Barcelona in 1972 wasn’t all strolls along La Rambla and sunbathing on Playa de La Barceloneta. People from other regions moved to Spain’s second-largest city to look for work. Soon the city was overcrowded and housed in poor-quality housing. There were several overcrowded, poor, and run-down areas in the city. For years, Barcelona was Spain’s leading industrial city. In 1848, it became the site of Spain’s first railway. Spain fell into civil war in July 1936.
The return to the autonomy of Catalonia was a key demand after Franco’s death in 1975. As protestors called for a change in 1976, the armed Civil Guard stood by. However, the will of the people prevailed. A democratic Spanish Constitution was adopted in 1978 by Catalonia that recognized the region’s political and cultural autonomy, restoring its Generalitat (exiled since 1939) in 1977 and adopting a new Statute of Autonomy in 1979.
Spanish photographer Manel Armengol captured these amazing photos of children playing in Barcelona in the 1970s.