During the Spanish Civil War, residents of Alcoi in the Valencia region of Spain constructed 25 air raid shelters. These subterranean bunkers were designed to protect the residents from air raids conducted by the Italian Legionary Air Force.
Italian forces were utilizing three-engined Savoia SM 79 medium bombers from their bases on the nearby island of Majorca to conduct the raids. They made eight major raids on this strongly Republican city from 1938 through 1939.
This shelter is one of the largest buildings in the city and included enough space for more than 1,000 people, however, there were only four toilets and two hand basins. In 2006, the shelter was refurbished and converted into a museum. Much of the gallery area of the shelter addresses the history of the war and shelter through displays, video recordings of personal testimonies, and information boards.
One of the most interesting sections is the first aid station/infirmary that included its own X-ray machine. The whole experience is thought-provoking and informative, as the perspectives from those wh0 were forced to endure the war are front and center. The setting also provides a personal insight into what life may have been like during this chaotic period.
Know Before You Go
Standard adult admission in February 2020 was €1. Seniors and children €0.50.
The best parking is located in a small shopping mall about 200 meters to the north. Street parking in Alcoi is very difficult and not really worth the effort of trying to locate.
The cafe in Parc Cervantes has a great view of the Riquer river gorge. The coffee is good and the hazelnut flavored croissants are delicious.