A CITY THAT SPILLS HISTORY AND CULTURE
Cabo Roig tower
In addition to its beautiful beaches and walks, another attraction is Cabo Roig tower, the most prominent monument of Orihuela Costa. It is located near the beach of the same name, and consists of a military tower built in the 16th century to prevent attacks from pirate ships. Its structure allowed a broad view of the coast and it is a point of great cultural interest in the city.
The city of Orihuela is known for its cultural wealth, and its patrimonial heritage includes churches, palaces and museums of great archaeological and artistic importance. To get to know the city, we propose two routes, the Monumental route and the Miguelico route:
The city of Orihuela is known for its cultural wealth, and its patrimonial heritage includes churches, palaces and museums of great archaeological and artistic importance. In its old town, declared a Historic and Artistic Monument Complex in 1969, are many fine buildings, and five of them have been declared national monuments:
- Puerta de Crevillente (Crevillente Gate)
Puerta de Crevillente is the only gate-type monument in Orihuela still standing after the collapse of the walls. Of Almohade origin, the surface of the gate displays the city’s shield and the image of San Miguel (Saint Michael), protector of the city.
- Colegio Diocesano Santo Domingo (Santo Domingo Diocesan School)
This former Santo Domingo convent, built in Gothic style, was founded by Cardinal Loazes. It covers a surface area of 15,000 square metres, making it the largest monument in the Valencian region.
- Museo de Semana Santa (Easter Museum)
The Easter festivities in Orihuela are declared to be of International Tourist Interest and this museum, located in the heart of the Historic Centre, exhibits works from notable artists such as Salzillo, Quitín de Torre, Coullaut Valera, Sánchez Lozano and Bussi among others, and it also houses the Santo Entierro (Holy Burial) procession float.
- Catedral de San Salvador (San Salvador cathedral)
The cathedral of San Salvador is one of the cathedral headquarters of the diocese of Orihuela. It is equipped with a belfry called La Torre (The Tower) ― which is the oldest part of the cathedral ― three main doorways with beautiful chains and various chapels that are open to the public.
- Palacio Episcopal (Episcopal Palace)
Situated in the Old Town we find the Episcopal Palace of Orihuela. Declared a National Monument in 1975, today it is a museum that houses the most important work of Diego Velázquez, La tentación de Santo Tomás (The Temptation of St. Thomas).
- Museo de la Muralla (City Wall Museum)
Of great architectural value, the remaining part of the old city walls is declared a Site of Cultural and Historical Interest of Spain. The museum contains the ruins of ancient Arab dwellings and it can be visited at the Miguel Hernández University of Orihuela.
- Iglesia de las Santas Justa y Rufina (Church of Saint Justa and Rufina)
The Catholic church of Saint Justa and Rufina was built in the Gothic style in the 14th century. It consists of a central nave and two side chapels, two doorways built in different periods and a belfry that boasts one of the oldest pieces of clockwork in Spain.
- Museo Arqueológico Comarcal de Orihuela (Regional Archaeological Museum of Orihuela)
The Archaeological Museum of Orihuela is housed in the former San Juan de Dios hospital, which was restored in 1997. In it we can find a variety of regional and local materials from the Palaeolithic period up to the early 19th century.
- Iglesia de Santiago Apóstol (Church of St. James the Apostle)
Built in the 15th century, the church of St. James the Apostle is a Catholic church with similar features to the church of Saint Justa and Rufina. The style of the main doorway is Isabelline Gothic, whilst the side doorway is Baroque, which gives access to the chapel and the tower, where the belfry is located.
- Castillo de Orihuela / Ruinas Gloriosa (Orihuela Castle / Castle of Glorious Ruins)
Orihuela Castle, also known as the Castle of Glorious Ruins, is situated on the hill of San Miguel, at an altitude of over 200 metres. During the Spanish War of Succession, a huge explosion, caused by a lightning strike, destroyed the castle and, finally, after various storms throughout the 17th century, the earthquake of 1829 caused the collapse of the building, making restoration impossible.
Miguelico route (La senda del Poeta / The Path of the Poet):
This route takes you through the historic part of the city and is centred on the life of the poet Miguel Hernández, who was born in Orihuela. You can start the route at the Fernando de Loazes public library, where the historical archives are held and where we can learn about the poet’s work and career. After this, you can visit the Miguel Hernandez House-Museum, the exhibition hall, and lastly the Centro de Estudios Hernandianos (Miguel Hernandez Study Centre).