Monday, October 25

A shelter for the homeless, graffiti on the wall and fenced crevices in the Castillo de San Fernando

On the slopes of the Castillo de San Fernando people live with blankets spread out in search of protection and privacy.  |  PILAR CORTÉS

On the slopes of the Castillo de San Fernando live people who have spread blankets in search of protection and privacy. | PILAR CORTÉS

Obvious cracks in the wall surrounded by fences as a precaution that prevent the transit of people, graffiti throughout the historic fortress and even a makeshift shelter for people without resources. This is how the east slope of the Castillo de San Fernando is located, a historical landmark that dated 1812 in full War of independence and recently attended by the mayor, Luis Barcala, accompanied by councilors from the municipal government of Alicante.

The first of the visits took place in mid-October on the occasion of the European Green Week – “EU Green Week” -. The members of the bipartisan of Alicante met in a public act in the «skate park», located just a few meters from areas of the castle in a lamentable state of maintenance, which is nothing new, but which worsens with the passage of time . On the same slope of the castle is where important damages are located, with numerous fences that surround striking cracks in the wall, through which the passage of people is prohibited due to the poor state of conservation. Graffiti, on the other hand, is a common trend that is spread throughout the wall, although in that area it is difficult to see any space without graffiti. A few dozen meters from the “skate park” there is also a shelter, where, according to residents of the area, vulnerable people live. In that environment you can see blankets and other textile garments strategically placed to mitigate the effects of living outdoors and that also seek to find some privacy.

Cracks in different points of the Castillo de San Fernando, in yesterday’s images. | PILAR CORTÉS

Barcala’s last official visit to the area was made to the southern slope, on which architectural recovery and accessibility works have been carried out on the Alicante fortress. “With this important action we completed the recovery of the entire southern slope of this green lung located in the heart of the city and improved pedestrian access to the educational facilities located in its upper part,” the mayor said recently. This project, with a budget of around one million euros, an execution period of five months and framed within the call of the Operational Program of European Regional Development Funds (Feder) of the Valencian Community, allows to recondition the areas of the ramp access steps to the Ronda del Castillo to recover the original access to the place, the ramp and access to the Puerta de los Leones, the vaults of the Castle, the upper and lower terraces and the circular tower, according to the Alicante City Council, which aims to promote more phases of rehabilitation.

Just two weeks ago, the bipartisan officially reported the reception of those first rehabilitation works of the castle, which include a “special night lighting for the accesses and interiors of the citadel, as well as the plugging of cracks and consolidation of the corners of Wall”. In addition, one of the enclosures inside the walls has been fitted out to be “used as a reception center for visitors”, an installation that is still closed to the public.

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