Spanish Civil War Tour Testimonials


Please see our TripAdvisor page for the most recent Across Madrid reviews.


If you are a cultural traveler and want to understand the history and politics of Spain, we highly recommend the Spanish Civil War Tour from Madrid-based historian Dr. Almudena Cros. Her knowledge of the Republic and the International Brigades comes not only from history books, but also from personal accounts of those who lived and fought for the Republic.

By incorporating these stories into her presentation she creates a vivid visual documentary with the city, streets and buildings as her set. After this tour you will no longer just see Madrid streets and buildings as they are, but as they might have been when the people of Spain were fighting for democracy and freedom.

You will come to understand why many consider the Spanish Civil War the first war against fascism. The tour unveils the consequences of Western nations’ failure to aid the Republic, as well as their turning a blind eye toward the Nazi and Italian fascist armies who aided Franco in crushing the Republic.

Dr. Cros is more than a historian of the period: she is an activist in the Spanish people’s struggle to reveal the history long denied them under Franco’s dictatorship. The decades-long wall of silence and denial is crumbling. Almudena’s courage in challenging the silence is inspiring.

Her work with International Brigades Associations in a dozen countries keeps their heroic solidarity with the Spanish people alive and growing. The stories and living accounts she brings to the tour as a result of this activism will settle in your memory. You will take them home with you. Tell them to friends, family and colleagues. You will know Spain. You will become an ambassador of the Republic and the Brigades. This history’s political relevance for today will ring in your ears.

Our tour included a visit to Reina Sofia, Madrid’s contemporary art museum and its impressive permanent exhibit of artists’ work in response to the Civil War. Pablo Picasso’s famed ‘Guernica’ and accounts of the Republic's achievements frame this astounding collection. Dr. Cros is also an art historian and educator having taught in the UK and Spain. Coupled with her historical knowledge cited above, this tour is an exceptional experience.

Wayne N
Minneapolis, USA
July 2015
I cannot recommend the tour of the Spanish Civil War in Madrid provided by Dr. Almudena Cros strongly enough. Dr. Cros, a native of Madrid and a professor, not only has extensive knowledge of the subject matter but a genuine passion for it as well. In fact, one aspect of the tour that I most admired was that Almudena did not try to deliver a dry, dispassionate account of the war but rather discussed at length some of the real promises of the Republic and the genuine courage of those who served in the International Brigade. She had family members who participated in the Civil War and the way in which she weaved the history of the war in Madrid with the history of her own family members, complete with photographs, helped make this terrible conflict very real, very human. It far surpassed the information one could obtain from any guidebook or general history of the war. Moreover, her expertise is not confined to history and politics. Given that she has a PhD in art history, she was able to discuss the important role that art played during the war as well.

While Almudena has clear expertise of the subject matter, presenting factual material and citing several sources for her information, she by no means “talked down” to those in the group. On the contrary, she was extremely friendly and open to questions, which she was able to answer thoroughly because of her clear command of the material.

Dr. Cros provided a tour that was informative, moving, and that made me think about the Spanish Civil War in Madrid in a fundamentally new way. And she did this at a very reasonable price. In fact, she probably should be charging more for her tour given how much time she has put into preparing it and how much time she takes during the tour itself. But if you take this tour, you will realize that Almudena is motivated not by money but rather by much deeper and more personal reasons. One of the very best tours I have ever taken!

Bryan T
Boston, USA
August 2015
The Spanish Civil War tour with Almudena was truly inspiring. Engaging, passionate, energetic - she shared not only her wide knowledge of history and art, but also her personal family history, which made this tour so much more meaningful and poignant than the more commercial tours available.

This tour brought home the reality and pain of this period of history. This is still tangible today in the lack of official memorials to the suffering of ordinary citizens and also the bravery of the international brigade volunteers of which we learnt so much on this tour. Hopefully soon there will be more and more memorials and plaques to include on future tours!

Almudena, you enriched this visit to Madrid so much, I encourage everyone to take this tour as it will make their visit so much more meaningful.

Nia D
Cardiff, UK
July 2015