Girona wall reliefs

The following wall relief photos are from a tall residential building on the corner of C/Barcelona and Placa Poeta Marquina. The block is several storeys high with a La Caixa bank branch on the ground floor. I’ve walked past this place numerous times and glanced upwards admiring these large coloured decorative reliefs. 

It’s not unusual to find similar examples dotted around the city, particularly in the old town, but these stand out as fine examples. I’ve been unable to discover more about their origin, short of trying to ask someone who lives there.

The first appears to symbolise family with a single young child and its parents and grandparents, all in a group embrace. Such strong family bonds are still a big part of Catalan culture and daily life. Why the child stands atop of a crowned woman is slightly mystifying. My first thought was some royal connection but most Catalans aren’t keen on the Spanish monarchy-past or present. That said, the current King of Spain Felipe VI once held the title of Prince of Girona.

The next one down stretches up to the top and also requires further enquiries. Two young girls are standing either side of a tree (tree of life?). One is holding a small harp, the other appears to be the city coat of arms. Below their feet sits a deer. Digging into deer symbolism it typically means unconditional love, gentleness, grace and good luck. The part of the relief above the tree appears to look angelic, the part jutting out is perplexing. I’m sure there’s a story waiting to be told here.

The bottom two probably have something to do with the Battle of Girona, in June 1808, as  the year is easily definable. This occurred during the Peninsular War, part of the Napoleonic Wars. The French assault failed, being repulsed by city militia and low and behold, two battalions of Irish infantry in Spanish service. The person holding what appears to be a blunderbuss might be one of the militia perhaps.

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