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Under the skin of the city

Excerpt from a feature article contributed by the Catalan Government Minister and Spokesman Joaquim Nadal and published in the newspaper Diari de Girona on 11 August .

There are many ways of looking at a city: linear visions, skin-deep ones, superficial ones, and descriptive views.
However, as we all know, cities harbour secrets and treasures. Savaneres street, between Santa Caterina hospital and the Hospice, is an outstanding example of the process as a whole: a living example, brought back to life by the recent excavations and now present in the temporary exhibitions room in the City History Museum. An exhibition that stirs all kinds of feelings and emotions. A voyage back through centuries of history that can bring out and give meaning, first names and surnames, trades and professions, and the lives lived out and wiped out of the occupants of the houses on that street, down to its gradual disappearance in contemporary times, though it had already been truncated beforehand by the building of the Sant Francesc bulwark for the city walls in the seventeenth century. The outstanding impetus of the thirteenth and mid-fourteenth centuries down to the Black Death, and the renewed drive of the sixteenth century down to the episodes of war in the mid-seventeenth century, give us a glimpse of the structure and characteristics of the property business in that remote and now unknown city concealed under the skin of the city. Never before has urban archaeology had the chance to arouse the interest of the people and bring a real feeling for the very root of the city as it lives and renews itself.


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