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(en) Britain, AFED Organise! #81 - Spanish Civil War Tour, Barcelona -- Three Hours for €20/€10 (U15s)/Free (U11s)

Date Fri, 06 Jun 2014 19:35:20 +0300

I really don’t want to spoil anything, however this three-hour winding route through the heart of Barcelona at the time of the revolution is an absolute must. The tour begins in the (usually) sun-drenched Playa de Catalonia. This large circular plaza is both the heart of the city and was site where the CNT led defence of Barcelona was victorious, and thus the point from which the revolutionary Catalan defence rippled out from. It also acts to set the scene of the forces at play with the Communist Party HQ to one side, and the telephone exchange that was key to the CNT on the other. ---- The tour then walks down the famous tourist thoroughfare of La Ramblas before winding through the narrow streets and alleyways of the gothic city. Use of George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia along with the photography, artwork and music of the time helped to give a vibrancy and relevance to the whole experience while Nick Lloyd, a Londoner who has lived in Barcelona for many years now, acted as the perfect tour guide who’s wealth of knowledge is evident.

The tour comes to an end almost
where it began, but with the flow of
events having already turned sour for
the revolution and an overview of the
fascist victory and what it has meant
for Catalan and Spanish culture as
a whole being touched upon before
a more up-beat Q&A session over a
light lunch in La Libertaria bar.

The flow of the tour mirrored the
flow of events during the revolution,
letting the facts and events speak for
themselves. You start in the bright
sun and the warmth of revolution,
move through the winding paths
of war and uncertainty, then at the
harsh acts of counter-revolution,
before being able to reflect upon the
lessons of the city’s past and look
towards a better tomorrow.

Be aware Barcelona is hot, so take
water and snacks, and not all loca-
tions are wheelchair accessible.
Though I didn’t have time, there is a
six hour version of the tour that takes
in more locations and has a deeper
look at the cultural echoes of the civil
war still heard in the city today.
I can’t recommend going on this tour
enough. The guide is vibrant and
knowledgeable, shining a new light
on popular city locations and makes
use of superb handouts, photos and
music to set the mood. The Q&A at
a CNT run bar surround by period
photos and art is an amazing way to
end the experience.

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