Refugi 307 - History and Facts | History Hit

Refugi 307

Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

Refugi 307 was one of thousands of bomb shelters built in Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War.

Image Credit: CC / Farisori

About Refugi 307

Refugi 307 (Shelter 307) was one of thousands of bomb shelters built in Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War. Today, it is one of the interpretation centres of the Museu d’Historia de la Ciutat.

History of Refugi 307

During the Spanish Civil War, Barcelona was the most heavily bombed by Franco’s air forces. The first of 192 bombing raids was on 13 February 1937. The Passive Defence Board was set up in response as a means of trying to save local residents’ lives during what they predicted was going to be a very bloody war.

The first shelters were built under houses and in metro stations. As bombing intensified, more were built throughout the city, creating a virtual underworld of more than a thousand shelters and involving a great deal of cooperation between the people of Barcelona.

Comprised of over 400 metres of tunnels of 2 metres high and 1.6 metres tall and with facilities such as a hospital, infirmary, a drinking fountain, and toilets, Refugi 307 was was dug under a fold of northern Montjuïc by local citizens from 1937 to 1939.

Over these two years, the web of tunnels was slowly extended, creating the capacity to hold 2000 people.

Sleeping overnight in the shelter was forbidden, as work needed to be carried out when raids were not happening. The tunnels were narrow and winding, and were coated in lime to seal out humidity and whitewashed to relieve the sense of claustrophobia.

After the civil war ended, Franco extended the ‘refugi’ network while considering entering The Second World War on Hitler’s side. After he decided against joining the war, many shelters – including 307 – were abandoned, with the subsequent years of famine and rationing in the 1940s and 1950s meaning that many families from Granada took up residence in them.

Refugi 307 Today

Today, visitors can tour Refugi 307 as just one of the shelters and is now open to the public as part of the Barcelona History Museum. to understand how Barcelona’s citizens lived during the conflict. Tours are compulsory and reserving a place is essential. They run on a Sunday only and are in English at 10.30am, Spanish at 11.30am, and Catalan at 12.30pm.

Getting to Refugi 307

From the centre of Barcelona, Refugi 307 is a 25 minute walk via Carrer Nou de la Rambla. There’s also a regular bus and metro network which takes between 15 and 25 minutes to reach the site. By car, the site is a 15 minute drive via Carrer de Sepúlveda, though parking might prove somewhat tricky at the other end during peak times.

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