Santa Llúcia Cave

Cova Santa Llúcia

This immense cave made out of conglomerate rock can be found at one kilometre from the village of La Bisbal de Falset on the road to La Palma d'Ebre. There is a natural spring inside it which is said to have the power to cure problems with eyes and this is why the patron saint is Saint Lucía. (Santa Llùcia).

According to Dr. Salvador Vilaseca from Reus' research, this cave was once a pre-historic site dating back to the Magdalenian period of the superior Paleolithic. Around 1800, an eclosing wall was built for animals to be kept, such as sheep and goats.  

In 1936, the Spanish Civil War broke out and in 1938, a few days before the Battle of the Ebro began, the cave was prepared as a field hospital by the Republican troops. The cave was fitted out with over 80 beds, an operating theatre and a drug store. There was also a communal area prepared for doctors and wounded alike. The hospital administered many different types of cures and procedures for Republican soliders as well as prisoners of war and civilians who had suffered air raids. The villagers of La Bisbal took fruit and vegetables to the cave in return for conserves, bread and chocolate...Those who died there were buried in a communal grave in the village cemetery.

SERVEIS: Municipal barbecues, stone tables and benches, boards with photographs dating back to 1938 from the Imperial War Museum archives.

Popular annual gathering: Second Sunday in August. Mass is held followed by sandwiches and folk dancing.