Saint George, a multi-faceted hero

Saint George has a special relevance within the Catalan culture, that’s why this festivity is very special and very celebrated in Catalonia.

He was and is one of the most popular saints, venerated by different religious confessions. Jacopo da Varazze wrote the legend of Saint George and the Dragon in the 13th century in his work “Legenda sanctorum”, in which he collected fables of several saints. In a short time the legend had spread all over Europe.

An ancient legend

The legend of the knight who slays the dragon does not begin with St. George or the Christian imagination, but is believed to be an assimilation of much older legends. For example, we find a similar legend in a Sumerian epic from three thousand years before Christ. We can also find references in this legend to Ancient Egypt or the Roman Empire.

Today, the legend and St. George’s Day are celebrated in many countries around the world. This saint is the patron saint of Catalonia and Aragon, but also of many cities and countries such as England, Russia, Poland or Greece, among others.

Saint George in Barcelona

St. George’s Day is a very popular celebration. Its patronage of Catalonia is a common element in different Catalan artistic currents and expressions. This is the case of Modernism, which very often uses the figure of Saint George in its works. We can see representations and allusions to his figure or the dragon in several Modernist buildings in Barcelona such as Casa Batlló, Casa Amatller, Palau Güell or Casa de les Punxes. In the Casa de les Punxes we find a ceramic panel designed by Enric Monserdà. On it, the courageous knight with the sword over the dragon appears together with the inscription in Catalan: “Patron Saint of Catalonia, give us back our freedom”.

This is not the only element that reminds us of the legend of the house. The scales of the fierce dragon’s back come to life in the characteristic Punxes, besieging the house from the sky.

The brave knight was a very important figure for Catalan modernism, and especially for the work of Puig y Cadafalch and Enric Monserdà, the respective architect and decorator of Casa de les Punxes. That is why the Casa de les Punxes has a route designed to rediscover his legend, as well as to penetrate its symbolism, its history, Catalan modernism and the figure of its architect, Puig Cadafalch.