"TourisT - Commercial Route of Elche" Project
With the aim of achieving an ever more lively and attractive city for both inhabitants and visitors to Elche, the project that was carried out in the previous two years, in collaboration with the Regional department of Trade, has been updated and expanded.
The distribution of this map-guide during the summer months, allows the rich commercial and leisure offer of the city centre to be revealed, including, of course, the monumental route, which is a must-see for tourists.
In this way, information about the buildings and monuments of our cultural heritage is combined with the directory of shops and hotel and catering establishments located on the map, thereby making this Route an appealing tourist product.
On this occasion, the project has been expanded to give the ROUTE a new image, a logo that concentrates what the citizens of Elche, as well as those who visit us, can find in the Historic Centre: a monumental itinerary, in which you will be able to enjoy leisure-time based on shopping and gastronomy to the full, along with the World Heritage attractions and the natural beauty of our municipality.
Click on the pin of the shop to get information on from the following:
BARS AND RESTAURANTS
VISITORS CENTRE AND MUNICIPAL PARK
The Visitors Centre offers a spectacular audiovisual about the city. It is situated in the Municipal Park, made up by the ancient orchards known as de la Mare de Déu, del Xocolater, del Colomer, de Baix and del Real. Most of them belong to the Blessed Virgin Mary, thanks to an entailment of the estate dared in the 17th century by Dr. Nicolau Caro and given on a lease to the town council. Changed into a garden in the mid-20th c., it gathers together a great variety of botanical species and interesting buildings such as the Molí del Real, a mediaeval flour mill, moved by water from the Major Irrigation Canal, irrigating the palm groves. An amusing option is to take a ride on the Tourist Train, which will take you through the palm grove and the city centre.
Next to the Municipal Park is the avenue Passeig de l’Estació and the Espai d’Art d´Elx (Elx Art Space), an open air exhibition of contemporary sculptures. The Tourist Info building is at the end of the avenue. It is an Islamic influence building from the mid-20th c. You will find here all the necessary information for your visit.
THE LORD´S FORTRESS / ALTAMIRA PALACE / MAHE
Fully integrated in the park’s scenery is the Lord’s Fortress, residence for the lords of the city between the 15th and 19th centuries. Three different phases can be distinguished in the building. The Muslim Almohade (11th to the early 13th centuries) can be observed in the first body of the great tower and some foundations. The work carried out in the 15th and 16th centuries, the actual fortress main period, was raised after the estate was bestowed to Gutierre de Cárdenas. Lastly, the great southern façade, dated in the 18th century, hides the original mediaeval gate. The Elx Archaeological and History Museum (MAHE) is situated both indoors the fortress and in a neighbouring and well connected space.
BASILICA OF SAINT MARY
The Basilica of Saint Mary is at the site where once stood the mosque when the town was conquered by King James I of Aragon, in 1265. The present building was started in 1672 by Francesc Verde. Many other architects left their mark here until works were finished in 1784.
The different styles can be followed, ranging from a first attempt of going over a not decorated style to the purest neoclassic, passing the decorative Italian inspiration baroque of the Assumption façade, one of the finest in Valencian baroque. Both this façade and the Saint Agatangel front are due to the Strasbourg sculptor, Nicolas de Bussi (1680-1682). The Misteri d’Elx, a mediaeval play declared an Oral and Intangible World Heritage masterpiece by the UNESCO in 2001, takes place here. From the Communion gate (opposite the Calaforra Tower) you can enter the Museu de la Mare de Déu de l’Assumpció (MUMAPE) dedicated to the Elx’s patron saint: The Lady of the Assumption.
LA FESTA MUSEUM AND HERMITAGE OF SANT SEBASTIAN
Originally a gothic church, this is the place whence the cortège leaves accompanying the Blessed Virgin Mary to start the performance of the Mystery Play. Nowadays, it is a part of the Museu Municipal de la Festa, the local name for the Elx Mystery Play. A stimulating and virtual audio-visual tour on the world of this medieval religious performance is offered here. Next door, we have the ancient Hospital of Charity, built in the 14th c. by the council, Consell de la Vila d’Elx, used as such until the 16th c., when it became a Renaissance style lordly mansion. It is now the see of the Board of Trustees of the Elx Mystery Play and includes the Rehearsal Rooms of the Chapel Choir.
TOWN HALL AND CALENDURA TOWER
It is the oldest town hall in the south of the land of Valencia. The Town Council holds its meetings here since 1445. The small lodge or ancient Commercial Exchange, is dated in 1441. In 1548, Sebastià Alcaràs enlarged the building, rising the tower and crowning it with a high gallery. In 1645 a new eastern wing was added where there were houses leaning on the town’s walls and, in 1790, José Gonzálvez de Coniedo unified openings and walls, endowing them with a baroque style. Next to the Town Hall arises the Calendura Tower, an automaton clock built by Alonso Gaytán in 1572. The mechanism consists in two figures, named in 1759 as Miquel Calendura, greater in size and chiming the hours, and Vicentet Calendureta, smaller in size, chiming the quarters.
JORGE JUAN´S PALACE
The decorated tiles are one of the outstanding features of this Baroque building, a palace made up of three floors, its architecture forms are finished in white. It is located outside the city walls.
CONVENT OF OUR LADY OF MERCY AND ARABIC BATHS
The Mercedarians founded it in the 13th c. There have been several reforms in the 18th and 19th centuries. It keeps a transition Gothic-Renaissance church. The most important elements are the façade known as Santa Llúcia, fully Renaissance, and a cloister from the 18th century. In the convent’s cellar, the Arab baths have been restored. This Muslim monument dates from the second half of the 12th century. It was outside the Walled Town, near the Lucentina or Alacant road. It consists in three vaulted parallel naves, stuccoed with geometrical interlacing arches.
THE CALAHORRA TOWER
The Calaforra is an Islamic Almohade Tower from the late 12th century and early 13th century. Very few such towers have reached the present day in the Valencian Community. It was a defensive building, which was used to watch people entering the city from Alicante.
Contemporary Art Museum (MACE)
In the middle of the Raval quarter, it was inaugurated in 1980 by a local painters´ cooperative group, the Grup d'Elx, created in the late 1960s. It is located in the building which housed the City Council of the former Raval de la Morería (Moorish quarter). A Baroque construction of mid-17th century origins with a colonnaded area and a lodge at its western point, under which passes the Calle Mayor (main street) of this place of mediaeval origins.
Museum of Contemporary Art Temporary Exhibition Center
This modern three-floor building is in the Raval quarter. In front of the façade there are two sculptures: one dedicated to the artist Sixto Marco, founder of the Grup d'Elx- and another of Iluminada García-Torres.
PALEONTOLOGICAL MUSEUM (MUPE)
Marine reptiles, replicas of dinosaurs, remains of mammoths... A fascinating world where we are transported to the Paleaozoic era by means of audiovisual shows and workshops. The more than 1,200 fossil and models displayed within its halls provide a complete tour of the exciting history of life on our planet. It is made up of two floors. The lower floor is devoted to palaeontology in general, whilst the upper floor provides a profound insight into the geological history of the province of Alicante and its neighbouring areas.
PALM GROVE MUSEUM
To have an awareness of the history, evolution, culture and characteristics of Elche’s historic Palm Grove will enable us to enjoy and appreciate it to a greaterextent. To this end and with the advent of UNESCO’s World Heritage Listing in 2000, the City Hall created the facility known as Palm Grove Museum and Interpretation Centre.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: visitelche.com