|In our region we can visit two different standard fortifications: Linea Gutierrez and Batteries of the coast.|
"Linea Gutierrez" was built by Franco’s army between 1939 and 1953. It is a line of casements, similar to the Maginot Line or the Siegfried Line, but not as strong and with less armament. The line was made up of hundreds of casements and extends 40 km between Llançà and Maçanet de Cabrenys in the IV° Military Region. From Maçanet, it continues under the name "Linea de los Pyreneos" ("Linea P.") and passes over the chain of the Pyrenees to A Hendaye - Irun. On the whole, between 5.000 and 10.000 casements were built in the Pyrenees. The goal was to protect Spain against an invasion from the Allied forces during and after the Second World War. During the Second World War, Spain was on the side of the Axis (Germany, Italy and Japan). The Gutierrez Line was comprised of observation posts, bunkers for infantry equipped with machine-guns, artillery bunkers, bunkers with mortars, the bunkers with anti-aircraft guns and the large shelters for soldiers on a second level… This line from Maçanet de Cabrenys extends towards Darnius, Pont de Molins, Peralada, Garriguella and Llançà. The line was built under the control of the Spanish army, employing its recruits like "soldados picadores" and "soldados aguadores." Some of the construction work was by forced labour by Republicans prisoners of the Civil War. A beautiful example is on the top of the "Montperdut" (327 m), where the prisoners had cut into the stone galleries and a 360° observation post. This site is worth visiting -- take the path from Valleta (between km. 22 and 23 of the road between Llançà and Figueres - not far from the ruins of the castle of Quermanço). To visit two other representative sections of Linea Guitierrez, one can look at the area near the road between Peralada and Garriguella between km 50 and 52 (surroundings of Mas Socarrat) and the road (on the left-hand side) between Biure (Pont de Molins) and km 10 on the road of Darnius.
Batteries of the coast
The bay of Roses was already protected by the Citadel of Roses and the "Castell de Trinitat."
|The last period of fortifications dates from after the Spanish Civil War. To prevent an Allied invasion from the sea, Franco’s army had decided to strengthen the beaches with casements and to place batteries around the bay.|
One can still see two casements for machine-guns on the baluard Sant Joan of the Citadel of Roses, but they were built by the Republicans for the Civil War. At the north, the bay was protected by the powerful battery N° 8 from Punta Falconera. This battery was equipped with four 15 cm Vickers/Reinosa guns within a casement. After 1993 the enormous guns were cut into scrap and the metal was sold. Today, one can still admire the camouflaged casements, the observation posts and telemetry and the remainder of the barracks. To visit the site, it is necessary to take the Roses Road in direction of Canyelles Grosses and then take the military path, which leads out in top towards the battery.
There are still secondary batteries at "El Far" and on the hill of "Castell de Trinitat". This battery N° 7 of four 10 cm Garcia Lomas guns can be visited starting from the road which leads to the castle. It is necessary to take the path on the glacis southern side of the hill. One finds three gun casements on line. The entry of the fourth gun is between the road and the sea. It is necessary to pass the metal door and the gallery which leads to the position of the gun.
The other coast of the bay was protected by four enormous 15 cm Vickers/Reinosa guns from the battery N° 5 from Punta Milà in Escala. They are on a concrete open site. The site can be visited starting from the very straight way (GR-92), which leaves the coastal road between Escala and Estartit. At the end of the motor road, one still finds some concrete sites of the secondary batteries.
A secondary battery is also in La Clota beside of the marina of L’Escala. To arrive there, one takes the road of the port until the end and then one climbs the hill and continues by foot to the four casements of the battery for the 10 cm Garcia Lomas guns. At the side of the entry of a casement one can still see the armouring of a gun which came from a Spanish cruiser from the end of the XIX° century!
On the hill that dominates Cala Montgó in L’ Escala, beside the Torre de Montgó are still some machine gun casements, a site and a building to place a headlight on a revolving unit to illuminate part of the bay during a possible night attack.
|To protect from a landing on Platja of Ribera, close to Port to Selva, Franco’s forces built on the Cap "Punta de ' S’Arnella" a battery with four 10 cm Garcia Lomas guns. This battery forms the point hinge with the Linea Gutierrez and could control the sea to the French border. One can visit the four casements and the telemetry and observation post (the last is in the bush) from the military way, which leads from km 3 of the road from Llançà to Port de la Selva to the headlight of S’Arnella.|
|Port de la Selva, s Arnella|
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