Monday, January 30

The future park of El Pico de Badajoz will occupy 20 hectares


Situation of the future Parque del Pico. / TODAY

They are private land that the City Council wants to buy with the aim of creating a green area, sports courts and a place for concerts

Natalia Reigadas

Fifty years ago people used to go dancing on Saturdays in the booth on the Pico, and perhaps in a few years they will go to this islet between the mouth of the Rivillas and the Gévora river to listen to a great concert. It is the project pursued by the Badajoz City Council.

The area that will take advantage of the Peak is not the same as before. The dances were held on the peak, literally, in the most pointed area of ​​the peninsula, with the river on both sides. In this case, however, the project will be in the upper area, which is between the roads and has very outstanding views of the Alcazaba. Specifically, the City Council intends to buy three private plots in this area to turn them into a park. These lands are located between the area closest to the Autonomy Bridge (the lower area in the shape of a peak) and the gravel pit, without actually entering its land.

View of the El Pico area where the park will be installed from the Alcazaba. /

JV ARNELAS

At the moment, the Consistory intends to negotiate the purchase of the land and clean up the area. The project will be bigger and more ambitious in the future, but the first intention is to create an esplanade that will be used for holding concerts. Badajoz currently lacks a space to hold great shows. El Pico would be an ideal setting because, in addition to having plenty of space, it has excellent views with the Alcazaba, the Guadiana and the Fort of San Cristóbal around it. Today the land that the City Council wants to buy is unused, except for some small business activity.

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The first phase will include sports courts, play areas and the auditorium for concerts. At the moment the Consistory has reserved 2,284,000 euros for this purpose. They have been diverted from other projects that have not prospered due to lack of support from European funds, such as the car park on Calle Prim. For the moment, the budgets for this 2022 allocate 550,000 euros to acquire the land or carry out expropriations.

Well received

The news has been very well received by those who know the Peak. Few people go to this area, however. Some fishermen, families on weekends and some athletes who walk the paths or the route that goes upstream. This peninsula continues between the Rivillas and Gévora rivers as far as the Pesquera dam and further on are Las Crispitas. You can go up by car to the A-5 bridge.

“It has always seemed to me one of the most beautiful places in Badajoz, but now not many people can come because the roads are very bad,” explains Santos Mariano, who is walking. “It’s a great place for cycling, for example, but there are holes and rocks everywhere.”

Reyes Martín, another neighbor, is happy with the project. «And also, if they can, that they fix the Rivillas roads that are very touched by the passage of time. That way we would have the complete walking circuit.”

In fact, the project on this peninsula is part of several investments around the river. The first is that the City Council intends to install a pedestrian walkway between the Peak and the Right Bank. Currently they are not communicated, so the circuit between both shores is lost. It would be a 260-meter bridge that would cost about 800,000 euros. The project has run aground for the moment because it did not obtain a European subsidy, but the municipal managers maintain the intention of building it.

This walkway would link the left bank and the Pico with one of the least exploited areas of the river, the surroundings of the Molino de los Moscoso. This old mill will be, in the future, an interpretation center for the river. At the moment the Consistory is going to put the project out to tender and has reserved some 800,000 euros of European funds to carry out the recovery.

Near the Molino de los Moscoso, they are also going to study the construction of a second caravan park and campsite, since Badajoz lacks this tourist resource.

Finally, another of the shocks for this area could be the recovery of the Light Factory. The old electrical installation is a building of great historical value that has been empty for years. The recently founded board of trustees of the Extremadura Museum for Science and Technology is committed to creating a center on renewable energies in this space as one of the headquarters of its project.

Bathers and canoes in the 70s next to the Peak. / PESINI

When this islet had the Chicago booth and held dances

Although the youngest do not remember it, El Pico del Guadiana was already an area where Badajoz habitually went. In this area they bathed in the Guadiana when the waters were crystal clear, they rode in boats to cross the river and even went to parties on weekends.

What many people from Badajoz remember the most is the Chicago booth, a mythical kiosk that was on the Peak and that held dances on Saturdays. It was very popular and an essential meeting point for young people for a few years. Those who remember the Chicago booth point out that it was common to go to the area then and that the roads were better than now.

It was also common to see boats walk along the river and stop at the Peak, it was a regular visit.

Another use that this space had was for the smartest in the city, especially young people. A common practice was to go to the Peak on foot and swim to the Guadiana beach, which was on the other shore. So you could enter the reserved area without having to pay.


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