Punta Prima - La Zenia, Alicante
In Punta Prima, the division between the municipal terms of Orihuela and Torrevieja was established in 1955, in a place that in those years was characterized by dry herbaceous crops by the sea. Ten years later, in 1965, one of the oldest urban plans in Torrevieja was approved in this area, Partial Plan 1B “Punta Prima”, which would later be modified in 1983, incorporated into the PGOU of 1986 and affected by the so-called “freedom typological” of 2008, which allows the construction of buildings over 4 stories high.
On plot 8 and adjoining the Partial Plan 1B “Punta Prima” which have not yet been developed, there is a military anti-aircraft shelter and a series of ruins of the old Police Barracks and the Anti-Aircraft Battery Barracks House that was enabled during the Civil War. This led to the Torrevieja City Council in 2017 conditioning the approval of the Interior Reform Project on the completion of an archaeological study of all existing elements, with the intention of safeguarding them and preventing their disappearance. The promoting company commissioned this study to Alebus Patrimonio Histórico, S. L., which, with the participation of ARN Arquitectos, drafted the Report(1) of the archaeological excavation that was presented in 2018, and whose processing continues before the Territorial Directorate of Culture and Sports of the Department of Education, Research, Culture and Sport.
During the planning of the archaeological excavation, I had the opportunity to meet on the ground with the archaeologist-director, Eduardo López Seguí, with whom I shared the information I had on the history of the place and that I had been gathering over the years. This article tries to put in order what I have been compiling in specialized bibliography, historical press articles, historical cartography, analysis of aerial photographs of different flights and, above all, from the consultation of oral sources, since there are still many people who were familiar with the different buildings existing there and who have provided valuable data, such as Justo Montesinos Ruiz el Gato or Antonio Fructuoso Ballester el Monra.
The search for historical data (both documentary and oral) and, above all, the archaeological work are still open, so it is likely that in the coming years we will be able to delve into the historical knowledge of the military installations in this place, or clarify some of the the working hypotheses that have been raised when analyzing all the available information.
This article also intends to be a tribute to all the policemen who served in Torrevieja and surroundings until 1940 and later as “specialists” of the Civil Guard, with the certainty that many ancestors of the current Torrevejenses served in that Police Corps, Of which there are still many things to tell…
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