WORKS to unblock a pipe have uncovered a civil war-era air raid shelter in Elche, and could scupper plans for a new underground car park.
Mayor Carlos González, has confirmed the discovery in Plaza de las Flores, next to the main entrance of the Central Market, adding that it matches plans held at city hall.
The refuge is in perfect condition and, according to the mayor, has relevance today. He said: “The discovery of the refuge of the Central Market has an extraordinary relevance due to its considerable impact on the hypothetical construction project of a car park. It is located in the middle of the development zone of the car park.”
He added: “In the hope of obtaining more information and documenting the information obtained today, the first conclusion is that, in addition to the extraordinary heritage and cultural relevance of the discovery, this discovery highlights the unfeasibility of the construction of the car park of the new Central Market.”
In addition, the mayor pointed out that the Cultural Heritage Act declares that Property of Local Relevance (BRL) includes historical and archaeological remains from the Civil War, including shelters.
The mayor said: “We are convinced that this refuge has an extraordinary historical, patrimonial and archaeological value.” He said that the council’s intention would be to protect the site.
The work on the pipe uncovered an access to the shelter, which allowed entry to firefighters, municipal engineers and archaeologists from Aigües d’Elx.
The mayor said that the refuge is preserved in perfect condition and is about 80 metres long, one end in the direction of the roundabout and another in the direction of the river Vinalopó.