Puerta del Mar
Did you know that Alicante was a South-oriented city? Virtually all the settlements of the province of Alicante face the South since they are protected against the cold winds from the North by the mountain range located in the interior of the province. That is why we enjoy such a nice climate in our city.
Santa Bárbara Castle
The Muslims, in the 9th Century, decided to settle where the Castle is currently located. Thus, the city of Alicante was born in the Castle and subsequently developed at its foot protected by the fortress. There are currently 3 different environments in the Castle.
First area: called “El Macho”. This is the higher part of the castle, located 166 m above the sea level where the first Muslim fortress was erected.
Second area: in the 16th Century the castle still had the typical medieval shape and Felipe II ordered to build the barracks for the troops, there the troops were accommodated as well as the guards, right in the main entrance, to watch all those who tried to gain access to the castle.
Third area: in the 18th and 19th Centuries the size of the castle increased. The war art had changed and the Castle had to be adjusted to the current needs. In this period, after a number of improvements, the Castle finally acquired its current form.
Such is its importance that during the 20th century it was declared a Monument of Historic and Artistic Importance and a Site of Cultural Interest. Here we can also find one of the most characteristic images of the city, a rock formation resembling a man’s profile on the south western slope, known as the Moor’s Face, which is best viewed from Postiguet Beach.
Inside of the Castle you can visit the new Museum of de City (MUSA), a place where you can learn about the city’s distant past, how things have evolved, and where and how the different cultures and people settled, from prehistoric times up to the present day.
The castle is the most visited monument in the city, thanks to the number of institutional and cultural celebrations that are held here, the craft market where you can find typical products of the city and also due to the attraction of the stunning panoramic views that can be enjoyed from all corners of the castle.
Now we have three options: using the lift to go down again to the beach, down the hill behind the castle in order to visit the MARQ Archaeological Museum or walking down through the park Ereta up to the Alicante Water Museum, visiting the Museum MARQ at the end of the walk.
This museum shows the way water was channelled from its sources to the city. The Garrigós wells are located next to the museum, wells used to store water until it stopped being used in 1898.
Basílica de Santa María
This Basilica was originally a Muslim mosque. The remains of said mosque are still showed inside the Basilica. If you visit the Basilica, you will observe that the current building has pointed arches; the construction began at the end of the 14th Century although the decorations in the façade and the interior were subsequently added.
In the Plaza de Santa María, we find the oldest civil building preserved in the city, dating from 1685, which has recently extended to accommodate the MACA. An important collection of art from the twentieth century, mainly consisting of works donated byEusebio Sempere. There are also works by Chillida, Picasso, Dali and Miro, among others.
After visiting the main spots representing the city origins, you can visit now the Province Archaeological Museum MARQ where you will be able to observe pieces found in several archaeological excavations in Alicante and the rest of the province. And everything is presented by means of interactive methods. For this reason, this museum obtained the award to the Best European Museum in 2004.