On 13th February 1937, Barcelona was subjected to the first of the 192 bombing raids by Franco’s rebel army. This attack made the civilian population the unwitting protagonists of the war. In Catalonia, the Passive Defence Board was set up in order to tackle the situation and save the lives of the local residents. The first shelters were set up in the basements of houses and in metro stations. However, as the bombings intensified, people joined together to build air-raid shelters.
More than a thousand were built during the war, and among them was Refugi 307, (shelter number 307) this refuge consists of 400 metres of tunnel measuring 1.6 metres wide and 2 metres high. During the visit, you can discover what the living conditions were like within its walls and see the different rooms, including the toilets, a drinking fountain and an infirmary. The shelter stands at number 169, in the Poble Sec district, and bears silent witness to the cruelty of war.
Refugi 307 IS NOT wheelchair accessible due to the layout of the space. The scant lighting makes a sign language tour unviable and the shelter isn’t adapted for deaf or hearing-impaired visitors. Although the shelter isn’t adapted for blind or visually impaired visitors, the guided tours are very descriptive making them highly recommended for this group of people.
Apologies for the video presented as it’s mostly an interview (and not in English!) nonetheless you can catch glimpses of the site throughout the video. Note this is NOT a tourist attraction -as neither most off-the-beaten path proposals in this website- but something for those looking out for “non-touristy” stuff to do/to see while visiting Barcelona.
Video: © P0NTXE