Monday, May 30, 2016

The Spanish ghost town of Belchite, left in ruins after the Spanish civil war

The Spanish village of Belchite, in the province of Zaragoza, became the theater of the Battle of Belchite from August 24 and September 7, 1937 which was fought between loyalist republicans and rebel forces of General Franco. It took just two weeks for Belchite to be destroyed on one of the deadliest of the Spanish Civil War. Although Franco's nationalist forces lost the battle, they went on winning the war which killed around 500,000 people. 

In memory of the 3,000 people who died there, the village has remained untouched since the end of the Spanish Civil War.  After 1939, a new village of Belchite was built adjacent to the ruins of the old. Today, the ruins of Belchite are visited by tourists and they have been used as filming locations in films including Terry Gilliam's 1988 film The Adventures of Baron Munchausen and Guillermo Del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth.

The Town Hall (left) after its first attack. It has since collapsed

One of the first American correspondents to arrive on the scene, novelist and journalist Ernest Hemingway is pictured in 1937 reporting in Belchite


  1. The two cars' relics showed are much younger than 1937, they cannot have been destroyed in the battle (the Citroën 2CV was produced from 1948 and the other one seems like Renault 6 or 12, which were produced from 1968... and the design is anyway from the '70s).

  2. A new village was built next to the old after the Spanish Civil War. However there were people who continued to live in the old town until 1964. Until a few years ago could visit the ruins of the people freely and were used to make old things and unused. I've been there many times and the truth is that it is impressive. Today are made guided tours explaining the history of the people. A few days ago Arnold Schwarzenegger was filming an advertisement.


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