History: The growth of Xàbia began 140 years ago

140 years ago Xàbia began a new stage of growth. Specifically, in 1879, Xàbia or Jávea as it was then called, a new stage in its history started by two projects that made it grow and put on the map as it had not been before.

According to the information provided by Juan Bautista Codina Bas, the first project was regulated by a Royal decree published in the Gazette of Madrid, the 29 of March of 1879 and transcribed in the Official Gazette of the Province of Alicante on the 2 of April of the same year . This is the proposal of the Minister of Development that authorizes Mr. Jaime Cruañes and D. Romualdo Catalá, neighbors of Jávea, in the province of Alicante, to build a shelter dock for loading and unloading effects in the Jávea cove, with Subject to the project submitted without State subsidy and under the inspection and supervision of the Chief Engineer of the province.

In said Royal decree it was said: “The dike will start from the tip called Galera, with the collapse of 184º 30 ', and will be 300 meters long”. In art. 4 indicates that “this authorization does not prejudge any matter regarding the establishment and construction of a commercial port in Jávea, and therefore the Government reserves the right to execute other works, either in prolongation of the granted dike, or in other point, without the concessionaires being entitled to any compensation.

The art. 6 indicated that the concession was for 90 years remaining property of the State at the expiration of said term. The concessionaires could charge fees but they were exempt from the payment of rights the warships and property of the State, whatever the place where they anchored, as well as all nationals or foreigners who enter the port of forced arrival, in accordance to the Code of Commerce and Customs Ordinances. A guarantee of 6.000 pesetas was established and the work had to be started within eight months ending in five years. The Royal decree concluded that the work of the dike to be executed will be subject to the provisions of the general laws on customs, health, commerce, national defense and sea ordinances.

The second project was regulated by a Royal decree published in the Gazette of Madrid, the 12 of July 1879, when publishing the authorization to expand the population of the northern area of ​​Jávea, once the walls were demolished, according to the approved project whose execution budget was 82.713 pesetas 72 cents. From this news several newspapers echoed: The Correspondence of Spain, Iberia, the Future Century, Official Newspaper of Madrid.

The expansion project had been formed by the master of works D. José Cardona Salines, the only doctor who attended the contest opened by the municipal corporation. This expansion, according to the proposal of the Minister of Development, the Count of Toreno, was due to the fact that to carry out the expansion of the populations a good urbanization plan was required, and at that point he accepted the request of the City Council.

To get an idea of ​​the amount budgeted, it is indicated that the salary of the elementary school teacher of Jávea was 1.100 annual pesetas and that of the 733,50 teacher. The average price that year of the quintal (four arrobas) of raisins was between real 60 and 100 (15 to 20 pesetas).

Perhaps these two projects would enable the working class to find relief in their needs by being able to access work in one of them. The news that we have of that same year that tell us about emigration is that of the October 5 that left Buenaventura on the way to Algiers, carrying the Buenaventura steam carrying more than one hundred passengers, mostly women and children. Four days later, while El Buenaventura was in a hurried situation due to the storms and the state of the sea, it was the intervention of an Italian captain who saved them from hunger and brought them closer to land. The ship was taken to Alicante to repair it and in Jávea the passengers were left who did not want to continue in anguished situation because when they emigrate to Africa, they have no more than the precise money for the trip, and they lacked any resources to feed themselves. The 20 of October, a few days later, embarked 252 emigrants to Algeria that came from Alicante, Altea and Jávea.

There is a circumstance that José Cardona Salines, the master of works that wrote the expansion project, was a great-grandfather of Juan Bautista Codina Bas, author of this documentation.

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