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El Refugi 307

A Civil War bomb shelter

El Refugi 307

After the death of Franco in 1975, the new democratic Spain, weary of 70 years of conflict, poverty and political suppression, embarked on a tacit policy known as the pacto de olvido (the pact of forgetting), and it's only since 2004, with the election of Socialist José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero (whose grandfather was shot dead by the Nationalists) that there have been calls to dig into the past and grant symbolic, moral justice to the victims and families of victims of Franco's regime.

Barcelona, not too surprisingly, was one of the first places to set up a Civil War interpretation centre in one of its best surviving air raid shelters. Including metro tunnels and basements in buildings, there were over a thousand of these in the city after February 1937, when the Nationalists sent out 192 bombing raids over Barcelona. This one, No. 307, located in the district of Poble Sec in the shadow of Montjuïc has some 400m of tunnels, 1.6m wide, and hauntingly evokes what conditions were like for the people sheltering there.

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C/Nou de la Rambla 169

Hours Sunday guided tours at 10.30am, 11.30am and 12.30pm

Adm €4

metro: Paral.lel

Website

+34 93 256 21 00

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Images by: Patian, Creative Commons License