Historical walks through the 20th century Barcelona  



Following the occupation of Barcelona by Francoist forces on 26 January 1939, a harsh repression began against all those that had supported the Republic. Several provisional concentration camps were established in the city, where those detained were grouped whilst their final destination was decided. One of the largest was installed in the pavilions of the Casa de la Caritat in Horta, which operated for over a year.

The extension of the Casa de la Caritat, an association devoted to social assistance in the Raval neighbourhood, was approved in 1928. The project involved the construction of three pavilions for orphan children in the Horta district, but work was halted due to the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939).

When Francoist forces entered Barcelona, the unfinished “Llevant” and “Ponent” (“East” and “West”) pavilions were converted into a concentration camp. Here, thousands of prisoners were crowded together in appalling conditions. The camp, which opened on 10 February 1939 and was surrounded by a barbed-wire fence, also contained interrogation rooms. There were, basically, three types of prisoner: republican soldiers who had either been captured or had surrendered; exiles arrested on their return from France; and those arrested as the result of reports against them or because of their political standing. An estimated 115,000 prisoners passed through the camp during the period it was in operation, most for short periods as, once classified, they were sent to other detention centres or were assigned to forced labour battalions.

The last prisoners left the concentration camp in April 1940 and, from 1942 to 1945, the site housed hostels for the homeless and patients with tuberculosis. Finally, in 1954, thanks to a donation of 40 million pesetas from the Mundet family, the original project for the Casa de la Caritat was completed. Now known as Llars Mundet, the children’s home was officially opened by Franco in 1957. Today, the site houses University of Barcelona facilities.

Address: 171, Passeig de la Vall d'Hebron (Llars Mundet site) || Coordinates: (LAT, LONG): 41.436003479, 2.146785077

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