Memoriabcn

Historical walks through the 20th century Barcelona  

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After the military uprising against the Republic on 19 July 1936, a new revolutionary order was imposed in Barcelona. This entailed, amongst other things, the requisition of such buildings as the Hotel Ritz (now Palace Hotel), which was converted into a soup kitchen and war hospital.

The Hotel Ritz, one of Barcelona’s most outstanding luxury establishments, was designed by the architect Eduard Ferrés and built in 1919. In the summer of 1936, following the victory of anti-fascist forces over the military rebellion in Barcelona, a revolutionary movement emerged spontaneously in the city, leading to a change in property rights. Political and union organisations, whose intervention had been crucial in quashing the military uprising, requisitioned several buildings, both civil and religious, converting them to their own purposes. These organisations set up their headquarters in large, central premises, adapting private buildings and establishments, many of them dear to the hearts of the wealthier classes, in order to provide services to the community.

An example of this is the Hotel Ritz (today the Palace Hotel). Taken over by two unions, the National Confederation of Labour (CNT) and the General Union of Workers (UGT), the site was converted into a soup kitchen, Gastronòmic no. 1, and a war hospital. The soup kitchen distributed free meals though, due to the many hungry mouths to be fed, rations were very low. As a hospital, the site attended, in the main, to people injured in the air raid bombings that the city suffered, as well as those wounded at the front. In 1938, however, the Ritz was restored to its original function and provided accommodation for, amongst others, many Republican Government officials installed in Barcelona.

Address: 668, Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes || Coordinates: (LAT, LONG): 41.391390072, 2.171541997

  • Periods:
  • Second Republic
  • Civil War
  • Francoism
  • Transition
Memoriabcn