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Alicante Travel Guide


Alicante Museums

Museo Arqueológico Provincial (Provincial Archaeology Museum)

This museum was created in 1932, located in the basement of what was then called the Provincial Council building. It first contained findings from archaeological sites in Torremanzanas, El Campello and Alicante. It was later transferred to magnificent installations in the ancient hospital of San Juan de Dios, and became known, both for its layout and content, as one of the major museums in Spain in its class. It has valuable displays reaching from the Palaeolithic down to the modern age, with special emphasis on Iberian art, displaying a bust of Our Lady of Cabezo Lucero, reminiscent of the famed Lady of Elche, plus diverse Roman utensils, Islamic treasures and an extensive collection of ceramics from a number of different periods.

Colecció Capa (Capa Collection).

This collection is distributed among the halls and open-air spaces of the castle of Santa Barbara overlooking the city. It is the largest contemporary Spanish sculpture collection in the world, dating from the late 19th and 20th centuries. It was granted to the city by its founder, the collector and Professor Eduardo Capa, being inaugurated in 1998. The holdings consist of some 700 works, of which 250 are displayed on a permanent basis. The symbol of this magnificent collection is Salvador Dali's "Newton", but it is always difficult to choose a favourite among this selection of works from the finest sculptors over the last 100 years: Benlliure, Blay, Capuz, Pérez Comendador, Torre Isunza, Serrano, Los Oteiza, Manolo Hugué, Cristino Mallo, Orduna, the world's largest collection by Alberto Sánchez and many others. There is also a representation of foreign sculptors such as James Knowles, Kahlid and Leandro Mbomio.

La Asegurada (La Asegurada Museum).

This is one of the most important contemporary art collections existing in Spain, derived from a donation made by the Alicante painter and sculptor Eusebio Sempere to the city in 1977. The exhibition is divided into three aesthetic departments: Geometries, Other Abstract Works and Figurative Works, all exhibited on a rotating basis. Of note are masterworks by Juan Gris, Julio González, Pablo Gargallo, Eduardo Chillida, etc. Among the paintings, sculptures, mixed techniques and graphic works there are samples from some of the most important national and foreign creators from the 20th century: Picasso, Miró, Dalí, Tàpies, Kandinsky, Vasarely, Agam, Max Ernst and many others.

Pozos de Garrigós (Garrigós Wells).

These are a set of large-scale water wells (807,000 litres) excavated in the Benacantil mountain, of ancient origin, and believed to date from the Islamic period. There were records of their existence in the 16th century, although they were restored in the 19th century by Antonio Garrigós López, and named after him. They were intended to store rainwater from the catchment area of the mountain so as to supply the town. Inside the restored wells is a selection of objects and typical pottery pieces such as vases, earthenware bottles, jugs etc. which have been used by man down the ages for storing water.

Museo de Belenes (Nativity Museum).

This Museum is located in a typical house in the old quarter constructed in the first half of the 19th century and preserving an original water well. It contains a collection of nativity scenes showing episodes from the life of Christ made by some of the finest Spanish nativity artists. There is also a life-sized nativity scene, and other nativities from diverse parts of the world.