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MEDITERRANEAN ART AND CULTURE

For over 3 000 years, different civilizations and their cultures have passed through Alicante and Elche. All of them have shaped these lands and left a rich legacy which can be appreciated not only in its cultural and artistic heritage, but also in the open, innovative, warm and hospitable character of their peoples.

ALICANTE

Castillo de Santa Barbara (Castle of St. Barbara) Located on Mount Benacantil, 166 metres above sea level, on the coast, from where you can see the whole Bay of Alicante. Along its slopes, Iberian and Roman archaeological remains from the Bronze Age were discovered, but the present day fort dates back to the end of the 9th Century during the Moorish occupation.

MARQ: Located in the building of the old San Juan de Dios Hospital (built by Juan Vidal Ramos between 1926 and 1929), it currently houses more than 80 000 pieces which demonstrate the wealth of the history of the Costa Blanca, and the legacy left by civilizations after crossing the Mediterranean. It stands out for its modern design, its great use of audiovisual and information technology and the educational quality of its explanations.

ELCHE

Palmeral de Elche (The Elche Palm Grove) If there is a feature which perfectly represents Elche, it is the palm grove - a unique landscape with more than 200 000 specimens, the largest in Europe This plantation, created for agrarian purposes, dates back to the 10th Century when the Arabs moved the city to its present location. The Palmeral de Elche was recognised by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Centre in 2000.

The Misteri d´Elx: A religious sacra-lyrical drama which recreates the Dormition, Assumption and Coronation of the Virgin Mary. The work is divided into two acts and is staged annually on the 14 and 15 August in the Basilica of St Mary.


It is the only work of its kind which has been performed uninterrupted from the 15th Century to the present day. In 2001, UNESCO declared it a Masterpiece in the Oral and Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, giving Elche its second award of World Heritage status.

 

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