Travels in Spain, Alicante Castle and Memories of the Spanish Civil War

Prisoner Engraving Alicante

A visit to any castle is not complete without a descent into the dungeons.  Alicante is no different and the visitor route includes a visit to a dark chamber where as many as fifty prisoners were held during the Spanish Civil War. The information boards are not specific but they most likely were Nationalists because Alicante was a Republican stronghold and the last city to fall to Franco’s forces in March 1939.

One by one it is said that these prisoners scratched their names into the stone using a single nail which they passed around (must have been a strong nail)  – graffiti which can now be found set into the floor of one of the castle’s highest terraces.

As a student of the past it is always an experience to come across something like this – genuine history left behind by the people that made it.

Alicante Civil warAlicante Castle prisoner graffiti

19 responses to “Travels in Spain, Alicante Castle and Memories of the Spanish Civil War

  1. That must have given you a strange feeling, seeing those remnants from the past.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Fascinating, I had no Idea that was there. When does your History of Spain book with photos come out?I think you would make a best seller – from Romans to Moors to the Inquisition to Franco.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Have you ever read Giles Tremlett’s ‘The Ghosts of Spain’, Andrew?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I saw a Spanish documentary series about the Civil War and it listed Alicante as a place where Franco had just one of his concentration camps. Not a prison camp but a concentration camp like Belsen or Dachau. The programme said 30,000 had been killed there. It wasn’t in a castle though, just some kind of, nowadays, brown field site with old metal poles and traces of gates etc. If you hadn’t known what it was, I don’t think that you would have noticed it. I was very surprised about the existence of the camps, but Spanish people have told me that the Civil War is a very raw subject still, a bit like the Miners’ Strike in northern England.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am always interested in the need people feel to carve their names into stone, to leave a memory of their passing. Out West (the western US) there are a number of rocks that pioneers carved their names into. And up in the mountains where the Basque sheep herders wandered, you often find their names caved into aspen trees. Maybe it is our touch of immortality in a very tenuous world. –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The story about the nail and the writing gives me chills. Wow. 🙂


  7. Spooky! Any good swear words?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Prison was no picnic in those days! What a bloody mess the Civil War was, and how sad!

    Liked by 1 person

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