Central Market Building – Alicante, Spain - Atlas Obscura

Central Market Building

This magnificent market stands as a poignant symbol of the suffering caused by the Spanish Civil War. 


The central indoor market building in Alicante is a fantastic landmark in its own right. It has an eclectic design, and is ornamented in the style known as Valencian Modernism. It would not look out of place as part of a Ghostbusters film set.

However, the architecture isn’t the only intriguing aspect of this building. Its history is significant, too, as it is now seen as a symbol of the suffering the people of Alicante endured in their unsuccessful fight against Fascism during the Spanish Civil War.

On May 25, 1938, aircraft flown by Francisco Franco’s Italian allies attacked the city. Unfortunately, Alicante’s antiaircraft artillery was obsolete, and even the air raid sirens didn’t work well. The market was hit, and over 300 people were killed, with many more injured.

Today, you can see a set of tiles depicting a narrative about the bombing on the building. The main memorial is in the 25th of May Square, where a metal floor insert with an inscription forms a rather unnoticed memorial that people walk over every day. About 330 feet (roughly 100 meters) from the market building is an air raid shelter from the war period, which is now publicized as a spot for tourists to visit.

Know Before You Go

The market has two floors known as the meat floor and the fish floor, but other types of stalls are nowadays available on both levels. In 2018, there was a magnificent stall on the meat floor selling fantastic Sicilian delicacies such as arancini and some delicious cannoli.

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November 28, 2018

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