Now Barcelona has had a turbulent history. From Roman times, Spanish Armadas, civil wars and the like it's no surprise that there are many stories hidden beneath the city streets of today. A wander in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona's Old Town will take you to the City History Museum, where you can literally be transported thousands of years to the past with a Roman village beneath the streets.
Montjuic Mountain also has many stories hidden in its rock. During the civil war the castle was used as a prison, and locals will tell you how many people were imprisoned simply for speaking the Catalan language. The elder generation have more vivid memories of these times and for many, a simple thing like taking the subway can bring back terrible memories. Underground tunnels with the alien sounds of oncoming trains and clackety-clack of rail-lines are too close to the fear that these children felt so many years ago when they huddled in underground tunnels and sewers, taking shelter from the danger overhead. There were many such shelters built during the civil war, some say as many as one thousand, but one has remained in excellent condition. Welcome to Refugio 307.
Cut deep into the city's bowels in between the old town and Montjüic, in the neighbohood known as Poble Sec lies a myriad of tunnels over 200 metres which included children's area, a medical station and many individual rooms. The indiscriminate bombings the city suffered at the time are brought sharply back to focus with this excellent example of the fight for survival that the local people must have had to confront at the time.
Refugio 307 can be visited for a guided tour (only Spanish and Catalan) daily at the cost of 3 Euros and is located very centrally on Carrer Nou de la Rambla, 169. Metro stop Parallel (exit funicular exit).
This is a guest post from Paul Jones who writes about Barcelona Raval apartments and Budget Barcelona apartments.