Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Villena, historic city

In my first entry, I would like to write about my hometown, Villena, on the Alicante province in Spain. If you are driving from Alicante to the inside country, you will be surprised by the vision of the Muslim castle in top of the mountain. But Villena is much more that its castle... Let's have a look:
Atalaya's Castle, Villena
Portal de Turismo Comunitat Valenciana
There are archaeological remains from Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, and Neolithic. You can visit the remains on the "José María Soler" Archaeological Museum, placed in the town hall.

Puntas de silexVasija de cerámica neolítica
Silex Arrow (Palaeolithic) and Neolithic Pot
"José María Soler", Archaeological Musem
Bronze Age:
One of the most famous attractions of Villena is the "Tesoro" (Treasure), found in 1963. The treasure has a total of 47 pieces of silver and gold, including bowls, bracelets, bottles, buttons and other assorted pieces. All they make a total of 10 kilograms of gold and 600 grams of silver. On the Archaeological Museum you can visit a copy of the "Tesoro", as the original is guarded and protected, due to its high value. To have a better idea of its value, we can have an example: a gold bracelet found in Portugal, and identical to the "Tesoro’s" remains on its design, composition and age, was sold in a Christie’s auction for a total amount of 517,875 British Pounds (about 800,000 Dollars or 626.000 Euro).

Tesoro de Villena
From the same period, there are several sites, specially the "Cabezo Redondo”, which can be visited one weekend of every month, and in which was found the "Tesorillo" (small treasure) with 34 gold pieces.

Remains of iberian and roman cultures, that can be visited on the Archaeological Musem.

Middle Age:
It is especially important the Atalaya's Castle. According to Azuar Ruiz and José María García's historians, built in the end of 11th Century or beginning of 12th by Muslims, and later enlarged and reformed.

The Santiago's church, from the 14th and 15th Century, has very unique columns for its gothic period (picture) 

Santiago's Church Columns

Tesoro de Villena: 50 años de incógnitas. Ramón Bernabeu. Diario La Verdad de Alicante, 1 de diciembre de 2013.
Historia de Villena, desde la Prehistoria hasta el siglo XVIII. José María Soler. MI Ayuntamiento de Villena, año 2006. Disponible en la Biblioteca Virtual "Miguel de Cervantes".

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