SURROUNDINGS LAS COLINAS DREAMS
At the foot of the Orihuela Mountains lies the city of Orihuela with its strongly Spanish atmosphere and historic centre full of interesting museums and religious buildings. Orihuela is located about fifty kilometres south of Alicante and about twenty kilometres from the coast. It has an estimated 80,000 inhabitants and a huge area of 365 km². In 1969, Orihuela was declared a historical cultural city of great significance by the government. The river Segura flows through the city and divides it into the historical centre and the new commercial centre. Especially in recent years, many buildings and monuments have been restored and exhibitions are regularly organised here. Take beautiful walks in the heart of the city, stroll through the beautiful Palmeral Park or enjoy the cosy little places where you can have a bite to eat or a drink.
The history of Orihuela dates back to the early Middle Ages. In the ninth century, the city lost its independence to the Caliphates of Omeyas. In 1242, the city was reconquered by the Christians. From 1564, the city housed the Bishop's seat and became a centre for literature, science and art. The construction of the Cathedral began at the end of the 13th century. The Bishop's Palace is impressive for its austere character and is the largest palace in the city.
The cathedral was originally built at the end of the 13th century as an ordinary church on the site of the former Moorish mosque. It was not until 1510 that it became a cathedral. The building has three main entrances, two of which date from the Gothic period and the third from the Renaissance. Inside, the decorative ironwork, the baroque organ and the 18th century choir are particularly noteworthy.
The Castillo de Monteagudo towers proudly above its surroundings, it is impossible to miss. The castle is situated on a high rock that rises 149 metres above sea level and dominates the surrounding landscape. This strategic position makes the fortress an important place. The castle dates back to the Islamic period. The first documents mentioning its existence date back to 1078-1079. However, it was in the time of Ibn Mardanis, in the 12th century, that the castle got its present form.
Located on the edge of the historic centre and at the foot of the Sierra de Orihuela is the second largest palm grove in Spain, the Palmeral Park. This is a beautiful and shady place to walk. It provides a welcome oasis from the afternoon sun. Visitors can enjoy a picnic among the green foliage of the palm trees.