Modern Period

Captura de pantalla 2012-09-02 a las 22.29.42

During the modern period, carrer Llibreteria strengthened its commercial activity even more. And it was during the 16th century that adopted its current name, illustrating the activity that was growing and became majority in this street. Booksellers and printers were working for a society that was becoming more used to reading and writing. Also, the proximity to the civil powers (the town hall, the Generalitat and the cathedral) offered the possibility to Llibreteria’s traders, to receive the privileges for printing and stamping official papers. During the 16th century, the trades of printer and bookseller, started to take different directions and two different licenses were created for these trades. Llibreteria had a bigger number of booksellers, hence the name. The stores were small and required more space, and the books were displayed in stalls on the street. We can imagine how congested and narrow was this street during the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.

During the medieval years, street celebrations had started, but it was during this Modern period that they became more popular, and important celebrations and festivals took place in the street; royal weddings, prayers for the healing of the monarchs, princes’ visits, etc. The old city streets were decorated. Sometimes ephemeral architecture was constructed (triumphal arches, fountains, baldachins). The modern Barcelona presented strong contrasts between public ostentation and the precarious living conditions of the majority of people. And Carrer Llibreteria was not an exception.