Historical walks through the 20th century Barcelona  



During the Spanish Civil War, the Elizalde factory in Passeig de Sant Joan, located between Carrer Còrsega and Carrer Rosselló, switched from manufacturing cars and airplane engines to making bombs and engines for the Republican air force. Consequently, factory was the target of Fascist air raids.

Following the outbreak of the Civil War in July 1936, a revolutionary process also began, which changed property relations, with the workers taking over a large number of companies until the end of the war. On 24 October 1936, in order to bring this situation under control, the Catalan Government approved the Decree of Collectivisations and Worker Control. Amongst other measures, the decree ordered the collectivisation of companies with more than one hundred workers, giving smaller enterprises freedom to choose.

In 1937, the Elizalde factory was collectivised, renamed SAF 8 and set to producing aviation bombs and Russian M25 airplane engines. Due to its strategic value, the factory was the frequent objective of fascist bombings. On 13 February 1937, Barcelona suffered the first of 194 bombings it was to suffer during the war, when the Italian cruiser Eugenio di Savoia shelled the city for the first time, killing 18 people. The Dreta de l’Eixample neighbourhood was one of the worst-affected areas and, in Passeig de Sant Joan (then Passeig de Fermí Galán), the Elizalde factory was hit by several shells, though it was not seriously damaged.

After the war, the Elizalde factory continued to make airplane engines. In 1951, the Franco Government ordered its integration into ENMASA, the national aviation engine company, and its transfer to a new site in the Sant Andreu district. The factory in L’Eixample was demolished and, in October 1964, a new residential development opened in Paseo del General Mola, with four blocks and 288 homes built at the initiative of a large banking institution.

Address: 147, Passeig de Sant Joan || Coordinates: (LAT, LONG): 41.400999974, 2.166395573

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