He beautiful town of Villena It is presented as a perfect rural getaway in the province of Alicante. This villa combines history, architecture and tradition in a spectacular natural environment, which invites us to discover it with many outdoor activities such as hiking or cycling.

One of the main charms of this town in eastern Spain is its medieval castlebut its old town is home to other monumental wonders, such as the Church of Santiago or the Municipal Palace, as well as museums full of archaeological jewelry.

Els Arcs.

The hiking route to some spectacular natural arches in Alicante

Discover the Atalaya or Pacheco Castle

Villena’s skyline is marked by its imposing fortress, the Atalaya or Pacheco Castle. This construction of Arab origin “was built by the Almohad Empire at the end of the 12th century, as a refuge for the town’s Muslim population,” the town’s town hall explains. Today, the interior wall and the first two floors of the building are preserved from that primitive structure. the keep.

Villena Castle.
Villena Castle.

Years later, in 1240, King Jaime I of Aragon conquered the castle and “after the signing of the treaty of Almizra, the Lordship of Villena passed to the domains of the Manuel family,” they point out. In fact, as a curiosity, in the 14th century he was Prince of Villena the writer Don Juan Manuel, author of El Conde Lucanor.

Over the centuries, the fortress underwent all kinds of reforms and expansions, especially at the hands of the Pacheco family, who added two new floors to the tower and a second wall. In 1476, the Catholic Monarchs took control of the castle after a siege of which there is still evidence, such as projectiles, in the parade ground. The history of the fortification continued with times of war, such as those of Germany, Succession or Independence.

What to see in Villena

After the castle, the visit to Villena can continue through another of its most emblematic buildings, the Archpriest Church of Santiago. This religious temple was built between the 14th and 16th centuries with a design inspired by Catalan Gothic, and “it is one of the gothic-renaissance examples most important in the Valencian Community”, they detail. Inside, its set of helical columns, the access door to the sacristy, the chapter hall and the baptismal font draw attention. Another church that is worth discovering in the town is the of Santa Maria (16th century), in addition to the sanctuary of The Virtues.

Archpriest Church of Santiago.
Archpriest Church of Santiago.

On the other hand, visit the Villena Museum It is an essential plan in the town. This exhibits pieces of great value, from Prehistory to the present day, highlighting the Treasure of Villena, a set of 66 metal pieces such as bowls, bracelets, bottles and gold ornaments dating back to the Bronze Age. We can also visit other cultural centers such as Festive Museumdedicated to the traditional Moors and Christians Festival of Villena, and the Navarro Sculptor Museum Santafédedicated to this famous sculptor from Villena, author of the famous statue of the Bear and the Strawberry Tree.

Relleu footbridges.

The Alicante Caminito del Rey: a route along wooden walkways 60 meters high

To finish the walk through the town, other points of interest are the Plaza Mayor, the Chapí Theater and the Municipal Palace, a 16th century building that has served as the town hall since 1576. Inside the latter, we can admire a beautiful cloister with carpanel arches on Tuscan columns and the Session Hall, decorated with tempera mural paintings from the late 19th century.

Treasure of Villena.
Treasure of Villena.

How to get to Villena

He car ride from the city of Alicante to the town of Villena is 45 minutes on the A-31. From the city of Valencia, it is 1 hour and 25 minutes on the A-7 and A-35

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