Terrorists on Aug. 17 drove a van into a crowd of pedestrians on Las Ramblas, the principal thoroughfare of Barcelona, killing 15 people and wounding at least 130.
The attacks provoked revulsion and sympathy throughout the world.
Several area residents with ties to the Catalan region were particularly shaken by the news.
Elisenda Sola-Sole, a Spanish native, has for a dozen years recreated Las Ramblas on Howard Avenue in Kensington.
Sola-Sole is the proprietor of the Kensington Row bookshop and founder of the Day of the Book Festival, which is held every year on April 23, the International Day of the Book, or on the Sunday closest to that date. Like the Spanish Dia de Libre festival held annually on Las Ramblas, upon which it is based, the Day of the Book Festival provides a venue for authors to read from and sell their works.
“My family is from Barcelona, we were just there in July for my daughter's wedding, and the whole family went,” Sola-Sole said. “We have a family apartment there where my mother lives in the summer and winter, and I usually go once a year. Besides my daughter and her new husband, we have so much family right in Barcelona. My mother is the oldest of 15, so you can imagine how many aunts, uncles, and cousins I have there. I did notice on this trip that there was more police presence. I think there has been a sense for a while now that something could happen.”