The short summer of Anarchy

Bar La Tranquilidad in Parallel

June 6th, 2010

La Tranquilad, together with the still-existing Café Español, was the most famous of the cafés of Parallel. As a haven  for gangsters, police spies and above all anarchists anything but tranquility reigned here.

During the infamous period of pistolerismo in the early 1920s, Barcelona was awash with guns smuggled from France after the end of the First World War. Weapons were sold openly in the Tranquilidad, which also organised raffles, with the winner taking home a Star pistol, the weapon of choice of the anarcho-syndicalist. More here

Anecdotes about La Tranquilidad abound. In the early 1930s, Durruti and his friends were habitués of La Tranquilidad. One story relates when a young beggar with a defeated air came into the bar asking for money. When he approached Durrut’s table the bar went silent. Durruti stared at the man for a minute, and then pulled his revolver and slammed in on the table, saying “There, take my gun. Go to the bank“. From El corto verano de la anarquía: Vida y muerte de Durruti. (The short summer of Anarchy – what a brilliant title)

The bar was later the scene of fierce fighting on July 18th 1936 when rebel soldiers barricaded themselves in here, before being defeated by the anarchist militia.

La Tranquilidad  stood at number 69 Aviguda Parallel next to the Teatro Victoria. I believe it was demolished in the 1940s.

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