The Spanish Civil War Tour

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Basic Information
Total time
2 hours
Meeting point
Plaza Catalunya just in front of the white statue fountain with a WHITE umbrella of Nostos ToursGo to map

Standing today in the bustling Plaça de Catalunya, watching tourists from all around the world pass by, it is quite hard to imagine that this was just the place where on July 19th, 1936 the first shots were fired in what was to become the Spanish Civil War.

On one side were the Nationalists, supported by conservative elements, the military, land owners, and the Catholic Church supported by fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. On the other side were the Republicans, workers, peasants, and supporters of progressive, secular, and democratic government, along with anarchists and communists supported by the Soviet Union and international volunteers, including the famous International Brigades. It began with a failed military coup against the Spanish Republic, led by a group of nationalist under General Francisco Franco. The spiral of violence wound up quickly, marking the war by widespread violence and atrocities on both sides, with the bombing of Guernica in 1937 by German and Italian air forces being one of the most notorious incidents. The war ended in 1939. Franco entered the capital and declared victory. His dictatorship lasted until 1975, the year of his death. Hundreds of thousands of Spaniards fled to refugee camps in southern France. Those associated with the losing Republicans who stayed were persecuted and murdered. 

The war was not only a pivotal event in Spanish history, dividing the country both geographically and ideologically, but had significant international implications, influencing global politics in the lead-up to World War II. It also mobilized many artists and intellectuals to take up arms. Among the most notable artistic responses were George Orwell’s memoir Homage to Catalonia (1938) and Pablo Picasso’s painting Guernica (1937). The echoes of the war are also heard in The Clash’s song “Spanish Bomb” (1979).

Join our tour and learn why Barcelona was once known as the most explosive and revolutionary city in Europe! Get to know how and why the war began, who the fighting groups were and how was to live under Franco’s dictatorship. Our guides will explain how both the war and the dictatorship finally ended and make you understand the important role of the women before, during and after the war. Join us to understand the war that had grave implications not only on Spain, but the world at large!

During the tour you will see:

  • the very few remaining damages from battles and bombings in Barcelona

  • the parts of the Old Town where most of the battles took place

  • places from the George Orwell’s novel “Homage to Catalonia”

  • and much much more…


Meeting Point
Plaza Catalunya just in front of the white statue fountain with a WHITE umbrella of Nostos Tours

Booking is obligatory. Our pay as you wish tours are designed for individual travellers and small groups. We don’t accept parties of more than 6 people on them. If you travel in a party of 7 or more (school groups, bigger groups of friends etc.), please choose a paid option, if it's available, or book a Private Tour. For more information on the latter, please contact us.

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This tour is also available as
a Private Tour.

Private tour