Portbou Town Council runs a reception and information service for people visiting Portbou who would like to know more about where Walter Benjamin died. This service includes background materials on his thought and work and visits to places where he would have been during his brief stay in the town.
There are two Walter Benjamin Routes in Portbou, clearly marked with information panels.
- The Town Route connects the places where the philosopher spent the last hours of his life (the international train station, where he presented himself to the authorities, and the Hostal França, where he died) and the town cemetery, with his grave and the monument that the sculptor Dani Karavan has created in his memory.
- The Cross-border Route from Banyuls in France to Portbou, over the Coll de Rumpissa (or Rumpisó) pass on the Querroig hill, follows for 95% of its course the track from France into Spain that Benjamin took to escape persecution as a Jew. Since September 2009 this old smugglers’ trail has been upgraded and signposted in all its 7 km length. Also known as the Lister Route, after General Enrique Lister, who led the withdrawal of the 1lth Division of the Republican army, it winds up from the little town of Banyuls (and vice versa) over Querroig and down into the valley of Portbou. Guides are available to accompany groups or individuals on the trek.
There is also a permanent exhibition dedicated to Walter Benjamin and his time in Portbou, and a number of temporary exhibitions each year on themes relating tp Benjamin and his work, exile or the border.
We also offer school and university groups that have studied Benjamin’s work the possibility of completing their specific studies with activities of various kinds in Portbou.
For group visits, guides, residential facilities, routes or for more information:
Tourist Information Office
Passeig Lluís Companys s/n, 17497 Portbou
Phone: (00-34) 972 125 161
Summer: monday to saturday: from 10 to 20 h / sunday: from 10 to 15 h
Winter: monday to saturday: from 10 to 14 h (closed tuesday) / alternate sundays: from 10 to 14 h
Joan Gubert i Macias
Town Councillor for Culture and the Walter Benjamin Project, Ajuntament de Portbou
Phone: (00-34) 650 868 938 / (00-34) 972 390 284