Keywords: Anticlericalism; Iconoclasm; Spanish History; Anarchism; Republicanism; Political and Social Violence.
This article examines the elements of iconoclasm during the so-called Tragic Week of Barcelona. During the last week of July 1909, a violent uprising generated in the Catalan city as a consequence of a general strike. The Spanish church was the target of the mass violence: around eighty places of worship were assaulted and burnt all around the town. This paper seeks to understand the reasons for such violence. The article is divided into two parts. The first one deals with the iconoclasm practices during the Tragic Week. It uses contemporary sources and testimonies to explore the events. The second part examines the origins of this violence dealing with the most recent Spanish historiography. Specifically, it focuses on how anticlerical discourses and actions in Spain from the late ninetieth- century onwards became part of a broad radical culture, especially in Barcelona.