Walk Description

George Orwell arrived in Barcelona as a journalist, but ended up joining the 29th POUM division and fight against Fascism during the Spanish Civil War. This 3-hour walking tour of Barcelona follows in Orwell's footsteps during the 1937 May Revolution, describedin the author's "Homage to Catalonia," and by extension gives visitors a clearer picture of the Spanish Civil War and its impact on Barcelona.

We will spend much of our time on the Ramblas, the main thoroughfare of Barcelona. Here we find the headquarters of the major political parties that engaged the struggle for Spain that presaged World War II. We'll visit old theaters, restaurants, and other famous spots where Orwell encountered the confused internecine struggles between the various anarchist and communist groups in the city that ultimately led to the defeat of the Second Spanish Republic in January 1939.

In addition our time together will afford us other glimpses of the War in the city including evidence of the first mass bombings of civilian targets (“The Barcelona Effect”) and some of the buildings used for such social experiments by the Popular Front as collectivised restaurants and their attempt to change a social system to a more benign and just means of existence. A coffee or hot chocolate and cream can be had in a charming 1930’s café while discussing the War towards the end of the walk.

In the end we'll emerge with a sharper picture of Orwell and the buildings and streets that bear silent witness to the tragic events that took place in Barcelona between 1936 and 1939.

Duration: 3 hours
Category: History
  • Alan_warren_thumb

    Alan Warren

    British born and educated, Alan has now lived permanently in Barcelona for the past three years. His expertise and knowledge on the International Brigades and the Spanish Civil War is sought after by historians and visitors curious to understand this confusing yet fascinating period of Spanish hidden history. As a publisher specializing in books on the International Brigades, he studies the literature, archives, and photographic collections of this period of history, and his research has helped to extensively expand the current corpus of knowledge of the conflict. Television and filmwork also now take an ever-increasing proportion of this enjoyable work.