Can you imagine yourself walking around a city surrounded by palm trees almost everywhere? Elche has 200,000 palms which give the city a unique beautiful look and it is the second largest city of the province of Alicante. The city is well known by Spanish people for its fantastic beaches, scenery, for its historical background and for being the place in which the famous limestone bust of La Dama de Elche was found. In this article, I will write about this interesting Mediterranean place, which I really like, full of life and positive energy. These previously Moorish cities, like the 8th Century, historical city of Granada, often have a special kind of energy.
It is the largest palm plantation in Europe and probably one of the largest in the world including the Arab countries, located in the urban area of Elche. It was designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2000, alluding to the transfer of landscapes and agricultural usages from the Moorish North African culture to Europe.
Picture © Credits to LUNAMARINA
Even though I first thought of a forest when I saw El Palmeral, it was originally used and designed for agricultural purposes by the arab rulers from the 8th to the 9th Century. But now, it serves cultural functions instead of agricultural ones. You can imagine the local people feeling very lucky and proud to work, eat, walk, cycle and run in such an idyllic place.
This beautiful bust is seen by many people as one of the most famous icons of Spain and one of the most famous scultures in the world. It was found in 1897, and there are several arguments and theories about its origin and meaning which actually show the importance of this bust, and how it represents the cultural past of Spain. This iberian sculpture is from the 4th century BCE and represents a wealthy woman with perfect features wearing large wheel-like coils (rodetes in Spanish) on each side of the face and a hairdress. It is currently exhibited in the National Archaeological Museum of Madrid and it is visited by lots of people every year. It´s close to the Museo Reina Sofia as well.
The 2,500 year old city of Elche is perfect for those who enjoy nature, palms trees, beaches, big open spaces, gastronomy and history - a typical Mediterranian city. It is the perfect destination for outdoors activities and adventures and to have a nice, relaxing time.
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