Every society has its notable figures, people whose work or life leaves a mark in history. Doctor Bartomeu Robert was one of those people.
Born in 1842 in Tampico, Mexico, Bartolomeu Robert i Yarzábal spent his childhood in Sitges, a city about 40 kilometers away from the center of Barcelona. In 1857, Robert enrolled in the University of Medicine of Barcelona graduating in 1864. After receiving his doctorate in Madrid, Robert worked briefly as the Head Physician at Hospital de Santa Cruz, a position he left for another one in the University where he had studied, as a Professor of Medical Pathology.
A well-respected figure, Doctor Bartomeu Robert became the president of Ateneu Barcelonès (Barcelona’s literary society), the Royal Academy of Medicine of Barcelona, the Academy of Medical Sciences and the Societat Econòmica Barcelonesa d’Amics del País, a club for prominent citizens that promotes economic prosperity in Barcelona and Catalonia.
In 1899, Doctor Bartomeu Robert became the Mayor of Barcelona, which made him become the most famous doctor in the city. Fighting against the hardening of centralist policies of the government of Madrid, he incited the citizens of Barcelona to stop paying taxes, which eventually led to a tax strike. This event became known as Tancament de Caixes.
In 1901, Robert became a Member of Parliament for Lliga Regionalista, a right-wing Catalanist, conservative and monarchic political party he helped found.
Doctor Bartomeu Robert died on April 10th, 1902, as a result of a heart attack.
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Doctor Bartomeu Robert Monument
Between the years of 1904 and 1910, a monument was built in honor of Doctor Bartomeu Robert. This work of art was originally designed by architect Lluís Domènech I Montaner, but ended up coming to life thanks to sculptor Josep Llimona I Bruguera.
The monument has a thick stone base with three fountains, a series of bronze sculptures that represent farmers, industrial workers and other members of the Catalan society. The statue is topped by a stone bust of Dr. Robert.
The Monument al Doctor Bartomeu Robert i Yarzábal is not only an homage to the doctor, but an allegory to the Catalan people and nationalism.
The monument is located in the center of Plaça de Tetuan. If you would like to go see it, you can use the purple line (L2) of the subway and exit at the stop with the same name as the plaza.