About 35km north of Tortosa in Gandesa, this excellent modern museum presents a balanced account of the Spanish Civil War and the decisive 1938 Ebro Valley battle through a host of artefacts, photographs and interactive maps. Recreations of battlefield conditions portray the grim reality of trench warfare, while moving video interviews (Catalan only; translations due in 2018) bear witness to enduring scars.
The civil war only lasted three years (1936–39) but its effects linger well into the present. You'd be hard-pressed to find a family in Catalonia, or indeed Spain, that hasn’t been affected by the conflict. The largest battle of the war was fought in the Ebro Valley, leading to the destruction of the town of Corbera, and a crushing defeat of the Republicans; some 20,000 people lost their lives.
The Pacto del Olvido (Pact of Forgetting) after Franco’s death in 1975 meant that the victims of the dictatorship remained silent about past abuses until the last few years, in a country where there has not been any formal postwar reconciliation.