In 1939, Argelès-sur-Mer became the first place of internment for Spanish resistance fighters fleeing Franco’s fascism. Nearly 450,000 Spaniards crossed the border into France. The French government chose the beach at Argelès-sur-Mer as the location for the internment camp, which would house 200,000 people. More than 80 years later, the town pays tribute to a key moment in its history. A few steps away from the Argelès-sur-Mer Camp Memorial, which can be visited to better understand this historical episode, the Marianne Gallery is hosting an exhibition of photos and drawings until 15 July: ¡ Ayuda! Swiss and Quaker aid at the Argelès camp (1939-1942). The exhibition features some thirty photographs by Mary Elmes and Elisabeth Eidenbenz, and 18 drawings by artists Ubaldo Izquierdo Carvajal and Josep Narro, interned at the camp. Less than 15 minutes drive north of Argelès-sur-Mer, these visits are completed by a stop in Elne at the Château d’En Bardou, the “Swiss Maternity Hospital”, a site transformed into a maternity hospital between 1939 and 1944 thanks to the Swiss Relief Service for Children of War Victims.
Micro-adventure from Argelès-sur-MerCultural escapes