The Anarchist Bombing of the Liceu

November 7th 1893

At the end of the 19th century, El Gran Teatre del Liceu was where anyone who was anyone in the Barcelona bourgeoisie had to be seen whilst, at the same time, anarchism had become the main inspiration amongst the underprivileged classes.

This was unfortunate for El Liceu because, the anarchist Santiago Salvador decided to target the theatre in revenge for the anarchist Paulino Pallás, who had executed on October 6th 1893 for an assassination attempt on General Martínez Campos, Captain General of Catalonia.

On November 7th 1893, the opera season opened with a performance of Rossini's William Tell and Santiago Salvador bought himself a seat in the fifth floor with a peseta he had borrowed from his wife.

He let the first act finish and at 11 o'clock during the second act, he moved up to the balcony and threw two Orsi bombs into the the audience in the stalls.

The first bomb landed in Row 13 and exploded immediately whilst the second landed in the lap of a woman, who was already dead, and failing to explode fell to the floor and rolled under a seat.

Seven people were killed immediately, thirteen more died over the next few hours and twenty-seven were injured.

In the confusion, Santiago Salvador managed get out of the theatre and fled to his hometown of Teruel. The police finally caught up with Salvador in Zaragoza and he tried to commit suicide by shooting himself in the stomach.

He was imprisoned in solitary confinement on February 1st 1894 and the trial began on April 11th.

Santiago Salvador was executed by garrote vil in the Pati de Corders of the Prison of the Reina Amalia in Barcelona.


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