Lost in time: The enigmatic colony of Santa Eulalia

Lost in time: The enigmatic colony of Santa Eulalia.

Lost in time: The enigmatic colony of Santa Eulalia. Image: Ayuntamiento de Sax.

In 1886, Antonio de Padua y Saavedra and his business partner Mariano Bertodano founded a self-sufficient community called the Colony of Santa Eulalia.

Located on the Costa Blanca between the towns of Sax and Villena, Santa Eulalia thrived by growing and selling crops.

The colony featured housing for workers, various shops, a theatre, a church, and a casino. It had an oil mill, a flour factory, and an alcohol distillery.

Count Don Antonio Padúa Saavedra y Rodriguez and his wife Doña María Avial Peñas (who was originally wed to business partner, Mariano Bertondano) had a mansion where they often stayed to oversee operations.

Thanks to its location on the Madrid-Alicante railway line, the colony enjoyed industrial success until the 1930s.

Spanish Civil War

The Spanish Civil War, however, severely impacted its productivity, leading to its near abandonment by 1940.

The mansion remained occupied until the 1960s when the family could no longer afford its upkeep.

Today, the area around the colony attracts tourists, but the once-thriving community is slowly deteriorating.

Before the town was featured on the local TV show called l’Alquería Blanca, many people were unaware of the history of Santa Eulalia.

The programme sparked great interest and the local government officially declared it an “Asset of Cultural Interest” and promised a restoration programme which is still awaited.

While locals still occupy a restaurant and several homes, the colony stands as a fading reminder of its romantic past.

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Written by

Anna Ellis

Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.