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Every year, for four days in September, locals and tourists flock to one of Barcelona’s biggest events, La Mercè Festival. It got its beginnings in 1687 when Barcelona was suffering from a plague of locusts. In desperation, city officials voted to ask for the assistance of the Virgin of Grace (Mare de Déu de la Mercè). Delivered from the pestilence, the officials named her patroness of Barcelona, and an annual festival has been celebrated in her honor in the city ever since.

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