DATE: September 30 at 8 a.m.

With the series of routes “The paths of exile” we will visit beautiful, peculiar and/or interesting places linked to the drama of the civil war and the exile of hundreds of thousands of people who were forced to cross the border with France in appalling conditions. Fleeing from Franco’s Spain.

And on this occasion, at Enjoy Catalonia we offer a very complete visit of a historical, recreational and cultural nature to the Maternity of Elna and the beautiful northern Catalan town of Cotlliure (France), a town closely linked to the republican exile and the place where the remains of Antonio Machado.


Elna’s maternity was the scene of one of the most dramatic and unknown chapters of our postwar period. Between 1939 and 1944, the Swiss Elisabeth Eidenbenz saved the lives of 597 children. They were the children of Catalan and Spanish exiles who survived in appalling conditions in the Republican refugee camps of Sant Cebrià de Rosselló, Argelers and Ribesaltes, and who were lucky enough to be welcomed into the maternity hospital created by Eidenbenz.


To visit Cotlliure, a beautiful town, is to visit the tomb of the poet Antonio Machado. But beyond remembering the memory of the poet as a symbol of republican exile, the visit to Cotlliure will serve to remind us that in 1939 the Cotlliure castle became the first disciplinary camp of the French state. Within its walls, the losers of the Spanish civil war received inhumane treatment.

Summary and main attractions of the excursion:
1. Visit the Swiss Maternity Hospital in Elna and discover its fascinating history
2. Visit Cotlliure, a beautiful town of medieval origin, and discover its relationship with the republican exile
3- Visit the tomb of Antonio Machado and get closer to his work and life (with special attention to his last days)
4- Approaching the harsh reality of the republican exile in France and getting to know French Catalonia a little better


8h: We are in the Universitat square (main entrance of the UB). Stop for breakfast during the journey.

11-12.30h: Arrival in Elna and guided visit to the Maternity

12.30-13h: Bus to Cotlliure

13-15h: Free time to eat

15h: Guided tour “Cotlliure, end of the journey”

15.30-17h: Guided visit to the Ribesaltes Memorial Museum

17-20h: Coach back to Barcelona

DATE: September 30, 2023

GUIDE: Toni Bellido

LANGUAGE: Catalan (and Spanish)

DEPARTURE PLACE Plaza Universitat (UB main entrance) Barcelona
DAY AND HOUR Saturday, September 30, at 8 a.m.
Transportation by private coach

Entrance and guided visit to the Maternity of Elna

Guided tour: “Cotlliure, end of the journey”

Official accompanying guide from Barcelona








Breakfast and lunch

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