TRAVEL with pat and lew

Archive for the ‘… Spain – Toledo’ Category

* Spanish Civil War erupts in Toledo in 2009

Posted by Lew Weinstein on October 12, 2009

riot police in Toledo


Spanish Civil War erupts in Toledo in 2009

The Spanish Civil War is an impenetrable muddle to me, despite several efforts to understand who was on which side, and who carried out the worst atrocities. In Toledo, on October 12, 2009, Pat and I were in the middle of what could be described as a continuing skirmish in that 1930s war.

We were walking in the general direction of the Museum of Santa Cruz, and had just entered the Plaza Zocodover where hundreds of people were enjoying the holiday sunshine. Suddenly, from behind us, screams erupted, followed by the sound of broken glass on the ground around us. We grabbed hands and ran with everybody else to the other side of the square.

“Keep running,” I said, and we ran into a street that climbed up hill toward the Alcazar. Behind us we heard loudspeaker enhanced shouting, several pops that sounded like gunshots, and two explosions. NOTE: Neither gunshots nor explosions are confirmed.  Riot police emerged immediately, in full gear and fully armed.

The police shut off the street we had entered, and we seemed to be on the safe side of the trouble. A little later, a couple came by and explained what had happened. First of all, it was Spanish National Day, a holiday which corresponds to and is related to Columbus Day in the US, but whose history in Spain is as murky as the wars which preceded it.

It seems that right wing fascist supporters of General Franco (who died in 1975) had applied for and received a permit to have a demonstration honoring their hero. They were apparently attacked by left wing communists. The police took the role of protecting the legal demonstration.

There was more yelling over the loudspeakers and then everything settled down. We went to visit the magnificent Cathedral and later had an excellent lunch in a small Asian restaurant near our hotel.


Posted in ... 2009, ... Spain - Toledo | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »