If you enjoy spending your free time exploring galleries I’m confident that you’ll love a trip to Alicante. While this coastal Spanish city has more than its fair share of brilliant beaches, I think it is the quality of its museums that really makes it a fascinating holiday destination.
Visit some, or even all, of the following institutions and you will be provided with a terrific insight into Spanish culture, gaining a glimpse into the country’s heritage that you simply won’t get if you choose to spend your entire break on a beach.
Alicante Museum of Contemporary Art
Those with a passion for modern art are bound to be enthralled by the Alicante Museum of Contemporary Art (MACA). Opened in 2011, this establishment is the successor to the Museum of La Asegurada, which featured a vast collection of the works of Spanish painter and sculptor Eusebio Sempere.
Visit MACA today and you’ll discover a gallery devoted to Sempere, who is widely considered to be at the forefront of Spain’s Kinetic art movement, while a section of the museum is also dedicated to local painter Joanne French. Supplementing the museum’s substantial permanent collection is an ever-changing rota of temporary exhibitions, so there should always be something new for you to see, no matter how many times you may have visited MACA in the past.
Museo Arqueologico Provincial de Alicante
I recently took a flight to Alicante with Monarch and one of the most memorable landmarks that I visited was the Museo Arqueologico Provincial de Alicante (MARQ).
If you haven’t already guessed from its name, this museum concentrates on the region’s archaeological history, with certain objects on show some 100,000 years old.
MARQ’s exhibition spaces are designed so that each one focuses on a particular period of time, with the Prehistory Gallery featuring items that belonged to early metalworkers and hunter-gathers.
Visit the Mare Nostrum, meanwhile, and you can learn more about what life in Alicante was like during Roman times. Here, you’ll discover a multimedia projection documenting typical scenes from the ancient Roman town of Lucentum, while fragments of Iberian pottery can also be seen.
Bullfighting has been an integral part of Spanish culture for many years and, even if you don’t want to watch the actual activity, I do recommend that you visit Alicante’s Museo Taurino (which translates as Bullfighting Museum in English).
Situated on Plaza de Toros, this institution not only pays tribute to local bullfighters, but also offers a glimpse into how the pastime has developed over the years. Razor-sharp swords and matador costumes are just some of the artefacts displayed, while you can also see stuffed bullheads.
Numerous film screenings and seminars take place throughout the year complementing the items on show, while the museum also contains a library that stocks a wide range of books on bullfighting.
Mubag Gravina Fine Arts Museum
Lastly, I’m going to look at the Mubag Gravina Fine Arts Museum. This wonderful museum is the perfect place for art lovers to visit and mainly exhibits pieces created between the 16th and 20th century.
Suarez Ordone and Lorenzo Casanova are among the painters whose work is on show here, while there is also a substantial collection of textiles and period furniture. Make sure you take the time to appreciate the museum’s fine exterior too, as it is housed in an ornate palace that once belonged to the Earl of Limiares.