5 new interesting places to visit in Orihuela
A few months ago we printed our first publication about Orihuela in which we suggested five places of interest in order to encourage you to visit this beautiful historical city in the south of the Alicante province.
As you may know, La Zenia Hotel remains open all year round and low/mid seasons are ideal times to visit the town.
Although Orihuela is considered to be an inland town, it has wide territorial boundaries encompassing several districts that extend to the coast. In fact, La Zenia beach is an important part of the Orihuela Costa.
If our previous five recommendations left you wanting more, we now challenge you with another five.
1- Museum of the Reconquest
Located in two historical buildings that were built two centuries ago, the Reconquest Museum features an interesting collection of objects and instruments that have been used during the Moors and Christian parades in Orihuela.
Distributed principally into two areas, one for each of the two sides, you will see that its archives are in an excellent state of conservation.
There is a varied collection in which you can find both sets of costumes from different parades over various periods of time as well as musical instruments which were used during the processions, symbolic photographs of the fiestas and promotional posters from various years. There is also an amazing scale model that represents the Castle of Orihuela.
This historical institution, key in the Alicante documentary archives exhibits a significant array of its collection displayed in a series of showcases in which the mannequins dressed in popular fiesta costumes stand out.
Also shown in what is also known as the Museum of the Fiestas of the Reconquest of Orihuela are its classical exhibits of materials from the Middle Ages in collaboration with the Orihuela Archaeological Museum.
2- The San Sebastián Convent
This beautiful and historical convent in Orihuela will impress you with its beautiful architecture as well as its careful maintenance. Built in 1592 it is famous for its spectacular church and its eccentric well-kept garden.
Although a renaissance building in origin, if you like art it will be easy for you to appreciate the baroque touches that with time have been added during restoration. In fact, the front of the church is unquestionably baroque with a very different look from when it was first built.
The church consists of one nave although it also has three side chapels.
This historical monument was built in 1937, appending to the rest of the convent following the demolition of its old chapel, however at the end of 1960 a major part was reconstructed. The principal idea was to rebuild it based on more characteristic criteria of the era. The reconstruction was carried out by the well-known architect Antonio Orts Orts.
3- Rafal Marqués Palace
Built in the nineteenth century in a town square that bears the same name, it is situated in front of the well-known Fernando Loeces public library which may result familiar to you as we mentioned it in our previous publication.
Despite its “recent construction” (in comparison to other monuments in the city) the Palacio del Marqués de Rafal in Orihuela was refurbished and significantly extended during the twentieth century.
Should you decide to visit, your attention will be drawn to the grand collection of works of art from different periods, many of them being kept in the building since its construction
Take note of the spectacular Gothic works as well as the vividly beautiful sculptures.
4- The Orihuela Palm Grove
Protected by the mountain range and the San Miguel Mountain of Orihuela and at the same time next to the popular Oriolet Hill, the palm grove has perhaps the most characteristic image to represent the city. For this reason, you can always find it on postcards and promotional posters of Orihuela. It is also easy to recognise from outside of the city if you go by car. Hence, from the very first moment it will draw your attention, whether you are a lover of nature or not.
With undeniably Islamic origins, you won’t help but notice its excellent conservation, always visible throughout the passing of the centuries.
It is considered as a point of cultural interest and also as one of Europe’s most protected landscapes.
However, the Orihuela Palm Grove is also a perfect setting if you like outdoor sport. Therefore don’t be surprised if you find people practicing running or cross country between the orchards and palm trees.
On the other hand, this striking place is also considered as an essential stop on the traditional cycle routes that surround the San Antón area of Orihuela. On these routes cyclists are given information relating to the traditional history of Orihuela and its dedication to products such as cotton, hemp, alfalfa and others. All very symbolic of its Islamic past.
5- San Antón mines and the Bustamente Furnace
Orihuela’s mining past is worth keeping in mind if you are going to spend a few days around this beautiful and monumental city.
For this reason we must recommend the mercury mines of San Antón. Should you decide to visit, you will see one of the most important geological monuments of the Alicante province.
Protected by the San Miguel Mountain, this interesting mining complex is made up of the Bustamente Furnace and the workers house.
The Bustamente furnace was used for the production of this metal, while the workers house was the site where the liquid mercury was stored. It was also usually used to store tools.
It is said that these mines were discovered when a goatherd sought a place to shelter from a rain storm whilst out grazing the herd. So, he entered a hole in the ground until it stopped raining.
After the goatherd told the Orihuela town folk how he had protected himself from the rain, it was immediately found that the simple opening in the middle of the ground was a mine from which pure mercury could be obtained
The Bustamente Furnace in Orihuela and the Almadén Furnace in Ciudad Real are the only two that you will find throughout the whole country.
If you are curious to see this interesting natural monument, access is easy if you follow a path that starts at the Parish Church of San Antón.
This concludes the second publication of our suggestions for visiting the city of Orihuela and the surrounding area.
A new route that will prove very interesting should your decide to spend a few days with us at the Hotel Servigroup La Zenia.
We’ll be waiting for you…!!