Catalonia ready to remember terror attacks one year on

Some political controversy precedes events to commemorate several incidents which killed 16 people


Some flowers and candles left in La Rambla on August 16, 2018 (by Aina Martí)
Some flowers and candles left in La Rambla on August 16, 2018 (by Aina Martí) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

August 16, 2018 05:59 PM

Terror struck Barcelona, Cambrils and the whole of Catalonia exactly one year ago, on August 17 and 18, 2017, while half of the country was on holiday.

Catalonia had never suffered a deadly jihadist incident before, but 12 months ago 16 people were killed, most on one of Barcelona’s crown jewels, La Rambla, the city’s most famous boulevard.

Now the authorities and the public are getting ready to remember those events, not only in the Catalan capital, but in several towns affected by the attacks in one way or another.

Spontaneous tributes start

On Thursday morning some members of the public already began leaving flowers and candles in Pla de l'Os, a part of La Rambla decorated by a mosaic by Catalan artist Joan Miró. This is the spot that spontaneously filled with objects to remember the victims in the hours after the attacks.

Barcelona will host the central remembrance event on Friday at 10.30am in Plaça Catalunya. Including some music but no institutional speeches, the event will focus on the victims, under the motto "Barcelona, city of peace." Around 900 media professionals from 150 media and 29 countries have been accredited to cover the tribute.

The event will be preceded by a floral tribute at 10am at Pla de l'Os on La Rambla. This is where the van driven by Younes Abouyaaqoub stopped after having run over dozens of people one year ago. The terrorist fled the crime scene, stabbed a man to death during his escape, and hid until he was found and shot dead by the police on August 21.  

Cambrils, Ripoll and Alcanar also protagonists

Also at 10.30am on Saturday, another tribute will take place in Cambrils, in southern Catalonia, where in the early hours of August 18, 2017 a second related terrorist attack left one victim dead.

Meanwhile, on Thursday at 5pm, an association representing Catalan terror victims was due to hold an event to pay tribute to the victims of La Rambla attack.

Also on Thursday evening, Ripoll, in northern Catalonia, will host some activities and speeches. This is the town where most of the alleged terrorist cell members lived, and where the supposed mastermind of the attacks, Abdelbaki es-Satty, worked as an imam. The Catalan president Quim Torra will attend the events.