Dénia today has many symbolic elements with which it is recognized in many places. The red prawn is one of them, without a doubt. Also our coastline, the Montgo, of course, and even some streets like Marqués de Campo. The Castle, however, is surely the most emblematic. So much so that it is part of our shield. But, for a time there was one that stood out above (in every way) the castle: the Sagrat Cor monument.
Dénia Castle continues to shine today in all its splendor, partly due to the ambitious rehabilitation work that has been carried out over the years. However, it has not always been so. The nineteenth century was perhaps the darkest of the monument. The Napoleonic assault during the French invasion left its structure very deteriorated. Furthermore, in 1859 the troops were urged to abandon the fortress and destroy it.
Since this was already an unusable property and whose collapse seemed a fact, the State decided to auction it off. Yes, the monument of extremely important historical and cultural value was going to pass into private hands. Luckily, what could have been his downfall, however, managed to preserve his future.
The privatization of the Castle
A group of Dianenses acquired the property of the Castle. There were 20 neighbors, who prevented it from ending up destroyed. With this change of owners, his land became an agricultural estate oriented to the cultivation of vines and the production of raisins. During this time, terraces were set up for agriculture and retaining walls were created.
At this time, which lasted until 1952 when the City Council recovered ownership of the castle, the creation of the most imposing monument in the city was undertaken, which prevailed over the rest of the symbology for a few years. For a few years.
Raising the new monument of Dénia
In 1926 the first stone was laid for what would become the monument to the Sacred heart. It was built on the top of the Castle, a point carefully chosen so that it would be visible from all over Dénia. Hundreds of neighbors took part in the project, helping in the costly task of transporting the materials to the site. The inauguration, on May 3, 1927, was quite a party that attracted a multitude of people.
The majestic monument, designed by the Valencian professor of Fine Arts Salvador Rubio, was completed with a chapel at the base and a small altar with a Tabernacle. It also had two bells to announce religious services. The image of the Sacred Heart, in neo-Gothic style, was placed facing the town and the Montgó. In addition, to make it clearly visible, two reflectors were installed to illuminate it on certain dates and on the first Friday of each month. This caused a great sensation among the Dianenses.
Twilight of Sagrat Cor
However, the emblem was short-lived, becoming history a decade after the foundation stone was laid. The Sagrat Cor monument was demolished as a result of the Civil War at the beginning of August 1936. However, no one bothered to make it disappear, lying in a more than recognizable state on the floor of the Castle for decades.
They remained in the same place where they fell until 1974, when the administration decided to remove them to the courtyard of the Carmelitas school. For a time, the possibility of rebuilding it on the premises was considered, but the idea was discarded and the remains ended up being transferred to a small abandoned plot between the Santa Llúcia residence and the Alfa y Omega school.
The trail of the remains of the monument was soon lost, and what was once the most majestic symbol of the city was completely forgotten. In fact, since the 80s, the location of what remained of the image has been completely lost track of. But this one was still on the same land, away from everything, between large weeds and rocks from which they are hardly differentiated.
To this day they are still there, abandoned, but there is little left to recognize. The monument has been completely lost, deteriorated to the point of being almost indistinguishable in a wasteland full of other rocks with less to count.
In 2012 the Department of Culture of the Dénia City Council announced that the remains would be recovered to preserve them after the publication of his whereabouts by this newspaper. Despite this, the initiative never got anywhere. Such a determining symbol of Dénia's past will continue to be just that, a simple past. In the undergrowth they rest, seemingly forever.