The route starts at the Visitor’s Centre in the Municipal Park at the very heart of the city’s palmeral or palm groves. At the exit of the Municipal Park we have the Tourism Information Office where we can obtain further information on the city.
From this point, visitors can walk towards the Palace of Altamira, a former fortress which now houses the Archaeological and History Museum of Elche.
Facing the fortress, on the other side of the street, we have the magnificent Basilica of Santa Maria, inside of which we can enjoy the annual performance of El Misteri d’Elx, a sacred and lyrical medieval drama declared as World Heritage Listed by UNESCO.
We continue our route down the street known as Carrer Major de la Vila the true thoroughfare of the walled city known as the Vila Murada where we find the former hospital known as Hospital de la Caritat, constructed in the 14th Century and which now houses the entity known as the Patronat Nacional del Misteri d’Elx as well as the so-called Casa de la Festa. Along this route we’ll see the early 15th Century religious edifice known as Ermita de Sant Sebastià which was originally a gothic church. This building has been recently restored to house La Festa Municipal Museum.
After familiarising ourselves with the substance of La Festa or Misteri d’Elx, the city’s single most significant heritage, we can make our way to the Town Hall, the oldest city council edifice in the south of the territory known as País Valencià, flanked on one side by the imposing Calendura Tower.
We walk down the streets Corredora and Hospital which are a major precinct for Elche’s traditional business activities and we’ll get to La Glorieta, a true local gathering place with its plentiful terraces and cafeterias and site of the Gran Teatro.
By walking down Carrer Ample we’ll get to Passeig de les Eres de Santa Llúcia where we can marvel at the el Covent of Our Lady of la Merced dating from the 14th Century. In the basement of the building, extensive restoration work has been carried out on the Arab baths, which give us an awareness of the customs of the Muslim community which settled in the city for many centuries.
Another architectural element that bears witness to the significance and scale of the walled ramparts that encircled Elche, is the formidable La Calahorra Tower. It was built by the Moors and its function was to defend the city’s most important gateway.
Arriving back at our starting point, we’ll find ourselves again at the Municipal Park. In the grounds we’ll come across a historic structure known as the Molí del Real, a medieval flour-mill powered by water arriving in the channel known as the Acequia Mayor del Pantano which irrigates the palm groves.
- Route type: Cultural