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Valencia's air-raid shelters


 

One of the periods in recent history that people are most curious about is the Spanish Civil War. It was at the beginning of the conflict, in 1936, when the capital of the Second Republic was transferred to Valencia, making it a strategic target. Bombing attacks on the city increased, creating the need to build air-raid shelters to protect the civilian population from the bombs. 

Valencia’s becoming the capital of Spain was also accompanied by an interesting cultural movement. Even in difficult times, creativity and design find a way.

 

 

How to visit some of Valencia's air-raid shelters 

With the idea of protecting the population from the direct impact of the bombs and shock waves, during the Civil War, a number of shelters were built in Valencia, allowing people to seek protection until the attacks had passed. Both public and private buildings were used for the general public or set aside for a specific group of people. Around 50 were built in different sizes, using two construction solutions: a post-and-lintel system or vaulting. While some had bathrooms and even kitchens, others did not even have a toilet. 

n addition to the network of shelters to protect the civilian population set up by the republican government, some 200 basements were also fitted out. 

Today it is possible to visit some of them. We invite you to recall the past and put yourself in the place of those whose lives were saved by these facilities. 

The design of the labels of the shelters

Fortunately, the original purpose of all the shelters no longer applies.  

However, the typography of their signs has transcended the years. So much so that even the Atypical Valencia brand, created by Valencian designers, came up with a wooden magnet with original packaging reproducing the famous sign that looks out at us from a number of façades around the city.

Whether or not they are open to visitors, Valencia’s air-raid shelters form part of its history. They are an example of the tendency towards and talent for design that binds to Valencia's DNA and can be found in its streets and buildings. 

It is thus no surprise that the city has been named World Design Capital 2022, and its activities include highlighting the different signs decorating it. 

We encourage you to discover one of the shelters as you walk the city, seeking out unexpected spots filled with design in Valencia.

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