You need only go on a simple walk through the picturesque landscapes of Alicante to realise that it has huge cultural and historical value. And not just in its small towns, but also in the city of Alicante, you’ll see that it’s home to the very imposing castle ‘Castillo de Santa Barbara’. In this article, you’ll get to know some of the natural and cultural gems tucked away in Alicante province. More specifically, gems considered to be UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Ready for this virtual tour?
Alicante, a province with 3 World Heritage Sites
Most of the time, we live in regions and towns that have a lot of cultural value that we’re not fully aware of. This means we look to go be a tourist elsewhere and try out different activities outside of our home, without realising that we can find this barely even a few kilometres away. To stop this from happening to you, here’s a list of World Heritage sites in and around Alicante.
El Palmeral de Elche is one of the 200 natural sites that UNESCO declared as World Heritage in the year 2000. And no wonder! This site has over 200,000 palm trees. This impressive number means that it’s the biggest palm grove in Europe.
However, apart from its size, what’s so special about the Palm grove of Elche? One of the reasons why it’s a unique site is due to its agricultural role. It is a living example of Arab agricultural techniques on the European continent.
You have to go back to the 8th century AD to discover the origin of this emblem of the city of Elche. And today, more than 1,200 years later, it is still a must-see stop on your visit to the province of Alicante.
El Misteri d’Elx
There’s no doubt that Elche is a city stands out for its natural value, but it has cultural value too. The traditional Misteri d’Elx is one of the World Heritage Sites of the province of Alicante. Just in May 2021 it was 20 years since this theatrical performance was declared Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. This declaration came just six months after the city’s palm grove was recognised by UNESCO.
Due to lack of documentation, the exact origins of el Misiteri d’Elx are estimated to have been around 13th and 14th century. Generation after generation, this medieval play has been passed down to our time and turned into a symbol of the city and also the Comunidad de Valencia. The 14-15 August are important dates marked in the calendars of Elche’s residents, as the performance coincides with the holiday of the Assumption of the Virgin. It can be a good opportunity for you to visit the city!
El Museo de Pusol
And finally, the third World Heritage Site in the province of Alicante is also in Elche. The Museum Escolar de Pusol, declared World Heritage in 2009. This building contains 100,000 pieces of enormous historical value, as they depict life in the city over the span of its history.
City of Alicante, candidate for World Heritage
If these three sites weren’t enough, the city of Alicante is applying to UNESCO to be a World Heritage site. This idea has been in the works since 2016 and is within reach thanks to its castles like Santa Barbara and la Huerta towers, the Tibi marsh and the fortress on the Nueva Tabarca island. So, have you visited any of these emblematic places?
Now that you know all about the World Heritage sites in Alicante, it’s time to go out and enjoy them! Plan an escapade to Elche and get to know this gem of a city, less than an hour and a half away from Cumbre del Sol. Don’t forget to bring your camera or phone as these are places that are worth capturing!