Santa Eulalia: From utopian dream to legal nightmare

Santa Eulalia: From utopian dream to legal nightmare.

Santa Eulalia: From utopian dream to legal nightmare. Image: Ayuntamiento de Sax. 

Santa Eulalia experienced only three or four decades of prosperity.

Count Antonio de Padua and María Avial became lovers and faced a highly publicised trial for adultery.

On January 11, 1910, the newspaper ABC reported: “The act is classified as adultery, with an aggravating circumstance, and a sentence of four years, nine months, and eleven days of correctional prison is requested for the defendants.”

It is unclear if they served their sentence.

In the early 1970s, Santa Eulalia was acquired by Vicente Marco Ruiz, a prosperous businessman from Alicante.

When Vicente Marco Ruiz died in 1975, he left the Santa Eulalia neighbourhood to his six children as an undivided inheritance.

The heirs have never agreed on what to do with the property.

At one point, four heirs reached an agreement to sell part of the property, but the sale was challenged by the other heirs.

Deciding how to distribute this property of more than 2,700,000 square metres among the heirs and the validity of the subsequent purchases and sales is a complex matter that is now in the hands of the courts.

Cultural Asset

In 2016, the Valencian Government declared Santa Eulalia an Asset of Cultural Interest.

This designation was given because Santa Eulalia is the only colony built under the framework of utopian socialism that has survived almost intact to the present day.

Its construction is a notable example of the modernism and industrial architecture of its time.

Historian Alberto Ochoa, director of the Sax Virtual Museum, commented: “We hoped that in 2016, with the declaration as an Asset of Cultural Interest, things would improve and that efforts would begin to manage this heritage.”

“But as of today, little has been done.”

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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.