God, Homeland, Furs (a set of laws specific to an identified class or state) and King. This was the Carlists’ motto, a political movement which rebelled up to three times against the Spanish political system, during the 19th century. Along this route, we will visit some spots in La Garrotxa which played an important role in the Third Carlist War (1872-1876). Marià Vayreda (Olot, 1853 – Barcelona, 1903) will also accompany us, since he not only lived this part of history in person, but also managed to tell the events some years later. Apart from being a painter, like his brother Joaquim Vayreda (Girona, 1843 – Olot, 1894), Marià Vayreda was one of the greatest Catalan narrators of that time. In his novel Records de la darrera carlinada (Memories of the Last Carlist War), he tells us about his experience in the war from a very personal and unique point of view: the one of a young boy who joined the army looking for adventures and defending his ideals. The roots of the conflict can be found in the ideological, economic and political conflict the Carlists had with the central government, and mainly with the modernity, progress and liberal politics implemented by the State during the 19th century. In fact, thirty years before the start of the Third Carlist War, The Second Carlist War had taken place. It is precisely in this second war where Marià Vayreda’s novel La Punyalada (The Stab) was inspired. Back in 1872, at the start of the conflict, the Carlists won several victories, assaulting and taking several towns such as Castellfollit de la Roca or Santa Pau. In fact, it was precisely in Santa Pau where, in June 1872, a small group of Carlists took the town and, as a way to prove its victory, they cut the tree of Liberty, planted by the Liberals. However, this wasn’t enough, because, using the wood of the tree, they built a cross, considered to be a Christian symbol. This is just an example of the strong ideological baggage this war had. In Sallent de Santa Pau there was mas Can Batlle, a farmhouse owned by a Carlist, which was turned into a shelter place to give support to the Carlists who were travelling through the comarca. Among other people, Alfons Carles, who was the brother of the Carlist pretender to the throne, Carles VII and his wife, Maria de les Neus Bragança. Alfons Carles had come to La Garrotxa with the purpose of ending the conflict between the Catalan Carlists, unifying the groups and building something similar to an army. However, the mission started badly, since one of the soldiers in charge, General Francesc Savalls, did not meet him in the border and, so, some days went by until they finally met. Finally, although they both were angry, they had a meeting in Santa Maria de Finestres hermitage. Alfons Carles was annoyed because Savalls had not met him in the border, while Savalls did not understand why the General from Navarre named Larramendi had been chosen, instead of him, to be the first Carlist chief of Catalonia. Although they were both on the same side, they had different interests; one was fighting to defend Catalonia whilst the other was fighting to defend the central power. Savalls came from a rural world and had taken part in the war in the mountains, whilst Alfons Carles enjoyed the comfort of the palaces in central Europe. The gallons, the blood and the promises of the aristocrat, did not succeed in forcing Savalls to accept Larramendi as the chief since, among other things, he was well aware the rest of the soldiers would follow him. Eventually, he managed to formally become the chief. As months went by, the comarca of La Garrotxa kept being one of the epicentres of the war in Catalonia. One of the most dramatic episodes took place in August 1873. On the 20th day the Carlist army attacked the town of Tortellà, famous for its liberalist character and its opposition against the Carlists. In fact, Savalls and his soldiers wanted to punish Tortellà for its public support to the Liberals. The Carlists assaulted the town and most of the inhabitants had to run away into the mountain. However, a group of 42 people, named “Volunteers for Liberty”, fought the attack and remained inside the church. The Carlists tried to assault the church but the volunteers resisted until August the 23rd, while waiting for help. First, a small liberal army arrived from Olot, although they were defeated by the Carlists. Later, 400 men arrived from Girona and succeeded in fighting the Carlists. Still today, this battle is commemorated as an important part of the history of the town. The day after, the 24th of August 1874, another battle took place near Tortellà, in the path that goes down to Argelaguer. We can experience this battle first hand by reading the chapter La Barreja from Vayreda’s book. The author depicts the battle and emphasizes the difficulty the cavalry had in a territory full of slopes and hills. There is also a scene in which Vayreda is asked to end the life of an enemy and, although trying hard, he is not able to do it. However, his act of courage, grants him a promotion in the hierarchy of the Carlist army. In 1874 the war had been going on for two years. During this period, the Carlists had accomplished few victories in Catalonia and even less in Spain. Thus, they had not managed to conquer many territories or important cities. However, they had taken most of the comarca of La Garrotxa, except for Olot, a city which they had laid siege to. It is precisely in this context in which the battle of Toix took place, one of the most decisive events of the war. The Liberals from Girona arrived in Olot to free it from the siege of the Carlists. They were commanded by General Nouvilas, a Republican from L’Empordà, who was also Captain General of Catalonia, appointed by Pi i Maragall, the President of the Republic. Meanwhile, the Carlists, under the orders of General Savalls, gained strength in Castellfollit de la Roca, so as to stop the Liberal soldiers coming from Girona. In the morning of the 14th of April 1874, the Liberal troops diverted to Tortellà and Plansalloses so as to sneak up on the Carlists, who expected them to come from the river. However, the legend says that the Carlists realized their strategy because of the reflection of the sun on their shotguns. Therefore, when the Liberals reached their destination the Carlists were prepared and waiting for them. They had fallen into their trap and so the Carlists obtained one of their most important victories. The booty consisted in 150 horses, 2,000 firearms and 1,800 prisoners. Only two days after the battle of Toix, on the 16th of April 1874, Olot surrendered. Savalls climbed to the balcony of the Solà-Morales house and reclaimed the furs of Catalonia. His victory speech ended with the following words: “Break ranks and start to engender Carlists”. Such an announcement can give us a vague idea of the parties held by the Carlists when conquering a town. Vayreda tells that the night Carlists had reached a town both the Carlists and the inhabitants had a lot of fun. However, these facts contrast with the alleged Catholic and conservative ways of the Carlist movement. The Carlists controlled Olot for nearly a year, although the end of the war was predictable, since the Carlists were having very few victories. Olot finally fell back onto the control of the Liberal government on the 18th of March 1875, when the Carlists, in front of a superior army had to go away and hide in the mountain. During the year in which the Carlists occupied this territory a conservative newspaper called “El Iris. Periódico Católico Monárquico” came out every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. In it we can find the political and military proclamations of the Carlists. Another war consequence was the construction of Sant Francesc towers on the crater of the Montsacopa. These towers were used to defend the city during the sieges of the Carlists. This is the reason why, instead of being orientated to the city such as Sant Francesc chapel, they face the north. The towers were built right after the Carlists had run away in case there was another war. The walls surrounding Olot were also of vital importance, although they were later demolished to allow the expansion of the city. However, a small part of them can still be found in Pintor Domenge Street, going down to the Montsacopa. On the 26th of March 1875, in La Corda lodging house, near Riudaura, General Savalls had a meeting with General Martínez Campos and, without explicitly recognizing the King Alfons XII as the legitimate King of Spain, he accepted a truce. This is how the Tird Carlist War came to an end in La Garrotxa. However, the Carlists were still killed by shooting during some time after the end of the war. Marià Vayreda managed to go away shortly before. He narrates it in the chapter called Calvari in which we can read about his personal situation: “Consumed by the fever, I was laying on some straw, hard as a rock, and I had almost lost consciousness. On my left hand I had a hole similar to the one Jesus Christ had.”With a severely injured hand, he wanted to reach the hospital of Besora, in the mountains of Vidrà. Thus, he had to cross three rivers in three days: the rivers Cardener, Llobegat and Ter. Feeling ill and with no help he finally got to Vidrà. The desolation he found there pushed him to go to France. At the age of 23 he started a new life as a painter apprentice and, shortly after, he came back to Barcelona and Olot where he painted and wrote. His story can perfectly be a metaphor of the country, worn by so many wars, which went back to its routine to face the ending of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th.