Tag Archives: Museums

Elche, the city of Palms

Elche is most known as the city of the Palms.

Elche

Elche

The city is located in the south of the town Alicante. Alicante is a part of the province Alicante.
The city offers a nice place to live and to visit.
It was important trough out the history. has a large history and was importance  during the Moorish occupation.

The Palm tree park.

Fist, the Palm tree park is the largest “Palmeral Park” in Europe with 200 000 trees.
As a result that  the palm groves have an international UNESCO award.

Tourist information.

In the center of city you can find the tourist information office.
Make a visit to the office for a good map and the correct list of opening times of the different things to visit.
The opening hours and the prices of the museums are changing depending on the summer or winter season.
Naturally , do not forget that in Spain the shops and museums can been closed for the siesta .
They take their siesta normally between 14.00 and 16.00 or even 17.00

The tourist information employees will surely recommend the Elche city walking route.
The walking route is a great introduction.
Or take the small tourist train.This is easy and great way to see the best sights of the city.

This is a great and easy way to see the best sights

The Palmeral Park.


Again , the Palmeral park is a park full of groves of date palms.
At the time of the Muslim occupation in the 8th century the date palms were planted.
The Palmeral park, with a great irrigation system, is an oasis. It is an example of the Arab practices on the Iberian peninsula.
After all the Palmeral of Elche is the largest of Europa. Presently on the second place  is the  Palmeral of the city of Orihuela.
In fact the palm groves has over 200 000 palm trees.

Elche Palm Park

Elche Palm Park

During your visit of Elche  for the Palmeral Park you can visits the nice town  and offers you a various choice of museums.

Archaeological  and History Museum.

Indeed this  museum is an award-winning museum. In the museum you learn more about the palm trees. Besides the museum is interactive and you can learn more about the long history of the town with Muslim, Roman and Iberian influences.

Elche Shopping

The next best of Elche is that the town  has also fancy shopping malls.
One of the shopping malls is out-of-town and is called the l’Aljub.
In the town there is “El Corte Ingles” departemenet store.
One of the famous outlets for the locals,  is the outlet of the Salvador Artesano shoe factory, a real must for the shoe adepts. The outlet is the large as a football field.

Cathedral of Elche.

Also knows as the Basilica de Santa Maria .
If you climb the steps of the roof of the Basilica of the Santa Maria, you can get a beautiful view over wonderful Elche end his Palm Tree Park.
It is built on the remains of the old mosque. When the Muslims were conquered the mosque was considered to the Christian faith and became the Santa Maria church.
It was rebuilt in the Gothic- Renaissance style. The current building, dating from 17th century, shows the influence of the Baroque.

Huerta del Cura.

More specifically ,a beautiful botanical garden full with a large range of Mediterranean plants.
I fact, the Huerta del Cura , the priest garden, has an area of 12 000 m2.
Below in the garden there is a large collection of cacti and palms trees from all over the world.
The largest and the most splendid tree to see is the Imperial Palm.
The Imperial Palm is a  date palm with seven branches of the same trunk.
As a result that the beauty and the symmetry are unique.  After all, It is named an Imperial Palm tree after the Empress of Austria  “Sissi”.

Arab Bath Museum.

Presently , these Arab baths are a remains of an Arabic bathing house. These baths date from the 12th century. Each bath consisted of three rooms.The most popular rooms was the warm bath.
Now our saunas are built the same way today.
In the past it was made of stone slabs and supported by pillars between which hot air was passed.

Museum of contemporary art.

With a large selection of Spanish artists who are the representative figures of the vanguard of Valencian arts like among others Miro, Soria and Cronica.

La Alcudia Museum.

Now the “La Alcudia Museum” is situated where the Iberian bust of the “Dame of Elche” was discovered.
in fact  the Dama de Elche is a stone bust. The bust was discovered in 1897 on the archaeological site at l’Alculdia. The dame of Elche is dating from the 4th century.
It was taken to France after is was found and shown in the Louvre Museum in Paris.
During the  Franco’s government, Spain had to negotiate with the French government to return the bust to discovery place.
As a resilt that it was placed in…….. the Prado Museum in Madrid.
Meanwhile the people of Elche have asked for its return. In spite of  the citizens have to live with a replica.

Elche Dama de Elche

Elche Dama de Elche

Palm Grove Museum.

Again the Palm Grove Museum shows the Moorish origin and the culture of the  Palm Trees

Visitors house.

In brief , the visitors house is a presentation on the city  , its history, culture , festivals…..

Municipal Park.

In particular , a  beautiful park where you can enjoy the flora. Many locals come to walk , to talk and to relax.

Town Hall.

In fact , the Town Hall building is the oldest municipal house on this part of the Valencian province . So it is  worth a visit.

Beaches .

At last , he town is located in the south of the Costa Blanca nearby the Mediterranean sea .
As a result, that it  has around 10 km of shoreline with white sandy beaches.
Now, the beaches are surrounded by restaurants, ice cream kiosks, tapas bars and in the summer season  a street market.
Presently the farmers offer directly their excellent products .
Part of the beaches is occupied with style 1950 villa’s . In this villa’s are mostly restaurants and accommodation .

At the most beaches there is life guard vigilance, a large parking possibility and wooden gangways.Because this wooden gangways connect the access to the road with the beaches.
In fact , there is also a regular bus service between the several beaches of Elche.

During the summer season , this beaches are loved by the Alicante people.
Not only for the superb quality of the azulblue  water but also for it richness of the water fauna  and Flora.
Nearby  there  is a Nature Reserve a natural wetland nearby Gran Alicant.-/ Santa Pola.

South of the municipal , there are also impressive strip of dunes. This dunes has a  pine forest.

Elche Beaches

Elche Beaches

Access.

The best , the town  is just 20 km from Alicante and El Altet , the airport of Alicante.
Indeed it  is within the reach of major motorways like the AP-7.
As a result that it makes the access to and from the other cities like Murcia, Alicante, Benidorm, Santa Pola, Torrievieja, Orihuela …very easy.

 

 

Murcia Spain

Murcia Vieuw

Murcia

Murcia City.

First, the city of Murcia is situated in the province of Andalusia.
In the past , Andalusia is a region with great influence of the Muslims.
So, Murcia was founded by the Moors during the 9 st century.
While, the influence of the Islamic culture has lasted over more than 500 years. And can still be seen today.
Since the foundation of Murcia, the town has been a crossing for several civilizations.
The location on the river, Rio Segura, is important for Murcia.

Furthermore, the coast of the region of Murcia is also known as the” Costa Calida”.  It means the warm coast.
The best is that Murcia is one of the most typical towns in this Spanish region. Together with Cartagena it is a typical Spanish city.
Further, Murcia is the capital of the Murcia region.
Visitors certainly will enjoy your time in Murcia. The Moors have influenced the architecture within the old town.
The old town is very beautiful with churches, museums, narrow streets and many cozy plazas.

Tourist information

It is located in the heart of the city, opposite to the Cathedral.
The place is one of the most important meeting points for tourist and locals. One of the reason, the plaza is full of restaurants and bars.

Guided tours in English.

The tourism department of Murcia offers a series of guided tours in English. And this around some of the region most interesting places.

For example there will be a tour in April  of Torre Pacheco. So participants  will visit this municipality and the famous windmill an it museum.
Visitors will have the possibility to participate in the town of Torre Pacheco to the annual windmill fiesta . So visitors can lean more about the heritage of the town and its culture.

In May there is a guided tour of “ Alahama de Murcia” . This tour focus on the most important points  of the city. The tour visit the places in the urban center.  To sum up : San Lazaro church, Plaza Vieja, El Positon, Tercia house,  Los Martires garden, the town hall of the city and the archaeology museum.
The meeting point is the tourist information office.

Another very interesting tour is the  tour called ” Life in the world of Salt ” . This tour takes you to the  San Pedro regional park in San Pedro del Pinitar. The tours take you to the  park  that crosses the salt lakes. Count  to make a walk for 4 kilometers and about 2 hours . So wear comfortable  footwear and clothes.
You  are in Spain, so bring a sunscreen , a hat and water with you. Do not forget your binoculars to observe the wild life at the Salt lakes.
More information about this tour in  June at the Tourist office.

The further the tourist information offers a ” boat trip”. Indeed  the next tour is a boat crossing of the Mar Menor in June.

 

University.

Murcia Plaza

Murcia Plaza

The City is a university town. It is a witness of a splendid authentic rich Spanish classical heritage . You can explore it at the “ caso antiguo “ or the old city.
From here, explore the plazas and the little narrow streets.
In those streets, you will find interesting art gallery’s, nice shops, and small museums.
The town has an array of beautiful historic buildings and museums.

Before starting a visit to the museums, tourist visit the local tourist information. In the office you can find more information about maps, dates and  opening hours.
Because the opening hours can change depending on the winter or the summer season .
Do not forget the Siesta time. The time to relax.
Some museums offers free guided visits, so it is best to get informed.

The shopping Malls.

So, Murcia has one of the largest shopping areas. It is out-of-town but is consist of two large malls and also Ikea. Everyone likes the Ikea, the locals and the expats. Because is just the same as in their own country.  See shopping in Murcia 
The Nueva Condimima shopping center is set over two floors.
The Thader shopping center also has two floors.
Parking is free for the two shopping malls. So keep it calm and take your time to shop.

The football stadium of Real Murcia.

Is popular by the male tourist .

Terra Nature of Murcia.

Terra Nature is an animal park nearby Murcia.

The location is also perfect  between the crowded Costa Blanca in the north and the Costa del Sol in the south.
The park that has over 50 species of trees and plants and more than 320 animals.

Murcia Terra Natura

Murcia Terra Natura

This 166 000 square meters park is split into two zones. The  African Savannah and the Iberian Peninsula.

 

 

In brief, Terra Natura is a new generation animal park. So you can discover Zoo immersion. This is a new concept in habitat design. This design allows you nearly to touch the animals trough barriers  nearly invisible to the human eye.

Prices depend on the season .

For example in winter till may , you can enter the park for the price of 18 euro.
This price is for an adult and a child together.
So we think it worth a visit because it always pleasant to visit a nature park.
We think that the price is correct. It is a good day trip with the family and the children.
If you prefer, you can bring water and snacks with you.
Because their are experiences with the animals, it is better to plan ahead.

 

Aqua Natura Theme Park.

Side by side , is the Aqua nature park is a water park.
indeed, the park has pools and slides for children from 6 to 66 years old.
So, we think it is a nice day trip for kids and adults.
The water park is very clean. There are plenty of life guards.
There are many possibilities to eat. But you can take your snack and drink with you.

In the water park , there are several shows. Plan your day to you can see the shows. some of them are really amazing.

 

The prices depend the season.

 

 

Till now the Murcia region remains authentic. So it is the perfect time to discover it.

Exploring Murcia’s old town.

Basilica or Cathedral.

The impressive Basilica or Cathedral of Santa Maria is a good start for a city tour.
It is located in the heart of the city, opposite to the modern local Tourist Office.
The cathedral is nearby the  River Segura and the City Hall. So you can find it at the Plaza de Cardenal Belluga.
It is a busy place full of restaurants, local cafés and shops. It is also the start of the end of the pedestrianized street.

Some say that the Cathedral is not so especially big or does not have the majestic  shape of the  cathedrals in Seville .
But most people see the cathedral as a masterpiece of the Spanish Baroque period.

The construction began in 1385 and was completed nearly 80 years later.
Just like many Spanish religious buildings the cathedral was built  over the remains of a mosque.
As so many other city’s in this region and Andalusia, Murcia was an important  Moorish city.
The city was conquered  by the catholic kings in 1266.

The main entrance of the cathedral is  known as the Gate  of the Apostles or ” Puerta de Los aposteles”. The gate is in the Gothic style.
The bell tower was built between 1520 and 1790. The tower had 25 bells and it was very important for Murcia. It was used to alarm citizens of danger, for flooding and wars. But also for celebration , to inform the people of Murcia  of festivities and weddings .
The interior of the Cathedral is Gothic.
The altar contains  the heart of the one of the most medieval kings.
This as a proof of the love of Alfonso X for the city of Murcia.

One of the most  impressive chapels  is the “Capilla del Marques”. It is considered one of the jewels of the Spanish Gothic architecture.

Cathedral Museum

The cathedral museum is also worth a visit.
The cathedral museum has a collection of religion sculptures and religion altarpieces.

The museum displays some pieces by the  sculptor  Salzillo, religious oil paintings and a part of the remains of the old Mosque.

Both , Cathedral and Museum,  are definitely worth a visit.

Murcia Cathedral

Murcia is the perfect city to walk and to stroll from the one site to the other.
We left the car on the parking under the city hall or  “Ayuntamiento”. This is nearby the river of the Segura, the river of Murcia.
Everything you want to visit and see in this lovely town is within walking distance.
Through narrow streets, we were walking to the “Cathedral of Santa Maria” and the” Episcopal Palace”. They are located in the same place or plaza.
On this plaza you will find the local tourist information.
The Episcopal Palace is made of two parts. The bishops rooms which gives views of the Rio Segura  and the main building  which looks over the Cathedral and the  Plaza.

We enjoyed a Spanish specialty in the well-known cafeteria “Valor”,  who is famous for the great sweet “Churros con chocolate”.

Murcia Churros con Chocolate

Murcia Churros con Chocolate

Churros is a kind of large doughnuts served with heavy hot chocolate.
It is delicious!

 

 

 

 

 

The casino.

Through the “Calle de la Traperia”, we went to the beautiful Casino .

Murcia Casino

Murcia Casino

Now, the Casino is a  private club and a Murcian institution, we had to pay for the visit but it is worth it.
The style is mixed classical and modernist elements.
The entry hall is Moorish patio , influenced by the Alhambra in Granada.

The Casino who is built-in 1847, houses a beautiful Arabic patio, a  library and a Ladies powder room!
But also a splendid Baroque ballroom decorated in the style of Louis XV and private billiards room for the local members of the club.

Murcia Casino

Murcia Casino

 

 

 

Tips Before visiting Murcia.

We went in the eastern vacation. So the time of the year of the ” Semana Santa “.
Murcian people are very devoted, so you need to know that there is a famous ” Semana Santa, the Easter Week. For the locals it is one of the most important weeks full of devotion.
In fact, in the Easter week there are very special holy processions.
Naturally, most of the shops are closed in this week and we did not knew it.
The locals have days off to celebrated the Holy Week or ” Semana Santa”.
So before visiting, always check if there isn’t a local holiday.After all if everything is closed, you van’t not go shopping or visit some museums.

Museums in Murcia.

In fact, there are several interesting and beautiful museums, like the Science Museum or the  Archaeological Museum.

The Sangre Museum houses the procession Holy week sculptures of the 17th to the 20th century. It is owned by the Brotherhood of  the Holy Blood. They are known as the Reds due to the color of the tunics they wear on their Holy Week Parade.

Murcia Museum

Murcia Museum

In other words,the visit to the museum is also the moment to admire a large collection of items  used in the Holy week. Like there are  embroidery, gold, banners, silver and musical instruments.

One of the most important processional images in wood can be found in the Salzillo Museum.

Equal, paintings by Spanish artist from the 16th to the 20th century can be discovered in the Fine arts Museum.

Next, in the Archaeological Museum there is a large collection of Roman, Greek and Moorish artifacts.

Visitor center.

Furthermore, the “Muralla the Murcia” is a visitor center. The center accommodates a section of  the medieval city wall that once surrounded the town. It houses also one of the gates used for centuries to enter the old city.
indeed, the museum learn the visitor about  the most important historical events of Murcia. From the first wall after the foundation in the 9th century and the transformations throughout the history.

Close to the Junterones Palace is located the City Museum. In the museum there are interactive displays. On the displays, you can learn more about the several civilizations that have crossed Murcia the last 2000 years.

Finally, in the San Juan de Dios Church and in its museum you can see various religious woodcarvings.

 

The Rio Segura.

The Rio Segura is a river through the city center.
A walking path runs either side of the river.The “Paseo Del Malecon” near the river Segura is a nice walk out the city and back.
The old bridges over the river, the Rio Segura are called the ” Puente de Pelligros” or Bridge of the pilgrims and the ” Puente  Viejo” or the Old bridge .

Murcia Paseo

Murcia Paseo

Once crossing one of the bridges you arrive in one of Murcia’s popular neighborhoods.
The neighborhood is called ” El Barrio del Carmen”. It is certainly one of the popular by the locals.  The barrio is located on the right bank of the River Segura. It was formed outside the medieval walls of the old city. The first thing to discover is one of the most characteristic spaces of the “Barrio” the ” Plaza de Camachos”.

For the lovers of walking, there are self guided walks for the city described in the Murcia Square booklet. This booklet is  available from the Tourist information Office. The leaflet is available in the different languages.

Furthermore.

The River Mills museum is located in a late 18th century complex of historical interest.
The River Mills is a clear example of the important of the river and the strength of the water.
Those places were important for food and work, were milling grain was an essential part of life.
The building preserves the apparatus  from the day it was active.
It had been restored in the late 1980.
In the library there are exhibitions on the local folklore, the ethnographic and the hydraulic engineering.

Murcia River Mills museum

Murcia River Mills museum

 

 

 

Nearby the university is the Museum of the University, with temporary exhibitions on different themes like arts and science. The museum is inaugurated in 2003 in the former Artillery Barracks.

Aquarium.

A nice visit for families with children is the Aquarium.
The aquarium of the University of Murcia has tanks with fish and corals of the Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean, the Caribbean Ocean and the Indian Ocean.
And of course learn more about the Mediterranean sea and more especially the Mar Menor. See the page on our website about Mar Menor

For children the Science and Water museum is worth a visit.
Water is the main theme of the Museum, but the building got also a planetarium and a Discovery room.
There is a variety of workshops, exhibitions and courses on a different themes related with water
It has been opened in 1998 on the same place were the old water deposits used to supply Murcia.

For the lovers of ” Carmen” of Bizet, toreadors and picadors : in the bullfighting Museum of Murcia. They see a lot of colorfully posters, costumes of famous bullfighters and materials .
The Museum has a specific library and video collection.

Ramon Gaya  got his own museum in Murcia. He is one the best contemporary local artists.

Murcia Ramon Gaya

Murcia Ramon Gaya

Local craft work is for sale in the Regional Craft Center.

Tip.


The most museums are closed for the siesta which is in the summer from 2 till 5 in the afternoon and in the winter from 2 till 4 .

Shopping in Murcia city center.

The commercial streets are Traperia, Plateria and the avenue Alfonzo X.
There are many local shops but also many well-known shops like the Zara , The Cortes Ingles or Mango.
We even dedicated a page for all the Shopping Centres . or you can even a do a small trip to the Orihuela Costa and La Zenia Boulevard

Eating in Murcia.

In the first place, the city is also famous for its excellent tapas. Murcia serves some of the best food in Spain.
One example , is the  real temptation to spend the whole day between the many tapas bars.
We went to the charming “Plaza des Flores”. In the evening , there are a large number of bars and taverns with great choice of delicious tapas.

For instance , the Plaza des Flores is surrounded by palms and orange trees. In the morning there is a nice flower market.
On the one hand Murcia’s specialty are rice dishes ” Arroz Calder . But don’t forget to taste also , the “Zarangollo” , bean omelet, the “ michirones ” again beans with ham bone. On the other hand the sausage , bacon, bay leaf and pepper, rabbit stew, potatoes with garlic…..
Additionally, the Plaza des Flores is plenty with locals, and there is a great relaxed atmosphere . Indeed, it is the perfect place to sit, relax and enjoy.

Murcia

Murcia

Fruit Market in Murcia.

Indeed, Murcia is well-known for the fruit and market gardens.
You can go to  the famous Veronica market with fresh products straight from the garden.
While , you can taste the fresh “ dates ” on the market. Never tasted dates that were so good.
At the 1st level they sell fish and seafood directly from nearby the Mar Menor.

As you can see, we will surely come back to Murcia, this beautiful authentic lovely Spanish town.