Where are the most interesting sites to visit from the Spanish Civil War?
Whether you are visiting the ruins of Belchite, the Battle of the Ebro Interpretation Centre or the affecting Refugi 307, the remnants of the Spanish Civil War are important places which many people wish to explore. These monuments and museums not only tell the story of the Spanish Civil War, but give an insight into the lives of the people who experienced this turbulent chapter of Spain's history including its central figures. If you're keen to visit these locations then this list of Spanish Civil War sites will allow you to find out more information as well as the history behind each site.
During the Spanish Civil War, the Alcazar of Toledo was the site of the dramatic Siege of Alcazar, when the Nationalist Colonel José Moscardó Ituarte managed to hold the fort despite fierce attempts by the Republicans and, according to legend, maintained this control despite the kidnap and subsequent shooting of his son. The Siege of Alcazar turned this site into a symbol of Spanish nationalism.
The 115 Days Interpretation Center in Corbera d’Ebre is a museum dedicated to the bloody Battle of the Ebro in the Spanish Civil War. This battle took place between 24th July and 18th November 1938 and was one of the final offensives launched by the Republican forces. Their defeat left Republican military capabilities severely diminished, paving the way for the eventual Nationalist victory.
3. Refugi 307
Refugi 307 (Shelter 307) was one of thousands of bomb shelters built in Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War.
Intended to defend the citizens from the raids instigated by Franco and his army from 13 February 1937 onward, these were built under houses, in metro stations and throughout the city, creating a virtual underworld and involving great cooperation between the people of Barcelona. Comprised of over 400 metres of tunnels and with facilities such as a hospital, Refugi 307 is just one of these shelters and is now open to the public as part of the Barcelona History Museum.
Belchite, near Zaragoza, contains the ruins of a town destroyed in the 1937 Battle of Belchite, during the Spanish Civil War. Left untouched as a symbol of the conflict, Belchite gives a rare glimpse of the intensity and destruction wrought by this terrible war. Today a modern town of the same name sits alongside the ruins and visitors are relatively free to explore the old town’s remains. Among the most prominent structures within Belchite is the eerie Church of San Martin, which seems more like a medieval ruin than a victim of 20th century conflict. Other areas within the old town include the remains of the main street, the Church of San Juan and the Convent of San Agustín.
The Casa-Museo Federico García Lorca, located in the Huerta de San Vicente, is a museum in Granada which is dedicated to the life, writings and cultural activities of the Spanish poet, playwright and prose writer Federico García Lorca. García Lorca wrote some of his most important works, such as ‘Bodas de Sangre’ (Blood Wedding), ‘Yerma’ or ‘Así que pasen cinco años’ (When Five Years Pass), in the house, in which he lived during the days leading up to his detention and assassination by the supporters of the military rebels at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War. García Lorca was targeted by his killers due to his sympathy for the Popular Front government elected in February 1936, his profound commitment to the progressive cultural, social and political project of the Second Republic (1931-1936), and for his open homosexuality. He was detained in killed in August 1936.
The General Archive on the Spanish Civil War in Salamanca holds vital records from this period of Spanish history and about the regime of General Franco. Today, visitors to the General Archive on the Spanish Civil War can also see a display of various photographs, posters and documents. Although it is mostly in Spanish, there are some explanations in other languages.
The Picasso Birthplace Museum in Malaga, Spain, is dedicated not just to the artist’s work, but to giving an insight into his family life. Picasso's work included the seminal Guernica, which was seen as a protest against fascism.
Our list of Spanish Civil War sites and ruins may not be complete. If you know of other places you feel should be added please get in touch via our contact page.