These days the rehabilitation of the unique crypt that preserves more than 700 remains of the soldiers who died during the wars in Cuba and the Philippines in the Corts cemetery has begun.
The intervention will serve to recover "the original image of the mausoleum by improving its operation and durability", according to municipal sources. Work is now focused on the roof of the funerary monument to better waterproof it to prevent moisture. The action, a joint request from the Corts and Cemeteries district of Barcelona, will also serve to thoroughly clean the pantheon and restore elements such as the doors and the iron railing, the frames and corners of the niches or replace loose stones, coming from Montjuïc It is expected that the works will last about four months at a cost of 93,233.70 euros, most of which will be financed by the tourist tax.
At the time of the inauguration, there were 722 niches, although they were later increased by the increase of dead soldiers. In fact, the exact figure is uncertain. There are 725 plaques with the names and surnames of the people buried, despite the fact that between numbers 726 and 732 there is a written x, probably a symbolic reference to the unknown soldier, because some of them do not know their identity.
The City Council has published a book and organized an exhibition and a talk at the district headquarters recalling the history of the pantheon based on research by the historian Daniel Venteo. Among the anecdotes, it is explained that those who could afford to pay 2,000 pesetas in cash had the option of redeeming themselves from compulsory military service.
At first, the monument was more modest, with an obelisk based on a project by the auxiliary architect of the City Council's cemetery section, Juli Maria Fossas, but Falqués resized it to become the mausoleum that has survived to this day.