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Information About Elche & the History of Elche in a Nutshell

Elche Palm GroveThere are many stunning things about Elche, from its leather industry to its history but one of the things it is most well known for is the palm grove which contains over 200,000 palm trees covering a surface area of 430 hectares and making it the largest Palm Grove in Europe.

The palm grove is clearly more than just a thing of beauty or a tourist attraction. The palms of the male trees are bleached and used in handicrafts and festivals all over this region of the Costa Blanca, including Guardamar del Segura also it is a source of fruit in the winter when the female palms produce dates.

The palm grove is old, it was created originally by the Phoenicians in the 6th century BC who took advantage of the warm climate and created an ingenious irrigation system.

The palm trees themselves can grow extremely tall (as high as 30 metres) therefore specialists are required to climb to the tops of the trees and cut off the damaged palms to prune and upkeep them. Unlike some ancient specialist jobs, this one is in great demand all over the region.

A trip to Elche is not complete unless you visit the Priest's garden which is a wonderful and cool haven of peace and tranquility in it you will find the infamous "mother-in-law's cushion" and other wonderful cacti plus the imperial palm tree with it's seven branches.

There are many other places of interest to see around Elche town including the archaeological museum, basilica Santa Maria and the Municipal park.

During an archaeological dig for Roman artefacts on August 4th, 1987 a very important discovery was made, the bust of a woman was found this has been labelled "The Lady of Elche". The discovery is suspected to be a priestess or a noble woman, the original bust on display in Madrid at the archaeological museum, but many replicas appear strategically placed around the town of Elche.

Elche makes an interesting day out and can easily be reached from our apartment in Guardamar by bus or car.