Pueblo Viejo de Belchite


The shattered buildings of Belchite village, 45km southeast of Zaragoza, stand today as a haunting reminder of the horrors of the Spanish Civil War. The village was left unreconstructed after being reduced to ruins in a fierce battle in 1937. The ruins are now fenced off but popular guided tours (in Spanish, with English and French audio guides available) are given two or three times daily by the Belchite tourist office, next to the church in Belchite's new village nearby.

The battle of Belchite in August and September 1937 saw the Republicans drive out the Nationalists from the village, with thousands killed. The Nationalists later retook Belchite (and won the war). They ordered that the village be left in its ruined state and had a new village built by Republican prisoners next door. The ruins include four churches from the 18th century or earlier (two of them attached to convents and one of which almost nothing remains except its Mudéjar clock tower).

At any time you can view the ruins from outside the fence.

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