The brochure for the 1936 Barcelona Peoples' Olympiad is indeed a poignant reminder of the tragedy that was the Spanish Civil War (Odds and Quads, 14 June). Barcelona was the last city to fall to Franco's Nationalists, despite Soviet aid for its Republican defenders.
Today, it is still worth trekking out about 6km northeast of the city centre, off the tourist trail, to the ruins of some hill fortifications (with spiky cactus still in place as an effective anti-infantry barrier) once defended by the Republicans.
The site can also be visited virtually on Google Earth: tilt to view from the south at coordinates 41°25'09.37"N, 2°09'42.02"E.
Hillary J. Shaw, Senior lecturer, Department of food and supply chain management, Harper Adams University College