Museu de les Trementinaires

Today, 18 May, we celebrate International Museum Day, so we put the spotlight on the Museu de les Trementinaires in Tuixent, municipality of Josa i Tuixén, at the foot of the mountain range of the Serra del Cadí.

A charming museum that tells the story of women of this mountainous area who from mid-19C onwards gathered remedial herbs and essential oils, prepared and sold them among farms and villages in Catalonia walking hundreds of miles for months once or twice a year.

During the visit to this museum you will learn who the trementinaires were, what herbs and remedies they were marketing and how they organized their routes from the valley of La Vansa and Tuixent to the plains of the interior and the coast of Catalonia. Sofia Ossera was the one who made the last trip as trementinaire in 1982.

In the nearby Botanical Garden you can see and get to know the main features and uses of the plants they handled.

The woman of the photo is Maria Majoral who started working as a trementinaire in 1889 and kept going until 1956.

Nurse turned into war correspondent

‘Peoples who are called civilised use their admirable science and long years of persevering studies to look for barbarian and efficient procedures to destroy other peoples, because these have (…) more extensive industrial markets (…)’

When voluntary Red Cross nurse Àngela Graupera went to work in Serbia and Greece and there witnessed the horrors of WWI, she felt compelled to describe her experiences and send her chronicles (104) to the Barcelona newspaper Las Noticias: analytic with pondered criticism using precise prose with a visual impact.

The above quotation is from her book El gran crimen. Lo que yo he visto en la guerra (The Great Crime. What I saw during the war) (1935).

This portrait of Àngela is a drawing by Robert Pérez after a photograph, the only known image.

On the occasion of International Nurses Day 2021 (12 May).

World Theatre Day: Margarita Xirgu (1888-1969)

The theatre was her life, so she kept on acting even when she was forced into exile during Franco’s dictatorship. She was popular in Spain as well as in South-America.

For a glimpse of her performances watch this video of Bodas de sangre de Federico García Lorca, a film version of the play directed by Edmundo Guibourg, that was first screened in Argentina in 1938.

Historian Rosa Maria Alabrús

Rosa Maria Alabrús, born on this day in 1960, is a historian who focuses her studies on the social history of Early Modern Spain.

She has published various essays and books, for example the one in which she analyzes the significance of Catalan women who took part in the War of the Spanish Succession on the Habsburg side, from 1706 to 1714. She characterizes this article as ‘an attempt of social history on the role of women in early eighteenth century Catalan society’.

Subjects related to women and religion are also a focus of her studies, such as ‘The suffering of domestic violence and the convent as a space for freedom: the case of Suor Angela Serafina’.

Her latest book ‘Razones y emociones femeninas’ (‘Female Reasons and Emotions’) concerns nun Hipólita de Rocabertí and Catalan religious women in the 16th and 17th century.

Photo: UAO CEU

Mari Pepa Colomer, pilot

A girl, just seven years old, has but one dream: to fly! As she is living on the second floor, she concludes that she can easily fulfill this dream. So she takes an umbrella and jumps from the balcony with the open umbrella by way of a parachute. Of course, this cannot end well, as she is no Mary Poppins. Instead of taking off, she crashes and breaks both legs. Nine years later she has a second try, now with a better result. This is the story of Maria Josep Colomer i Luque, better known as Mari Pepa Colomer (1913-2004).

The young Mari Pepa
As a young girl she already has a very strong bond with her father Josep, a liberal and bohemian textile industrialist, who is a personal friend of Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí, among others, and linked to the famous café Els Quatre Gats in Barcelona. He sees to it that she can study at the ‘Institut de Cultura i Biblioteca Popular de la Dona‘, a modern and innovative institute in Catalonia’s capital founded in 1909 by Francesca Bonnemaison aiming to give working class women the opportunity of enjoying a good training and learning a trade, so that they could earn their own living.

and then…

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