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Biblioteca Popular de la Dona Francesca Bonnemaison (Women's Public Library)
Biblioteca Popular de la Dona Francesca Bonnemaison (Women's Public Library) Review
Barcelona's (and probably the world's) first library originally established exclusively for women, this lovely spot was founded in 1909 as a female sanctuary, evidence of the city's early-20th-century progressive attitudes and tendencies. Over the opulently coffered main reading room, the stained-glass skylight reads "Tota dona val mes quan letra apren" (Any woman's worth more when she learns how to read), the first line of a ballad by the 13th-century Catalan troubadour Severí de Girona. Once Franco's Spain composed of church, army, and oligarchy had restored law and order after the Spanish civil war, the center was taken over by Spain's one legal political party, the Falange, and women's activities were reoriented toward more domestic pursuits such as sewing and cooking. Today the library complex includes a small theater and offers a lively program of theatrical and cultural events.
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