Historical walks through the 20th century Barcelona  

Gòtic & Raval


Drassanes Artillery Park -former shipyard- was one of the last places where rebel troops were defeated on 19 July 1936, when the uprising that led to the Spanish Civil War began. The fighting here lasted 24 hours.

On the morning of 19 July 1936, with the rebel army occupying the streets, several non-commissioned officers in the garrison at Drassanes artillery park, members of the National Confederation of Labour (CNT), disobeyed the order to rise against the Republic and attempted to take control of the barracks from inside. They allowed a group of anarchists in the building and seized machine guns, rifles and grenades. This forced the rebel officers and soldiers to take refuge in another part of the barracks. The confiscated weapons, handed out to those loyal to the Republic, was most useful in the siege of Military Facilities and Les Drassanes, which was the last rebel stronghold to surrender.

Whilst the Drassanes barracks was receiving support from Military Facilities (which occupied what is now the Military Government building) and from machine guns emplaced around the monument to Columbus, it was extremely difficult for Republican fighters to take the site. During the night of July 19, the anarchists advanced their positions and built barricades outside the barracks from which they launched the final attack on Les Drassanes the next morning.

That morning, of June 20, a group of assault guards reached the rear gates of the building and began the attack, which was repelled by a machine gun, causing a score of deaths amongst both troops and ordinary citizens. Suddenly, the attackers began to receive support from forces that had just managed to take control over Military Facilities. Lieutenant Josep M. Colubí, who was leading the forces in the barracks, agreed to surrender on condition that he and his soldiers were handed over to the forces of public order. However, the attackers did not fulfil the agreement and killed Colubí along with several other men in revenge for the death, during the assault on the barracks, of Francisco Ascaso, CNT-FAI anarcho-syndicalist leader, before the forces of public order were unable to bring the situation under control.

After the war, part of the barracks was demolished. Since 1941 the building of the former shipyard hosts the Maritime Museum of Barcelona.

Address: Avinguda Drassanes || Coordinates: (LAT, LONG): 41.375955150, 2.175863402

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