Looking out onto looming mountain peaks and surrounded by extensive vineyards, Corbera d’Ebra is an idyllic Catalonian town centered around a ruinous history. Built around the slopes of a graceful hill, the heights are occupied only by rubble that once consisted the medieval heart of the village, before it was destroyed nearly 80 years ago.
Perhaps the most decisive battle in determining the outcome of the Spanish Civil War, the Battle of Ebro was certainly the larges and longest battle of the conflict, running from July 25 to November 16 of 1938. A wide-ranging, multi-action offensive that saw the Republican forces try (and disastrously fail) to reunite their divided front, the Battle of Ebro claimed Corbera d’Ebre as one of its many victims.
Burnt, bombed and partially eradicated from the face of the earth, the town’s devastation provided a striking parallel to the Second Spanish Republic, which was likewise demolished only a few months later.
To commemorate the men, women and children who lost their lives during the Battle of Ebro, the Government of Catalonia has maintained the ruins of Corbera d’Ebra’s old town as a memorial. Its eerie emptiness—represented by devastated baroque Church of Sant Pere, the empty windows, the crumbling walls that once stood tall, the caved in wells that once quenched thirst—conduct visitors through a walking tour of a graveyard for many, and a trauma for most.