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Spanish Civil War - any suggestions on great tours in Barcelona?

We are looking for a very knowledgeable tour guide who focuses on the Spanish Civil War in Barcelona. Any suggestions?

My son is a history major and is already familiar with the topic so an introductory tour might not be enough for him.

Thanks for your help!

Posted by
18896 posts

I took a Civil War tour with this company in 2017: https://iberianature.com/barcelona/history-of-barcelona/spanish-civil-war-tour-in-barcelona/. The tour was conducted by an associate of Nick Lloyd's; I don't remember her name, but I believe she was graduate student of history. I (not an expert) thought the tour was quite good. However, your son should understand that (per our guide) there really wasn't a great deal of Civil War action in the city of Barcelona. The tour is as much an information-sharing exercise as it is an opportunity to see where things happened. At the time I took the tour, the company was disclosing this fact to potential customers via email.

I see that private tours can be arranged. That might be a good fit for your family.

Posted by
5 posts

Interesting @acraven, I did not know that (unlike my son I am completely ignorant about the Spanish Civil War!). Maybe I need to look at other cities in Spain? Something to consider...

Thanks for the link to the tours!

Posted by
3217 posts

A couple other places to consider. The monument at the Valley of the Fallen was built with civil war era slave labor but is a monument to everybody who died in it. A place I recently heard of is the Antiguo Penal de Bustarviejo north of Madrid. It was a Civil war era penal colony for railroad workers. 1.25 miles from Bustarviejo. You’d need a car to get to it. Years ago, the military museum in Toledo’s Alcázar had an exhibit on how those civilians in Toledo that lived during the war, had to live. The fight there lasted a couple months. You can search on “siege of the Alcázar”. While many who think of the civil war only think of the combatants, it affected everybody and all aspects of society.

Posted by
292 posts

You might try Belchite. It is in Aragon, near about 40kms from Zaragoza.

It was on the front lines of the Battle of Ebro. From wiki:

Between August 24 and September 7, 1937, loyalist Spanish Republican and rebel General Franco's forces in the Spanish Civil War fought the Battle of Belchite in and around the town. After 1939 a new village of Belchite was built adjacent to the ruins of the old, which remain a ghost town as a memorial to the war.

This is the Belchite tourism page, and the Aragon page.
There are guided tours of the battlefield.

Posted by
5 posts

Wonderful suggestions - thank you both so much! We will have a car so this opens up new possibilities for the trip.

Posted by
2212 posts

Agree with others above, you won't find much in the way of Civil War sites in Barcelona.

Alternatively, the Aragon region was a pivotal battleground during much of the Civil War. The capital of the region, Zaragoza (3 hours drive west of Barcelona) is a good base for a few days just to explore the city itself and then make daytrips out to Civil War sites like Belchite. There is a Spanish Civil War Interpretation Centre just north of Zaragoza, in the village of Robres.

Since you will have a car, you may find interesting to actually follow the George Orwell route in the Aragon region. On the route you will find the very places that inspired his book Homage to Catalonia, like Monte Iranzo battleground, Tres Huegas bunkers, and the Santa Quiteria Hermitage.

You can read more about the route here: https://www.spain.info/en/discover-spain/george-orwell-route-aragon/

Posted by
73 posts

There is one Civil War related sight that I know of in Barcelona. The fort on top of Montjuic was a prison where political prisoners were held. You can see the cells where various prominent persons were held.

Posted by
5 posts

Thanks, Carlos! I am sending all of these suggestions to my son so he can peruse.