Historical walks through the 20th century Barcelona  



Refugi 307 is an air-raid shelter in the Poble-sec neighbourhood, built by the local people to give protection against bombing by the Francoist aviation and its Italian and German allies, which launched the first air raids in February 1937. Today, the shelter is conserved in perfect condition, and guided tours are organised.

Refugi 307 is one of the largest air raid shelters built in the city during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). It is calculated that more than 1,400 such shelters were excavated. The name refers to the file number received from the Junta de Defensa Passiva (Passive Defence Board) in Barcelona.

The construction of Refugi 307, which dates to 1937 according to the plans, was made possible thanks to the work undertaken by local residents, including children that took part in digging the shelters on finishing their school day. The shelter had capacity for 2,000 people, distributed among 200 metres of tunnels with Catalan vaults, measuring 2.1 metres in height and between 1.5 and 2 metres in width. The walls were largely covered with brick and whitewashed to mitigate the claustrophobic effects of being underground. There were three access doors to facilitate entry from the surrounding streets and to guarantee exit in the event of obstruction at one of the entrances. The access tunnels had a zigzag shape to prevent the devastating effects of explosions. Basic facilities were found in the central area, such as a nurses’ station and a fountain, as well as two toilets and several wooden benches fixed to the walls. Also noteworthy was a generator, used to provide the shelter with lighting during power cuts, a safer system than oil lamps. The walls had numerous information panels with the rules of conduct within the shelter.

Though Refugi 307 was considered one of the safest shelters as it was dug into the Montjuïc hillside, on the night of 17 March 1938, a bomb that fell near the shelter caused the earth to move, demolishing part of the shelter and killing two children.

Refugi 307 was opened to visitors on 1 April 2007 and is run by the Barcelona History Museum (MUHBA) today, which adapted the space to demonstrate the horror of the raids and to publicly acknowledge those that lived under the bombs. For further information, please visit MUHBA's website.

Address: 169, Carrer Nou de la Rambla || Coordinates: (LAT, LONG): 41.371999809, 2.166956946

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