Museums and Cultural Centres
The museums of Alicante are attractive and surprising: they complete your experience of the city. Fun and adventure await you in some of them: at The Ocean Race Museum, you can experience the extreme challenges of this round-the-world sailing tour that sets off from Alicante. The MARQ is a 21st century archaeological museum, offering exhibitions of international interest. The Museo de Fogueres makes you live the excitement of the “Fiestas de San Juan” bonfires. There is also a constant renewal of temporary exhibitions at museums such as the Museum of Contemporary Art, (or MACA) and at cultural centres such as Las Cigarreras, the old tobacco factory.
In the heart of the Old Town and next to the Basilica of Santa Maria, the MACA Contemporary Art Museum is located in Alicante’s oldest building, the Casa La Asegurada, dating from 1685 and to which new buildings have been added. Opened in 2011, the museum is the heir to the Asegurada Museum. Three collections of contemporary art are exhibited and temporary exhibitions are continually held. Free admission.
The Gravina Fine Arts Museum MUBAG occupies the 18th century Gravina Palace, which once belonged to the Count of Lumiares and housed the Provincial Archives. It exhibits works owned by the Provincial Council of Alicante, with collections comprising works of art created in Alicante from the Middle Ages to the early 20th century. Free admission. Closed for renovations.
The Museum of the City of Alicante, the MUSA, is located inside the Castle of Santa Bárbara and offers a journey through the history of Alicante. The museum includes archaeological remains, photographs and audiovisual contents explaining how the people of Alicante lived from prehistory to the present day. Ten rooms were restored to house this museum, including the Renaissance cistern and the dungeon. Free admission.
Find out about the influence of water on Alicante’s history through the Alicante Water Museum and the Garrigós wells, and discover the different extraction methods, new technologies for collection, distribution and return to the environment. Free admission.
The Ocean Race Museum is the first in the world to offer visitors the opportunity to experience the extreme challenges faced by elite sailors competing in the regatta around the world of the same name, the longest and toughest professional sporting event in the world, and a regatta that starts in Alicante. Free admission.
Civil War Visitor Centre and air-raid shelters
Air-raid shelters on the Séneca and Doctor Balmis squares are a testament to what the Spanish Civil War represented for Alicante. They were constructed under the coordination of a Municipal Passive Defence Commission. The Commission succeeded in building 94 shelters throughout the city, turning Alicante into a major European city regarding this type of construction.
Located just 3 kilometres from the city centre, in the area known as Tossal de Manises, are the major archaeological remains of the Roman city of Lucentum or ancient Alicante, which are an important reference point for the Ibero-Roman period.
This museum explores the evolution of Alicante’s most representative festival, the Hogueras de San Juan bonfire celebration, held in June, which has been officially declared of International Tourist Interest. Here visitors can see collections of ninots indultats (the effigies that managed to escape the flames), mock bonfires, typical costumes, etc. The museum also boasts an audiovisual hall showing clips of this festival from years ago. Free admission.
This museum is located in a traditional house typical of the city’s Old Quarter. It is home to a permanent exhibition of nativity scenes in homage to the great nativity scene tradition of Spain and various other countries around the world and its collection includes several international pieces. Free admission.
Located inside Alicante’s Bullring, this museum offers a complete exhibition on bullfighting. There is a permanent exhibition on bullfighters from Alicante such as Vicente Blau, José María Manzanares, Francisco Antón and Luis Francisco Esplá. Free admission.
La Lonja Exhibition Hall is a unique building dating back to the early twentieth century with a historicist style characterised by Arabic features on the exterior. Numerous exhibitions are held throughout the year, from painting and sculpture to other exhibitions on history, nature or festivals. It also hosts activities such as street markets, festivals or award ceremonies.
The popular tobacco factory was established at the beginning of the nineteenth century and is an outstanding example of the area´s architectural urban heritage. When tobacco production was transferred to the surrounding suburbs, the old factory was taken over by the town council. Free admission.
Devoted to contemporary art, this museum was opened in December 1999 and is located on the campus of the University of Alicante in the nearby town of San Vicente del Raspeig. It is the only museum as such to be housed on a university campus. Free admission.
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