Barcelona…a divided city

I’ve decided to write two separate blogs about today because I can’t reconcile writing about a violent, bloody conflict and on the other hand a wonderful meal. So first, our Spanish Civil War walking tour with Catherine. I wish I had Catherine’s breadth of knowledge and her ability to communicate in an engaging and informative way.

We met up at Placa Catalunya and partly using George Orwell’s book ‘Homage To Catalonia’ as a timeline to events, we visited significant sites in the Barri Gothic, Raval and Las Ramblas which were intertwined in the war. We walked to St Philip Neri Square, where the church was bombed by Italian planes, collapsing the roof and ground floor into the crypt where children were sheltering. When rescuers arrived the planes returned dropping more bombs. Shrapnel holes and chips still mark the walls and you can vividly imagine the carnage.

Round the back of the church we were shown this…

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It reads, ‘Square Of The Unknown Militiaman’. It was covered over with a wooden hoarding when Franco’s troops entered the city and has only been rediscovered fairly recently when the walls were cleaned up. We ended the tour upstairs at ‘La Libertaria’ a bar full of memorabilia and mementos about the war…

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A very rewarding day, enhanced by the enthusiasm and commitment of Catherine. Should you find yourself in Barcelona and are at all interested in history, this is one tour you don’t want to miss…

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