufactured automobile, chemical or construction parts.

The dictatorship, throughout the sixties and seventies, was fought in different areas, from political and trade unrest, through the most progressive sectors of the church, to the cultural or educational sector. Another of the important protest fronts was integrated by neighbor associations, which denounced the precarious state in which the neighborhoods of the city were.

The transition and democracy

In 1975 Manresa had a population of 66,207. Ten years later, however, the figure had dropped to 65,274. The city, then, had lost population due to the reduction of the birth rate, the reduction of immigrants and the transfer of the residence of many people from the town to the neighboring villages of Navarcles, Sant Fruitós and Sant Joan, and later Santpedor, places in which the prices of the apartments were more affordable.

A common practice of the first democratic city councils consisted of recovering green zones and opening new spaces for public use. It is when the Paseo del Río, the Puigterrà parks, La Seu and l’Agulla are organised and gardened.

The Manresa industry of those years experienced a process of decentralization, from the urban center to industrial facilities in the new industrial estates of Bufalvent, Los Dolors and the area of the Pont Nou.

The dominant economic sector in the Manresa of the time was the one of the services. The capital of Manresa and its population volume motivated many people to work in community or social services such as health, education or administration, also a very dynamic commercial sector appeared.

In addition to the demographic, economic and social changes, in the year 1975, with the death of Franco, the end of the dictatorship and the restoration of democracy took place. One week before the death of Franco, the governor Civil of Barcelona had appointed new mayor of Manresa Ramon Roqueta i Roqueta, a well-known vinater industrialist.

Four years after the death of Franco, on April 3rd, 1979, the first elections were held in the whole state to choose democratic city councils. The elected councilors of PSC, CiU, PSUC and PSAN allied themselves as the so-called Pact of Progress and formed the first democratic city council, since the Republic, which goes to be chaired by the socialist mayor Joan Cornet i Prat.

Bibliography:

COMAS i CLOSAS, Francesc (2005). Manresa, una història per conèixer (Manresa a history to know) Ed. Zenobita, Manresa

Ajuntament de Manresa


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