"Tortosa" Tortosa by BALIK

Tortosa Travel Guide: 24 reviews and 64 photos

Pack your metal detector

Tortosa is much more than just a sleepy town in Southern Catalonia. It is a great jumping off point to dig for recent history. There are large trench systems nearby dating from the Spanish Civil War that are just oozing martial bric-a-brac, live ammunition, and the corpses/body parts of Republican soldiers killed fighting Franco. Actually, the bodies are more than just an oversight - the Franco regime prevented any attempt by relatives to locate Republican soldiers (dead or alive). Spain's lacklustre democracy has done virtually nothing in the last quarter century to put this right.

But looked at another way, this is a great opportunity for tourists to go prospecting for souvernirs. Bones tend to get washed out by heavy rains but finding munition and helmets requires digging and a metal detector. Why go for tacky mementos of "Sunny Spain" when you can take something genuine back that evokes this country's all-too-recent dark past?

The squeamish may prefer to walk through the town and admire the huge and sinfully ugly monument to Spain's Fascist dead (see photo above).

Pros and Cons
  • In a nutshell:War booty for the taking
  • Last visit to Tortosa: Jan 2003
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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