Archaeology

The remains of the Spanish Civil War in Alicante

Clot de Galvany bunker : Asociación RUVID

The bunkers and other defence constructions built on the Alicante coast during the Civil War have been part of our landscape for years. The University of Alicante has collected information about 46 of these structures, which today are part of our historical and architectural heritage.

This work, which will be presented at the end of the month at an international conference in Valencia, has been developed by the lecturer Andrés Martínez Medina under the title: “Drawing the forgotten architecture: military defences of the war of 1936-39”. The researcher calls the bunkers network part of the “Mediterranean Wall”, stretching from Cádiz to Gerona, as an analogy with the famous Atlantic Wall built by the Germans during World War II on the Normandy coast to prevent the Allied landings.

“The structures were built by the Republicans several years before” he says. In the case of the Mediterranean Wall defenses, he detected heterogeneity, simplicity in their geometry and little ambition in size compared to the German ones which were much more elaborated, sophisticated and strongly built. “While the Atlantic Wall was planned ahead and built by a powerful Germany, in Spain they were built precariously and with a workforce that was both in the front and in the rearguard.”

These structures were mainly built on the seafront but also at the change of slope of main roads. Martínez also points out that they have been part of the landscape of the province of Alicante but have gradually been disappearing because of urban development and tourism. Over years this researcher has photographed and drawn plans of these small forts or what is left of them.

     

Overall, this researcher has made an initial inventory of 46 remains: 28 on the coast and inland and 18 on the access roads from Murcia and Madrid to Alicante, the last Republican capital. Coastal locations such as Tamarit, port of Santa Pola, Clot de Galvany, Babel beach, Serra Grossa, cabo de Huertas and beaches of Altea, and enclaves on the roads to Madrid and Murcia with settlement in Portichol, Rabasa and Torrellano.

Andrés Martínez Medina believes that such buildings are part of the same ‘life and death’ architecture as hospitals, churches and cemeteries. Their protection and conservation would reflect “our new sensibility” towards the atrocious events that they recall.

Contributing Source : Asociación RUVID

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