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Almansa - Santuario de Nuestra Senora de Belen - Cuevas del Diablo - Alcala del Jucar

Price: 58.00 EUR
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Countries: Spain
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Route: Murcia - Almansa - Santuario de Nuestra Senora de Belen - Cuevas del Diablo - Alcala del Jucar - Murcia
Duration: 11 h
The first stop in our tour will be at Almansa. The most remarkable feature of Almansa which is its impressive castle, built on top of a great rock that crowns the city. Of Arab origin, this castle was rebuilt by Don Juan Manuel in the 14th century. The historic quarter, which was declared a Historic-Artistic Site, is formed by narrow streets that surround the castle. Inside we must point out the Palace of the Counts of Cirat, also known as "Casa Grande" (Big House), with a beautiful Mannerist main front. Civil architecture is also represented by 17th-century ancestral homes, such as the house of Enríquez de Navarra, and the one of the Marquis of Montortal; the old communal granary, which today houses the local Arts Centre, and the City Hall. When it comes to religious buildings, we must mention the parish of Asunción, from the 16th-19th centuries; the convent of the Augustinians, with a Baroque façade; the convent of San Francisco, and the hermitage of San Blas. Our second stop in this tour will be at Santuario de Nuestra Senora de Belen not far from Almensa.. It is believed that the patron saint of Almansa "The Virgin of Bethlehem" was the sanctuary since the ninth century. In the beginning, the shrine was in the care of hermit monks who had a small chapel and several monasteries in its vicinity. In the mid-sixteenth century, by a Papal Bull spent the sanctuary and the Virgin of Bethlehem to power the town of Almansa. In 1715, it donated the altarpiece of the current sanctuary with the alms of the Villa. In the seventeenth century stands the baroque chapel of rectangular high choir to toe, and a magnificent altarpiece in the early eighteenth century. Dressing room built out the same century, with a dome and colorful murals and tile flooring. The next stop in the tour will be at picturesque cave village of Alcala del Jucar.Alcalá del Jucar is located in an exceptional setting, on a hill below which we find the gorge formed by the Júcar river. Narrow, steep streets lined with well-preserved houses crawl up towards the castle, from which we can have splendid panoramic views of the gorge. The fortress is of Arab origin, rebuilt during Christian times. The bridge that crosses the river was built by the Romans, and rebuilt in the 18th century; it offers beautiful views of the surroundings and leads to the parish church of San Andrés, from the 16th-18th centuries, with a classical entrance portico. On the other side of the river, on the hill, we see a peculiar bullring, unique because of its location, construction, and irregular shape. The natural caves, some of which were turned into old-worlde inns, are common around this area. They have the peculiarity of being able to maintain, naturally, the same temperature in their interior all year round.  Regarded as one of the most beautiful villages in Spain, do not miss the opportunity to wander through its streets. Also we will visit to Cuevas del Diablo is a vast cave complex with tunnels, a terrace overlooking the river, and a private collection of eccentric and historical artefacts and farming tools. After that we will return to Murcia.
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Countries: Spain

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