City Walk E: Alicante’s air-raid shelters route
The visit will begin at the back of the market square, today called “May 25” square to commemorate Spain’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. 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.
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.
38. 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.