"Marca Hispanica" - Monument to Catalonia
Location: Spanish-French frontier
Area: 10000 m²
Features: Stone, brick, colored reinforced concrete
Client: South Motorways of France
Author: Manuel Nunez Yanowsky (Taller de Arquitectura)
Date and phase: Project and construction 1973-1975

Marca Hispanica is a monument, an homage to independence of Catalonia, situated nearby a small city of Le Perthus on the Spanish-French frontier. It was built after the project of Manuel Nunez Yanowsky in collaboration with J.A. Goytisolo, R. Bofill, A. Casado, R. Collado (Taller de Arquitectura).

The state of Marca Hispanica was created by Charles the Great, the King of the Franks, as a military buffer zone and  a defensive barrier between the Umayyad Moors of Al-Andalus in Spain and the Frankish Carolingian Empire. Later it transformed into the Principality of Catalonia. Treaty of the Pyrenees between France and Spain has divided Catalonia into two parts. The existing state frontier in the city of Le Perthus follows the highway crossing the Pyrenees through the places of birth of the Catalan state.

The homage to Catalan independence is realized as a pyramid carved into the rock. The pyramid is crowned by a small temple, symbolizing Catalan flag: four red stripes on the yellow-gold background - they are embodied in the form of four spiraling red brick columns supporting the sky.

The side of the pyramid, which looks over the frontier zone (the highway), is represented as a garden with stairs, flower beds, cypress trees and sculptures, settled  in reverse perspective, symbolizing the unity of Catalonia. The monument is made of stone and brick, using traditional brick masonry techniques.