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Franco in Barcelona

12th August 2015

Here’s a photo of the dictator, Generalísimo Franco, the self-proclaimed Caudillo, accompanied by the then mayor of Barcelona, the notorious, Porcioles.

The photo was taken on June 16th, 1970, during Franco’s final visit to the city, five years and five months before his long and drawn out demise.

Franco’s aides ordered medical staff to keep the comatose, El Caudillo ‘alive’ until November 20th — the exact same date as the deaths of both José Antonio Primo de Rivera, son of a previous dictator and founder of the Falange, and Buenaventura Durruti, the very popular anarchist militant. But that’s another story for another day.

Where was the photo taken?

If you’re a local, or frequent visitor, you’ll likely recognise the location.

Here’s another clue:


If we step back just a little you’ll certainly get the picture:


Yes, the photo was taken immediately after Franco’s obligatory visit to the Cathedral.

El Memorial Democràtic

The near life-sized photo, mounted on a plinth, was part of an impressive installation and exhibition project, Repressió i Resistència, curated and organised by El Memorial Democràtic in 2010.

El Memorial Democràtic was established to:

…recover, commemorate and publicise Catalonia’s democratic memory (1931-1980) – specifically, relating to the Second Republic, the Republican Generalitat, the Civil War and to victims on account of their ideological, religious or social conscientious choices, as well as the repression of individuals and groups by Franco’s dictatorship (including the Catalan language and culture), exile and deportation. It also remembers the anti-Franco struggle and the transition to democracy up until the first elections to the Parliament of Catalonia.

August 2015:

It is sobering to have in mind that according to laws passed by the current government of Spain, such photographs as used above, if taken today, nearly 40 years after Franco’s death, could be deemed illegal. Both the photographer, and I, the website owner, could each be liable for a fine of up to 600,000€.

Enjoy exploring Barcelona’s history   

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