Guifré el Pilós - Wilfred the Hairy

The First Hereditary Count of Barcelona

Guifré el Pilós, who is known in English as Wilfred the Hairy, was the son of Sunifred I and was the twelfth Count of Barcelona to be named by the Franks.

Guifré was born around 840 and from his reign onwards the title of Count of Barcelona became hereditary.

Although his authority depended on the Franks, he was Count of Barcelona, Osona and Girona (878-897), Count of Urgell and Cerdanya (870-897) and Count of Conflent (896-897) and so effectively ruled all of the Catalan territories that had been reconquered from the Moors at the time.

Coincidentally, Guifré el Pilós was invested Count of Barcelona, Osona and Girona on September 11th 878 so September 11th is not just the date of La Diada commemorating the fall of Barcelona to Felipe V's troops but also the establishment of the hereditary line of the House of Barcelona.

The dynasty of the House of Barcelona, founded by Guifré el Pilós, would rule what was to become Catalonia and the Crown of Aragon until the death of Martí the Humane in 1410.

Guifré el Pilós died fighting the Saracens on August 11th 897 and was buried in the Monastery of Santa Maria de Ripoll, where the monks compiled his biography in Gesta Comitum Barchinonensium.

Considered the founder of the Catalan nation, Guifré el Pilós also features in the legend behind the the creation of the Catalan flag, the Senyera.

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