The remodeling works of the Plaza de Arriba, in the city of Elda (Alicante), have brought to light a bomb shelter from the Civil War in perfect condition and probably one of the largest in the Alicante region of Medio Vinalopó, with more than 400 meters of galleries that run towards the church of Santa Ana and the Plaza del Ayuntamiento. The discovery of this infrastructure will not affect the development of the works that are being carried out on the surface, according to a statement from the council.
A Falangist tombstone for José Antonio next to the graves of the victims of the Franco regime in the Alicante cemetery
The mayor of Elda, Rubén Alfaro, announced this finding in an appearance, accompanied by the councilors of Sustainable Public Services, José Antonio Amat, and of Heritage, Amado Navalón, as well as by the professional in charge of the archaeological monitoring of the work of the Plaza de Arriba, José David Busquier, and the municipal archaeologist, Juan Carlos Márquez.
“This is news of enormous importance related to the historical heritage of our city and that, personally, has moved me,” Alfaro declared.
“We had identified the Muslim cemetery in this area and we were aware that when works of this type are carried out, vestiges of the past may appear in the subsoil, but at no time could we imagine that we would find a refuge of this size and in such good condition. been, “he said.
The mayor has detailed that “it is a gallery, located about 10 meters deep and about 400 meters long, which has a main corridor and another three that go in the direction of the Church of Santa Ana, at the Town Hall Square and Calle de la Purísima “.
The interior of the galleries has been preserved in perfect condition, especially the vaults. The soil is also well preserved, although it has accumulation of rubble and mud in some very specific points.
The refuge maintains the old electrical lighting installation, but it is totally deteriorated, and also has several respirators distributed throughout the galleries and made of ceramic material, equally intact.
On one of the bricks there is a signature dated February 1938 and there are also remains of objects from the time
“On one of the bricks there is a signature dated February 1938 and there are also remains of objects from the time, which we suppose were left by the workers who made the infrastructure,” the mayor revealed as a curiosity.
On the other hand, the councilor has confirmed that the objective is “to value this refuge” and has indicated that this is how he has transferred the indication to the mayor of Heritage so that a project is drawn up.
“In principle you have to provide electric light, install railings on the access steps and something else,” he reported.
And he has advanced: “We are going to work to integrate the entrance into the square because this refuge complements one of the routes of foreign promotion that we are working on. We have organized activities related to the last days of the Republic and, with this infrastructure, it would complement in a very significant way our tourist proposal “.
For his part, Busquier, explained that “in this type of works an archaeological follow-up must be carried out” and has detailed that, after the discovery, “the mandatory thing is to inform the Ministry of Culture and the promoter of the work, that in this case is the Elda City Council itself “.
One of the largest in the region
“The next step will be for the technicians of the Ministry to come and, from there, we will carry out an investigation and follow-up work to put it in value, as the mayor has commented,” he added.
He stressed that it is “a fairly large gallery shelter, probably one of the largest in the region.”
“The georadares had already pointed out the possibility that this refuge existed, but at no time did we expect that it would be so well preserved, easily accessible and can be visited. Furthermore, we are fortunate that the heritage discovery does not affect the work that is performs on the surface, “he said.