When, during the Civil War, the people of Barcelona had to face the new phenomenon of aerial bombardments, they built numerous underground shelters to protect themselves. Refugi 307 in Poble-sec, one of the biggest, is today an interpretation centre for the history and memories. Part of the Museu d’Història de Barcelona, it also offers guided tours.
During the Spanish Civil War, Barcelona was the first city to be systematically bombed from the air. The city's people set up the Passive Defence Council, which built a great number of air-raid shelters around Barcelona to protect themselves. There is evidence of almost 1,300 bomb shelters, and that of Poble-sec was among the largest, able to hold around 2000 people.
Built by the local residents themselves, Refugi 307 takes advantage of the topography and the slope of Montjuïc, where it is located, which enables it to have a street-level entrance at the end of Carrer Nou de la Rambla. Inside, it opens up into a network of almost 400 m of tunnels, which have electricity, a toilet, kitchen, seating and a play area for the little ones, as well as a small nursing station that could tend to the injured.
As a historical location testifying to the difficulties of that era, today Refugi 307 is managed by the Museu d’Història de Barcelona (MUHBA). A guided tour allows you to walk through the tunnels and see the elements that still remain from those times, like posters stuck on the wall specifying some surprising rules for coexistence, such as forbidding you to talk about politics and religion or foster pessimism. A real legacy of the atrocities of war.