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Rinconcillo Bunker: Gales Threaten Historic Landmark

Martín Serrano · Photos: Fran Montes

Over the last few years, the bunkers separating Rinconcillo from the ‘Playa de la Concha’ and the one situated near the ‘Bar de Los Pulpos’ have been destroyed.

Now, the Rinconcillo bunker, the only one remaining at the Algeciras beach, has been devastated by recent storms.

The IECG complained of the carelessness of the administration, even more so since these bunkers were declared Historic Landmarks by the Junta de Andalucía, as a reminder which put this region on the list of emblematic sites of the Francoist repression.

Búnker Rinconcillo

This bunker is one of approximately 500 fortifications and works that were carried out in the Campo de Gibraltar during the post-Civil War period.

It was one of the main projects carried out by the Franco regime during the first years of the dictatorship to guarantee the boundaries between Spanish and Gibraltarian territories.

Some 30,000 prisoners of the defeated republican army came to live and work here under what can be termed as semi-slave labour within the disciplinary units of the Campo de Gibraltar.

The prisoners carried out very heavy work such as the clearing and levelling of terrain, the construction of tracks and the unloading and hauling of materials, as well as the lifting of anti-tank bunkers and machine-gun nests.

Búnker Rinconcillo

This bunker is a very significant sample of this type of heritage that has lost its purpose after the Second World War and remained as a reminder of recent history.

Due to its historical, patrimonial and social significance, “we need to ask the Algeciras Townhall to reclaim and repair this site, as has been the case in other places.”

The construction of roads and military installations covered the entire southern flank of the province of Cádiz.

The legacy can be seen from Conil to Punta Mala, in San Roque. Inland the works reached Jimena de la Frontera and Gaucín.

Búnker Rinconcillo

In addition to the IECG, the cultural association ‘Ruta de los Bunkers’ (Route of the Bunkers) had already warned of the deteriorating situation of the so-called “Smurf’s Nest” – referring to its previous, blue colour – is enduring in El Rinconcillo beach.

‘Ruta de los Bunkers’ is studying these constructions from Torreguadiaro to Conil, cataloguing them and promoting their protection and conservation.

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