After Brexit, right here’s extra proof that Europe is crumbling: Catalonia’s parliament simply voted to go forward with plans for what it calls a “unilateral disconnection” from Spain – a euphemism for breaking apart on a par with “aware uncoupling”.
Spain’s constitutional court docket swiftly and unanimously declared the vote unlawful. And the Spanish authorities mentioned it might sue Carme Forcadell, the speaker of the Catalan parliament, for letting the vote go forward in any respect. So Madrid gained’t let Barcelona go with out a struggle – at the least not a authorized struggle.
Subsequent crimson letter day in Catalonia’s lengthy, gradual march in direction of independence is 28 September, when the Catalan parliament will maintain a confidence vote that, within the phrases of Catalonia’s pro-separatist president Carles Puigdemont, might carry the nation to “the gates of independence”. That possibility is at the moment favoured by 47.7% of Catalan voters, in keeping with the newest ballot.
However whether or not or not Catalonia marches by these gates, in a literal sense it may by no means eliminate Spain: the very define of the Spanish state is tattooed on Catalonia’s road grid – an indelible reminder of the bonds of historical past and geography.
To seek out this Spain-in-Catalonia, zoom in on Badia del Vallès, a municipality of some 14,000 inhabitants half an hour’s drive northwest from Barcelona. Badia is a brand new city, deliberate within the Sixties to accommodate 1000’s of migrant labourers drawn from elsewhere in Spain to the brilliant lights of Barcelona.
Again then, Spain was nonetheless languishing underneath the dictatorship of Francisco Franco, and really a lot a unitary state. Discuss of autonomy for Catalonia, the Basque nation and/or some other of Spain’s areas was tantamount to treason.
Work on Badia began in 1970 and was accomplished three years later. The city was formally inaugurated in 1975 by Juan Carlos, then nonetheless Prince of Asturias. A number of years later, as king, Juan Carlos would assist information his nation from autocracy to democracy – a course that will finally additionally grant extra powers to Spain’s areas.
In 1994, Badia del Vallès was integrated and have become an unbiased municipality. In recognition of that undeniable fact that lots of the city’s inhabitants got here to Badia from different components of the Iberian peninsula, the municipal flag reveals a swallow, the migratory hen par excellence. One other image of migration – or, extra exactly, of the unitary state that Spain nonetheless was within the mid-Nineteen Seventies – could be discovered within the of the streets within the new city. The grid is laid out to resemble the form of the Iberian peninsula, with road names to match.
On Google Maps, the form is a bit difficult to choose up; however rotate the map a bit to the left, as proven on this map printed by Madrid’s ABC newspaper, and the streets and avenues align with the shores and borders of the peninsula.
The Avenida del Mediterraneo mirrors the form of the peninsula’s jap shoreline, the Avenida del Cantabrico (1) is known as after Cantabria, on the northern coast. The ‘map’ additionally consists of Portugal, and name-checks, location-appropriately, a Calle de Oporto and a Calle del Algarve.
Again in ‘Spain’, the Calle de la Bética remembers the Roman province of Baetica in southern Spain. Barely increased up is the Calle de La Mancha, named after the area in any other case well-known for its windmill-chasing knight-errant, Don Quixote. The Avenida de Burgos and the Calle de Zaragoza are named after the eponymous cities.
Not on the ABC map, however seen on Google Maps when you zoom in sufficient, are the Avenida Costa Brava and the Calle de Santander. To the east, the place the Balearic Islands must be, are certainly the Calle de Menorca and the Calle de Mallorca.
The principle artery, on each the ABC and Google maps, is the Avenida de la Through de la Plata, which interprets, in an obvious pleonasm, because the ‘Avenue of the Silver Means’. Actually, the Through de la Plata is an age-old route of pilgrimage and commerce that traverses western Spain from north to south. ‘Silver Means’ is definitely a misnomer: the identify derives from the Arabic balat, which refers back to the cobbled highway engineered by the Romans, who referred to as it Through Delapidata (‘Paved Stone Highway’). The highway really predates the Romans, and is assumed to seek out its origin within the prehistoric tin commerce.
Badia’s image of Spain isn’t the one cartographic Gestalt hiding in plain sight, a map within the map. This weblog beforehand mentioned a Nebraska-shaped subject in Nebraska (#426) and a Danish vacationer attraction within the form of a world map (#727). Not modelled on a map, however conceptually very near Badia, is Ciudad Evita, the suburb of Buenos Aires modelled after the profile of Evita Peron (#346).
Unusual Maps #793
Obtained an odd map? Let me know at [email protected].
(1) On Google Maps, which makes use of the Catalan-language equivalents of the road names cited right here in Spanish, the Carrer del Tibidabo replaces the Avinguda del Cantabric, a reputation now given to a smaller road connecting the previous to the Avinguda Costa Brava.