Sunday, February 2, 2014

Exhibit highlights civil war bombing in Catalunya

Our morning started off like most days with a cortado -- espresso with a drop of milk -- at the Nautica. We had admired the home-made empanadas, pastry around a filling, sitting on the counter. We usually see empanadas made with tuna or sometimes with vegetable but never Serrano ham and cheese. Of course we asked about them and the next thing we knew, we had one tuna and one ham and cheese to accompany our coffee. You may think of this as unusual but the Spanish eat breakfast at around 11, which usually consists of sandwiches. These empanadas were delicious and very filling. The ladies at the Nautica love trying new recipes on us. Of course we reciprocate by loving the food and praising it.

Now it was time to visit the new Civil War exhibit in the ballroom. This is very significant to the people of the Port since it was 75 years ago on February 22 that El Port de la Selva was bombed by an Italian plane killing one person and injuring three others. Sixteen homes were totally demolished and another fifty damaged. The Port was bombed because it was a deep water port, and therefore a potential supply point for the Republicans, loyal to the Spanish government. Cataluyna was the last bastion for the Republicans but suffered severely with bombing from Barcelona to nearby Figueres. An unexploded bomb was found in the water just off a local swimming beach this past summer. A naval bomb disposal unit had to be called in to destroy it. 

There was a very interesting film accompanying the exhibit, where a local lady who had survived the bombing was talking about it and the times back then. Unfortunately, she was speaking in Catalan. From the documents on display we could see that five villagers had been killed during one bombing raid and it appears that a militia unit killed five supporters of the Nationalist cause in reprisal two days later. We know that there was an army encampment just down the street from us.

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