The Saso de Tierz trenches were a strategic Republican enclave from which the Barbastro highway, the Estrecho Quinto pass, the town of Tierz and the city of Huesca itself were controlled.
The militiamen excavated a line of trenches parallel to the Saso, adapting to the contours of the terrain, and protecting themselves with a masonry front wall.
Go inside the trenches and look at the shooter’s holes and into some of the excavated underground galleries that served as shelter, housing, powder magazine, warehouse, command post and first aid centre.
Inside these caves, there are niches which were cut into the rock to act as shelves to store objects, and there are inscriptions recorded by the militiamen on the walls.
Orwell, in his book Homage to Catalonia, told of life in the trenches “(…) a life as uneventful as a city clerk’s, and almost as regular. Sentry-go, patrols, digging; digging, patrols, sentry-go. “ He also wrote a list of the five most important things in trench warfare: “firewood, food, tobacco, candles and the enemy, in that order, with the enemy in a remote last place.”
In the outskirts of Tierz, there is a small stone house, with a circular floor and a hemispherical dome, whose original function was that of guardaviñas that served as a warehouse, refuge or guard post. It is reached by a signposted road from the hermitage of Santa Cruz de Tierz along the cemetery road. It contains a large number of inscriptions related to the POUM, the Workers Party of Marxist Unification, a party loyal to the Government of the Republic of the time.