La Trinxera exhibition
More background info: see under Ebro and Spanish Civil War and also Corbera d'Ebre.
The exhibition has been assembled by one local enthusiast for all things Civil War, called Pere Sanz, who's been collecting war relics from the battlefields for many years. Some items are generous donations by others. The collection is presumably still ongoing, so the exhibition may get even more comprehensive in the future.
What there is to see:
This is a more “autodidactic” kind of exhibition. At a first look it seems to be a bit of a jumble room, but there is some thematic organization. However it lacks a cohesive narrative of the kind the more professional 115 Days exhibition
has or the other interpretations centres under the umbrella of the Consorci Memorial dels Espais de la Batalla de l'Ebre.
Also: all labelling in the La Trinxera exhibition is in Spanish only. But it's not so important since it's a more visual exhibition anyway.
For the nature of the artefacts on display, however, this private collection actually beats some of those more polished exhibitions. The biggest items on display are a 1930s passenger car, an medium-heavy artillery gun as well as an anti-aircraft gun and a complete machine gun position.
In a corner there's a medical section as well, with stretchers and medial supplies. All this is populated by a number of dummies, some of them of the pretty female boutique window mannequin type, complete with red lipstick – which I found quite a quirky contrast in this military context. Some dummies don't have a head at all, just a bit of wire formed in such a way that it can hold a hat. This includes what must be a military chaplain.
Of course there are also rows of rifles and glass display cases full of ammunition, medals, hand grenades and so forth as well as model planes and maps of the battlefields. But it is often the smaller things that raise eyebrows here – such as old gloves, thimbles, spectacles, ID documents and other personal belongings, even toothpaste tubes and such humble everyday things, as well as bowls and spoons and old tins of fish … all finds from the actual battlefields that bring a certain personal element to the collection.
Really quite fascinating I also found the folder you can browse in one corner. In it you can see photos from various former battlefields-cum-archaeological dig sites. Some of these even show human remains (skulls and bones) that can still be found in the ground to this day.
Also on display are a number of war-themed board games, including one entitled “La Entrada en Madrid
” (so probably of Nationalist origin).
Near the door is also a small stall with items for sale. This includes not only several books (including one or two in English) but also battlefield relics such as old rusty cartridges for 50 euro cents each. But my guide advised me not to spend any money on them as we would surely find some such items for ourselves, to be collected for free from the battlefield sites we'd go to later on on that trip … and he was right.
Another things I declined to take part in was the opportunity to put on old uniforms and helmets and pose for photos. A Spanish family that was there at the time of my visit did make use of this with glee, but I'm always a little too uncomfortable with such things …
All in all, despite the lack of English or any wordy commodification, this collection is worth seeing for the many authentic relics and the archaeological documentation. It's also an endearing contrast to the more state-of-the-art professional exhibitions with all their multimedia elements. This is more “raw” and unpolished.
Access and costs: restricted opening times, not too expensive.
The La Trinxera exhibition is in a side street parallel to the village's main street, address: 11, Carrer Ponent, within easy walking distance from the 115 Days exhibition
. You shouldn't have trouble finding a parking space by the roadside there.
Opening times: only regularly open on public holidays (which may include weekends, but I can't be sure) from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 4 to 8 p.m. – on weekdays the exhibition can also be opened by appointment, provided the curator, Pere Sanz, isn't otherwise engaged (phone: 977 420 662 or 636 708 291).
Admission: 4 EUR.
Pere Sanz can also provide guide services in the area, including at Cota 402
, which he is also associated with. But you have to be able to speak/understand Spanish for this.
Time required: depends. If you're really into militaria, can read Spanish/Catalan and are willing to study everything on display in depth, then you can probably spend a couple of hours in there. Otherwise less than half an hour might do.
Combinations with other dark destinations:
most obviously the other, more state-of-the-art exhibition in the same village: the 115 Days Interpretation Centre
. Also of interest should be the ruined old town
of Corbera d'Ebre
up the hill. A site just outside the little town to the north-west, Cota 402
, is an war-archaeological site associated with the La Trinxera exhibition.
See also under Ebro and under Spain
- Trinxera 01 - entrance
- Trinxera 02 - inside
- Trinxera 03 - big guns
- Trinxera 04 - display cabinets
- Trinxera 05 - position mock-up
- Trinxera 06 - behind the line
- Trinxera 07 - plane wreck piece and stretcher
- Trinxera 08 - field medicine and divine intervention
- Trinxera 09 - making war look sexy
- Trinxera 10 - lipstick warrior
- Trinxera 11 - hey, where shall I throw this ...
- Trinxera 12 - bits and pieces
- Trinxera 13 - old money
- Trinxera 14 - rusty rations
- Trinxera 15 - personal effects
- Trinxera 16 - gloves and rust
- Trinxera 17 - toothpaste and brush
- Trinxera 18 - more bits and pieces
- Trinxera 19 - papers and pistol
- Trinxera 20 - model planes
- Trinxera 21 - wire cross
- Trinxera 22 - shop
- Trinxera 23 - battlefield souvenirs