for the Spain they believed to be better
An invitation to recover historical memory in Spain
in Barcelona: El Fossar de la Pedrera
El Fossar de la Pedrera (the Grave of the Quarry) lies in a hidden corner of Montjuic cemetery. According to Nick Lloyd, an English guide with great expertise in the historical memory of Barcelona, it was used as a common grave for 4,000 people executed by the Franco regime, particularly during the 1940s. The entrance to the space consists of half a dozen stone pillars, each engraved with the names of the victims who were dumped in the mass graves here.
Contrary to popular belief only four people were actually shot on Montjuic. In most cases, condemned prisoners were sent out in trucks in the early morning from Barcelona’s prisons including Montjuic Castle to the Camp de la Bota (today’s Forum), the Franco regime’s execution ground. Their bodies were then brought back and dumped in the Fossar de la Pedrera. One of the few to be shot at the castle was Lluis Companys, the last president of the Generalitat de Catalunya during the Civil War, was killed in 1940. His remains were moved here in 1985, and the space was dignified as a memorial garden.
There are also a number of other graves and tributes to foreign and Spanish Republicans of different shades, and a tribute to the Holocaust, with small pillars bearing the names of the camps, piled with small stones, as is the Jewish custom. Among them is Mauthausen, the camp where thousands of Spaniards died. Dotted among the “political” graves and tributes at the back of the quarry are sad crosses to unbaptised children, who were not allowed burial in the main cemetery, a reminder of Catholic practice in Barcelona under Franco.
A new monument was placed here in 2011 by the CNT to the social revolution and the victims of fascism which took place in Barcelona in 1936.
These photos were taken in November 2016.