The architecture of the Spanish civil war in Xàbia - a little known heritage
See also: In April this year, the Valencian Government modified the law of Valencian Cultural Heritage to provide a level of protection for structures relating to the conflict of the 1936-39 Civil war, thus recognising this unappreciated historical and archaeological heritage.
The structures are to be individually catalogued by the municipalities as "Bien de Relevencia Local" or (BRL) - which roughly translates as "Good of Local Relevance". Hence our interest at this time in the architecture of the civil war here in Xàbia.
The 18th of July 1936 marked the start of the Nationalist uprising against the Republican Government of Spain. It led to three years of civil war, the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, not only combatants on the fronts, but also civilians killed by aerial bombing, coastal bombardment from the sea, and the repression of supporters of both sides who had the misfortune to be living in regions controlled by the other.
There was also immense destruction of goods, property, infrastructure and livelihoods. The war left a legacy which continues to influence Spain's politics today. If you would like to learn more about the Spanish civil war. I recommend these two books:
The Battle for Spain – Anthony Beevor - 2006
The Spanish Civil War – Paul Preston - 2006
During the war, Xàbia was part of the territory controlled by the Republicans. The Marina Alta area was the rearguard and was developed as an important coastal defense against attacks from the Francoist navy and to provide protection for coastal shipping. Therefore a series of bunkers, gun and communication emplacements were built. Xàbia also had a small airfield with two landing strips on the Pla.
These assets, combined with the presence of the port, made the town a potential target for General Franco and his allies, specifically the airforce of the Italian fascists and the infamous German Condor Legion which used this conflict to perfect its methods of terror bombing. As a result, the local population was at risk, and a number of bomb shelters were built.
Since the war, many of the structures have unfortunately been demolished. Today Ximo will describe where they are, or were, and what physical remains still exist of this very important, and painful chapter of Xàbia's history. ( To view the presentation full screen, click on the arrow at the top right corner of the document)
See also: The War in Xàbia