Calella is well known for its beaches, bars and mass tourism. Most tourists, however, would probably never even try to find the hidden gem just a few blocks from the golden sands.
Just along from the Tourist Information Office on the main NII road running through the town is the entrance to Parc Dalmau. To be honest, it doesn’t look anything special from the road but wander past the tile laden walls and look for children’s play area with a dinosaur in it. Yes, that’s right, a dinosaur! That’s where you will find the entrance to an air raid shelter from the Spanish Civil War.
At the moment it is open at weekends from 1000-1400 and the entrance fee is just ONE Euro. Inside you can relive the horror of life in the shelter thanks to the dim lighting and audio soundtrack. All of the displays are written in Spanish, Catalan, French and even in ENGLISH! It’s quite a haunting place made more so by the video playing through the bars at the far end. Surviviors of the war recount their stories of what is was like to live in Calella. They are speaking in Catalan but it is subtitled in English. It’s not going to be a lengthy visit but it is certainly worth the effort of finding it. Afterwards take a wander through the pines to clear your mind of the horrors of war.
December 9, 2014 @ 7:56 pm
I’ve been to Calella many times, but I’ve never seen that. Thanks Russ – it’s on the list for our next visit to Catalunya.
December 10, 2014 @ 10:20 am
It’s only a small place but well worth the visit. I’ll be posting something else about Calella’s hidden history soon.