The Secrets of Barcelona’s Underground
When in Barcelona, everyone knows that visiting Sagrada Familia, Park Güell or the Market of La Boquería is a must… But did you know that under the narrow streets of Barcelona lies an extraordinary parallel world of labyrinths with caves, medieval tunnels, war shelters and subway ghost stations hiding a number of stories? Do you wanna learn something about the abandoned Gaudí Station or the Refugi 307? Brace yourself, this reading is gonna be spooky!
Ghost Metro Stations
In 1924 the Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB) set out to begin construction of what has become one of the highlights of this city, and something its residents and tourists rely upon heavily: the metro (originally known as the “Gran Metro”). The first line to be put to use went from Lesseps to Plaça Catalunya, which we now know as Line 3.
The city also keeps under its soil some stories of mystery and esotericism linked to the so-called Ghost Stations. There are up to 12 metro stations that for various reasons were never put into service or were closed, of which the most famous are those of Gaudí (L5), Banc (L4), Ferrán (L3), Correos (L4) and Travessera (L3). Some of these stations are still accessible from the outside, and many are linked with mysterious tales.
Photo credit: www.stemaki.com
If you are riding on Line 2 or 5, make sure to take a peek outside your window to catch a glimpse of the Gaudí metro station. Located near the Sagrada Familia, this station was built in 1968 but was never actually opened for use due to changing metro plans. Some passengers claim to have seen mysterious ghost people on this platform awaiting a train, and some even claim to see the figure of Antoni Gaudí himself.
Another station worth visiting is the station of Rocafort. A large number of suicides have happened at this station and it’s not so rare that the surveillance cameras show images of shadows or even people walking on the platforms of the station at night when the station’s already closed to the public. No wonder no operator wants to work on this line, especially during the last night shift.
Photo credit: www.lameva.barcelona.cat
Air Raid Shelters
Another intriguing hidden part of Barcelona is its underground air raid shelters. During the Spanish Civil War, the general public built more than 1,000 shelters as a way to protect themselves from the frequent bomb raids. The first shelters were set up in the basements of houses and in metro stations. However, as the bombings intensified, people joined together to build proper air-raid shelters. Many of them still exist today, and though they are clearly a major part of Barcelona’s history, they are often overlooked in favor of more touristic attractions (like the already mentioned Sagrada Familia or the Park Güell).
One of the shelters that remains today is Refugi 307. This shelter was built in Poble Sec, and its entrance is located at Nou de la Rambla. The shelter consists of 400 meters of tunnels that include bathrooms, a fireplace, and a water fountain. Refuge 307 is one of the best examples of shelters built in Barcelona and at the same time, it is an authentic memorial of the struggle for the survival and disaster of wars.
Photo credit: http://www.cdbacderodap9.org
There are many theories about underground Barcelona and all of the mysteries it hides. If you’re brave enough, it’s really interesting to visit any of these hidden corners of Barcelona and find out if the ghost stories are true or not on your own. And finally, you can see that this intriguing and exciting city has more than a sea and beautiful architecture to offer!
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