What to see in Alicante
As its name indicates, the Interpretation Center and Anti-Aircraft Shelters of the Spanish Civil War is an educational institution whose purpose is to describe the places that served as anti-aircraft defences in Alicante during the bloody Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939.
In addition to its important educational and pedagogical function, this centre has an important collection of objects, artifacts and relics of the time. It also explains how the shelters worked and shows their peculiar and complex architecture, which had to be adapted to the particularities of their respective areas.
Just as the infamous Nazi concentration camps were turned into museums to recount the horror of genocide, the Spanish Civil War Interpretation Center and Anti-Aircraft Shelters seeks to offer testimony about the terrible impact that this war had on Spanish history and its subsequent implications, which shaped the following generations of Spaniards.
Some of the shelters used during the war, which are in excellent condition, are Shelter 31 located in Séneca Square, in the centre of Alicante, and Shelter 46, located in Doctor Balmis Square.
These shelters, built in 1938, when aviation aggressively increased the number of bombardments, have a rectangular plan with multiple accesses through which to evacuate in case of emergency. They also have rooms of various sizes, adapted to the natural limitations of space.
The shelters contained rooms made of brick and concrete, multiple vents, benches and a maximum ceiling height of around 2.3 meters. Each room could accommodate approximately 200 people.