The capital of Vega Baja county, Orihuela is a colourful destination where natural and urban landscapes collide. The town’s history and culture are still very much alive and can be felt as you walk around. With museums, sights, beautiful countryside and stunning coves, Orihuela offers more than you could possibly imagine.
What to see in Orihuela
The best place to start your exploration of the town is the historic centre. Listed an Historic and Artistic Site due to the large number of monuments, museums and points of interest it holds, the streets of Orihuela will captivate you.
Biblioteca Pública y Archivo Histórico Fernando de Loaces is well worth a visit. The public library and historic archive is housed in Palacio del Conde de Pinohermoso, a 16th century building that was later restored in the 18th. Next on your list should be Colegio Diocesano Santo Domingo, a convent with a school which then became a university. This monument’s architecture is a work of extraordinary artistry with its Corinthian columns and great Baroque door.
As you continue strolling the streets of Orihuela, you will come across many buildings that are steeped in history. Palacio de la Granja is a case in point, a manor house that flaunts an impressive Baroque façade.
Orihuela is also home to a great wealth of culture which is safeguarded in the town’s network of museums. Museo Diocesano de Arte Sacro, the Holy Art Museum, for instance, has collections of paintings, sculptures, clothing and religious books. The highlight of the collection is a masterpiece by Velázquez: La tentación de Santo Tomás de Aquino.
Museo de la Muralla, the Museum of the Town Walls, is a must-visit if you want to find out more about the history of Orihuela. Here you can see valuable historic remains, such as those of the former town walls, Muslim homes, Arab baths and a Gothic building. A journey that will take you centuries back in time. If you’re interested in this period of history, you should also make time to visit Castillo-Alcazaba de Orihuela, the town’s fortress.
Orihuela is also well-known as the birthplace of a literary great. Miguel Hernández was an important 20th century poet who died at a young age. You can now visit his home, which has been converted into a cultural centre dedicated to his life and work.
Just outside the historic centre sits Palmeral de Orihuela, also known as Palmeral de San Antón. Considered a Site of Cultural Interest, this palm tree forest is a wonderful place to take a walk in the shade provided by these magnificent trees and breathe in a quintessentially Mediterranean atmosphere.
And then there is the coastline. Kissed by the golden sun and caressed by a gentle breeze, the eleven beaches and coves in Orihuela boast crystalline waters and fine sand. The perfect place to laze around for hours, gaze at the stunning views and then, when you get a bit too hot, freshen up with a dip in the sea. It doesn’t get better than that.
Orihuela is a wonderful tourist destination where sun, sea and sand meet impressive historic and cultural heritage. Come for a visit and live it all for yourself.