The Supreme Court sentenced the nine Catalan separatist leaders, majority members of the former Catalan government, to prison terms of between nine and 13 years for sedition for their role in a failed 2017 independence bid which included a secession referendum that was banned by Madrid.
The 12 defendants, a lot of them members of the former Catalan government, were put on trial in February for their role in the banned October 1, 2017 referendum and the short-lived independence declaration that followed it.
The main questions are how separatists will react to the verdicts, whether the promise of peaceful protests holds and whether and how the reputation of both Spain and the separatist movement could be affected.
The jailed separatists said via social media that they would carry on their fight.
Spain's government wants to restart talks with the separatists but they say until immunity is granted to those standing trial, they will not participate.
Train tracks were briefly blocked outside Girona, a separatist stronghold about 100 kilometres northeast of Barcelona, rail operator Rodalies said on Twitter.
The longest prison term - 13 years - went to the former deputy leader of the Catalan regional government, Oriol Junqueras.
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Spain's government has said it's ready to take direct control of Catalonia once again if secessionist leaders there break the law.
The ruling is likely to color a national election on November 10, Spain's fourth in four years, and influence the direction taken by the separatist movement.
An opinion poll in July showed 48.3 per cent of Catalans against secession and 44 per cent in favour.
Raul Romeva, the regional government's former head of foreign relations, and Jordi Turull, its former spokesman, were found guilty on the same charges and sentenced to 12 years in jail. How terrible. Now more than ever, we will be you and your families. For the future of our sons and daughters. For democracy. For Europe.
The nine Catalan leaders were jailed for sedition, while another three were convicted of disobedience and not given prison sentences. Because they have judged ideas, they have condemned us.
For many, the situation has brought back memories of tensions in the street in the run-up to the October 2017 referendum which was marred by police violence, and ahead of the short-lived independence declaration that followed on October 27. As a result, the sentencing has triggered protests in Barcelona.