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Solsona restores its first baptismal book, that dates back to 1565

In 1545 the Catholic Church in Catalonia ordered the keeping of register of all the baptisms and deaths in local parishes. This way, the Church was the pioneer in the register of persons, since the current civil registry was not established until years later. Only a few cities still preserve all the baptismal books, and Solsona, in Lleida, is one of them. The city even keeps the first baptismal book of its history,  that dates back to 1565. The Center for the Restoration of movable cultural heritage of Catalonia has spent 6 months on its restoration and has reproduced it in a copy that everyone from Solsona will be able to access.

08 May 2017 01:36 PM

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ACN / Estefania Escolà/ Andrea Llovera

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Solsona (ACN).- In 1545 the Catholic Church in Catalonia ordered the keeping of register of all the baptisms and deaths in local parishes. This way, the Church was the pioneer in the register of persons, since the current civil registry was not established until years later. Only a few cities still preserve all the baptismal books, and Solsona, in Lleida, is one of them. The city even keeps the first baptismal book of its history,  that dates back to 1565. The Center for the Restoration of movable cultural heritage of Catalonia has spent 6 months on its restoration and has reproduced it in a copy that everyone from Solsona will be able to access.


Despite wars and conflicts, the baptismal books of Solsona have always been kept in the city church and in the Diocesan Archives of Solsona, that keeps all the files for more than a century. Nowadays it holds 49 books, full of names, birth dates and family bonds of generations.

The Center for the Restoration of movable cultural heritage of Catalonia has spent 6 months on its restoration and has reproduced it in a copy that everyone from Solsona will be able to access. This way they can preserve the original text and allow citizens from Solsona to create their family tree “disposing of all the information since 1565”, as the director of the Diocesan Archives of Solsona, priest Enric Bartrina, told CNA.

An enormous historical value

Bartrina thinks that the result of the restoration is “excellent”. As an example, the information gathered in the book was helpful to discern the origins of the painter Francesc Ribalta. Experts doubted if he was from Catalonia, València or Madrid. Finally, his birth certificate, which was in the restored book, proved that he was born in Solsona, Catalonia.

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  • baptismal_book

  • Close-up of Solsona's baptismal book, which ates back to 1565 (by ACN)

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