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Chapel for the Spanish Exiled Communists

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Jesus Torres Garciaweaetxdyvaydzcwq, Jesus Torres Garcia Architects

Project Name

Chapel for the Spanish Exiled Communists

Project Status


Year Completed


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Project Description

Chapel for the Spanish Exiled Communists.

Paco, is born in Alquife, Granada. He is the "mechanical fitter" in the mine. he meets Rosario, his wife from Cogollos de Guadix, another village in the the region. Between the years 29 to 35 they have four children: Concha, Marina, Priscila, Teodoro. In the year 1936 The Spanish Civil War begans and in 1939 he and many others are forced out of the country due to their active involvement the Communist Party. They are received in France, an unpleasant reception that forces the exiled Spanish to fight in the front against the Nazi army. Only a single plaque in Pont Neuf of Paris recognizes the work these Spanish people did for The Republic of France. The Second World War drags Paco to a Nazi concentration camp in Drazy, north of the I'lle of France. With luck he is able to leave like a "mole" tunneling, and meets his second wife, Andrea. Meanwhile, Rosario, like many women of the Spanish Republic, suffers the repression, humiliation, and mortification of this dictator imposed system. The effects of which bring the situation of a mother alone with four children, three girls and a very small boy. Rosaria fights and struggles to survive from her work as a " recobera" which enables her to provide for her children by selling shoes, eggs, tabacco, and bread... all through the black market, through all the time and consequences of the Spanish Civil War. Once a week she walks the route between Granada and Cogollos de Guadix, and daily between Guadix to Cogollos de Guadix, an average of 200 kilometers a week accompanied by a donkey loaded with all the goods taxed and not available from the rations imposed. Her son Teodoro at fourteen years old crosses the Spanish French front to reunite with his father, the difficult journey making a fugitive out of the boy.

Teodoro is recieved by his father in Paris, the city well maintained through the cooperation of making precision instruments for dentists, a pleasant life in Draveil, a pleasant life in Draveil, heart of the south of france which determines the framework to remake his life, with the distance and pain he feels for the distance from his family and his land.

As his father would like Teodoro accompanies him in France. Two of his sisters immigrate from Andalucía, Concha to the Basque country and Priscila to Switzerland. Marina settles in Granada. Thirty-four years pass that Paco has not seen his dauters, and thirty-five without reuniting with his wife Rosario. A reunion comes to pass through tragedy in the 70's in Paris when Teodoro falls into a coma, and passes away shortly after. Teodoro worked 33 years in the newspaper "L'Humanité," continuing the tradition of political commitment of his father. The year was 1972.

Paco dies of cancer in the year of 78 in the south of Paris at the "Porte d'Italie," just as his documents are prepared to return to Spain after 40 years, and just as amnesty is declared for the Civil War political exiles.

All these stories and more I was fortunate enough to hear first hand from my grandmother Rosario, who finished her hardship with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren who she cared for with dedication throughout her years in Granada. Rosario always dreamt of recovering the bodies of her husband and son Pepe, as she would say, to be accompanied by them at her time of death.
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