The town Hall of Almoradí (Alicante) has acquired what may be considered “the first social housing in Spain” and “only remnant standing”, after the earthquake of 1829 , engineer José Agustín Larramendi” . The initiative aims to convert the property into a museum in memory of the “devastating” earthquake that destroyed part of the region and that this municipality was the most affected.

The municipal administration, at the initiative of the mayor, María Gómez, and the councillor of Heritage, José Antonio Latorre, has signed the purchase of this dwelling, located in the street The Queen, who, after the earthquake, was built and dedicated in 1832 to a family of survivors who had been left without resources, as explained by the city Council in a press release.

The town Hall of Almoradí has paid 46,000 euro their owners, two brothers, heirs of the housing. In the town were built a total of 124 houses of this type, delivered in 1832. Of them, only one still standing is the one that the City recently purchased, as I remember in the 190 anniversary of the earthquake that will mark the 21st of march. The town lost, in addition to some 200 lives, “innumerable homes, churches, and four bridges.”

Nearly two centuries later, this “humble” house maintains its walls and firm purpose with which it was built by the “first engineer of roads Spanish” Agustín Larramendi, has detailed the councillor in charge of cultural Heritage.

“Almost unaltered”

Latorre has highlighted that, of the 124 houses “built and distributed by luck of widows and owners poor,” by Bishop Felix Smith in 1832, “surprisingly, is still preserved almost unaltered, in the number 33 of the street The Queen, one of those houses, that keeps the essence of the system and building materials then,” he said.

The property is as it was built and delivered to their victims in 1932, with the soil of earth original, the ceilings with reed, and entrevigado of pine wood, as well as the doors of the rooms.

Over an approximate area of 140 square meters is built a house of 90 meters. The rest of the area was used to corral and block. It is accessed by a gate with double from the street and the house is distributed in two rooms on the facade, kitchen-living and a small unit next to the kitchen. Its pavement was of rammed earth.

In the kitchen there is a cooker under the fireplace and the lects of the hood, with space for appliances and pots, in addition to a tinajero. The corral consists of a small block or stable, whose only entrance or exit is the front door, hence the reason that they are of a double sheet, facilitating the movement of animals.

“priceless historical Value”

The mayor has explained that up to that time the Spanish Crown had not paid for any company related to the construction of social housing, so that “it is a priceless historical value, because, until the Royal Order of 1853, there is no evidence that the State financed social housing”, has asegurago.

This house of Queen street is the “existing evidence”, according to Latorre, that the region was a territory “merely agricultural”, because all the homes had a backyard with spaces for pens and the entrance doors were double-leaf to allow the entry of animals. The design of the new township was made from the Acequia mayor, which is the starting point.

The rest is in ruin and will have to be rehabilitated. The goal, announced by the mayor, is to convert the dwelling into a museum of remembrance of the earthquake of 1829, “as there is in the whole of the Vega Baja no item so remember important historical fact”.


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