Permanent memorial for the women’s prison in Les CortsA monument made up of six stone blocks from different breakwater structures around the peninsula will complement information totems about the women’s prison in Les Corts. This is the winning project for the memorial, which comes in response to long-standing demands from the civil society and will be dedicated to the victims of a space of repression and imprisonment. Numerous women were locked up at the prison for political reasons and eleven of them executed by firing squad. The memorial is expected to be completed halfway through 2019.
The winning team is made up of Núria Ricart, fine arts professor at the University of Barcelona, Jordi Henrich, architect, and Fernando Hernández Holgado, historian and coordinator of the project ‘Memòria presó de les Corts’. The project was chosen ahead of the other four projects entered for the competition and stood out for its feasibility criteria, its consideration for the memory of prisoners and victims and its impact on the local surroundings.
The memorial will be located at the junction between C/ Joan Güell and C/ Europa, on the corner nearest the mountains and the Besòs river, where the provisional information totems currently stand. The totems were set up in 2014 and will now become permanent.
A minimalist monument will be added around the totems, sitting on basalt paving and consisting of six stone breakwater columns with inscriptions combining historical information on the women’s prison during the Franco regimes and geological information on the origin of the stones.
The pavement in C/ Europe will be widened by two metres as a row of parking spaces and waste containers will be removed. The trees and street lighting will also be renewed to create a fully-integrated space for people to stroll around.
Place of repression
Numerous women were jailed in the Les Corts prison between 1939 and 1955, in many cases for political reasons. Eleven of them were executed by firing squad at the Camp de la Bóta site. The prison closed down in 1955, after the jailers from the religious order which ran the institution managed to arrange a property exchange.
The project responds to the demands of a participatory process opened to the public in 2013 with the Plataforma Futur Monument a la Presó de Dones de les Corts, made up of various organisations and associations.
The project will cost 202,000 euros, to be funded by the Commissioner’s Office for Memory Programmes and the Les Corts district office. Work is due to start in January 2019 and last six months.