"El poble patia, des de feia molts anys, d’una mala ferida. Gent forastera, arribada de tot arreu, construïa una presa per tallar el riu; volien dominar-lo, lligar-lo per fer electricitat, i l’aigua de l’embassament havia de colgar el poble i l’enterraria per sempre més."Jesús Moncada
Històries de la mà esquerra

The first reds at dawn rose to the wall that bordered the Ebro from the llauts moored in the silent quays and slowly attached to the rough textures of the rooftops on the hillside dominated by the castle.”

At the end of the fifties and early sixties, several reservoirs were built along the Ebro river for  hydrological exploitation. This meant that the ancient Mequinenza was buried under the waters of the river that had seen it grow during centuries. Their inhabitants abandoned all their memories and had to fight to move to a new town: the new Mequinenza.

“Columns and supporting walls suddenly gave way; as the house came toppling down, Horseshoe Hill reverberated with the thunderous roar of rafters and beams creaking, stairways, ceilings, coves and partitions collapsing, glass shattering and bricks and tiles smashing.”

Although the waters of the Ebro did not flood the town completely, they floded an important part of the houses. Finally, a compensation was obtained for the neighbors and the old town was completely overthrown except the building of the old schools called Grupo Escolar “María Quintana”, which today are the Museums of Mequinenza. It was a dramatic moment for many of its neighbors. They leave behind their memories and they homes that disapeared under the dust. Also, they saw disapear the navigation trough the Ebro river along the Towpath.

Jesus Moncada placed most of his novels and stories in this landscape. In “The Towpath” he writes about the memories of the inhabitants that are forced to leave their homes in the old town.


New town of Mequinenza.

Mequinenza reborn again due to the tenacity and effort of its inhabitants on the banks of the Segre river. The new population is more modern and tourist, and has become a world reference for sports and tourism, receiving visitors from all over the world. Mequinenza also stands out due to its nature, with one of the largest with river influences on the Iberian Peninsula and its diverse and varied cultural offer. Curiously, the streets of the new Mequinenza do not have their own names because the project of the new population was done in a hurried manner. The streets were renamed “Street A”, “Street B”, “Street C”… Nowadays, this names still remain in the new town.

The Old Town has been converted into “Jesús Moncada” Memory Park, a place where the streets and some emblematic points of the ancient Mequinensa have been recovered. You can visit the church or the birthplace of Jesús Moncada among other places. The Museums of Mequinenza also offer a Literary Route about Moncada and the ancient Mequinenza. A place, where the memory of all the mequinenzanos remains forever.