CITY WALK E: ALICANTE CITY OF MEMORY
The visit will begin at the back of the market square, today called “May 25” square to commemorate Europe’s worse bombing of civilians. It took place in 1938, at 11:15 in the morning, when the market was full of shoppers (mainly women and children). We will see the ground Memorial built to remember over 300 direct victims, and more than two thousand people who were affected indirectly.
In addition to enjoying the wonderful architecture of this early 20th Century building, and its lively market stalls, we will also see the market clock. It is displayed in a showcase, and stopped at the hour of the bombing. We will also see the air-raid siren that did not work on that terrible day.
36. Historic Town Centre and birth houses
As we tour the Historic Centre (the “new” neighbourhood) built after the walls were enlarged in the War of Independence (1810), we will pass by the birth house of Gabriel Miró (an internationally renowned author) and of Carlos Arniches (an equally significant composer and musician). We will reach one of the squares created in that neighbourhood, next to the street called “de las Bóvedas” (“Of the Vaults”, because it is located behind the walls mentioned above) where a small shelter was built against the numerous bombings of Alicante by Italy’s fascist aviation in provenance from the Balearic Islands.
37. Air-raid shelter of Balmis square
This small shelter was built, like others, thanks to the coordination of a Municipal Passive Defence Commission that managed to build up to 94 shelters throughout the city, converting Alicante into one of Europe’s major cities for this type of construction. Look at the shape of the doors (which resemble submarine doors). They were designed this way to protect against toxic gases from chemical bombs.
38. Statue of Eleuterio Maisonnave and Cruz de los Caídos
We will now go to Paseo de Gadea, one of the buildings built in the Ensanche (extension) of the city, to see the beautiful statue of the famous Alicante politician Eleuterio Maisonnave, by the sculptor Vicente Bañuls. Maisonnave was a member of the “Possibilist Republican Party”, a deputy to the Cortes, a Minister of the Interior during the First Republic and a Mayor of Alicante. Behind this statue, the “Cross of the Fallen” was erected under Franco’s Dictatorship a few years after the end of the war in honour of the fallen on the side of the nationalists. In the 1980s, Alicante’s first democratic city council after the dictatorship, “democratized” the monument by dedicating it to all those who fell for their ideals.
39. Séneca square
We will continue to stroll around the second extension of the city in the area that used to be dedicated to the ports’ industries and warehouses (current “Seneca-Autobuses” neighbourhood), reaching the current Plaza Seneca where the bus station used to be located until a few years ago. The main building has been restored and it holds two large murals by the Alicante painter Gastón Castelló. They illustrate places of interest to visit in the city and province of Alicante.
40. Shelter of Plaza Séneca
Shelter of Plaza de Séneca: in this square, the City Council restored and opened to the public an important air-raid shelter from the Spanish Civil War. This shelter is much bigger: it could take up to 1.200 people. You can hear and experience sensations that those people had via two recordings that reproduce the sound of the bombings. This exhibit is soon to be extended with a War Visitor Centre in Alicante (MEGA) once the buildings of the “Casa de Máquinas” nearby are restored.
Our itinerary ends here. We hope you enjoyed this walk in Alicante city and hope to see you again soon.
MORE CITY WALKS
City walk D consists of a walking route through the city of Alicante, specially indicated for cruise passengers or visitors who have a few hours to get to know the city of Alicante.
Halfway through the 19th Century, Alicante was buried inside the walls surrounding the city. These walls were demolished as the city needed to grow and no more attacks from the sea were expected. Thus, Alicante decided to open a gate to the sea and built...
A walking route especially indicated for those visitors who travel by cruise ship or have little time in the city of Alicante.