Visiting Alicante's Museums
Museums and Art Galleries
Alicante City is full of all kinds of museums and art galleries, from the drier subjects of archaeology to the more fun ones like bullfighting and from classical paintings through to Contemporary. We would certainly advise you to visit the Tourist Information Office to get a complete list of all there is to see as new ones are always opening up - so, with something for everyone let us give you a taster!
Museo de Arte de Siglo XX La Asegurada (Museum of Contempory Art)
Tel : (+34) 96 5140959 / 96 514 94 69 Plaza de Santa Maria, 3, Alicante
Here is a perfect example of old meets new. This building, dating from 1687 and previously a granary, is one of the oldest in Alicante, now however it is home to this art gallery which houses one of the most important contemporary art collections existing in Spain today. Donated in 1977 by local artist and sculpture, Eusebio Sempere, it consists of works that he felt represented the art movement through the years. Here you can view paintings by Dali, Cocteau, Miro, Bacon and Picasso, proving you don't have to go to Madrid to see the work of well-known artists.
Entrance is free and so are guided tours if you arrange them in advance.
Museo de Fogueres (Bonfire Festivities Museum)
Tel: (+34) 96 514 68 28 Rambla de Méndez Nuñez, Alicante.
The festival of San Juan knocks our idea of burning Guy Fawkes on a bonfire into a cocked hat! If you have ever enjoyed this fiesta and seen the intricate effigies made out of papier-mâché that are sacrificed to the flames - then you will know how delightful this museum will be to visit. For those who haven't experienced the skill involved in creating these paper sculptures: prepare to be amazed. The museum has a number of these large creations that were saved from the flames and they're displayed here, allowing you to study the superb craftsmanship, the use of colour and the messages the creators have tried to get across. Usefully, there is also a room allowing you to experience the festival through the use of video and photographs.
Museo Taurino (Bullfighting Museum)
Tel: (+34) 96 521 99 30 Plaza de Toros, Alicante
Swirling capes, pin sharp swords and elaborate costumes - they're all here, and for the less squeamish, there are also a few stuffed bulls heads around the place! Its an interesting Museum that brings together the artefacts associated with bull fighting which, whether you love or hate it, has been a part of Spanish culture for centuries.
Museo de Belenes (Nativity Museum)
Tel: (+34) 96 520 22 32 Plaza Quijano, Alicante
Situated in a typical 19th century family house in the Old Quarter of the city you will find this quaint museum. In Spain during the celebration of the Three Kings (the Christmas-time celebration) it is traditional for every home to have a nativity scene, generally homemade, in the same way that we have Christmas trees. Alicante has long associations with this craft and in this museum nativity scenes crafted in places such as Africa and India have been gathered. Depicting the life of Christ, sometimes in miniature, this museum gives you the chance to view some of these works of art.
MARQ (Museum of Archaeology)
Tel: (+34) 96 514 90 00 Plaza Dr Gomez Ulls, Alicante www.marqalicante.com
This museum is history brought bang up to date. No dry dusty exhibits here, what you have is the archaeological finds from the Alicante region displayed in a very modern way. Wonderfully lit and intermingled with audio-visuals, the collections come alive giving you a flavour of the various civilisations that have made Alicante their home. No wonder that it was adjudged to be Europe's best museum in 2004!
Artefacts range from 100,000 years ago when the first human occupation occurred, through to the Roman era and right up to the mid 19th century. Alicante is very proud of this museum, and justifiably so. The underwater Exhibition is a definite must see. Taking you on a journey through the ages and showing you the part the sea has played, it ends with a dramatic reconstruction of a boat believed to have sunk in the 5th century AC.
Mubag Gravina Fine Arts Museum
Tel: (+34) 96 514 67 8013-15 Calle Gravina, Alicante www.mubag.com
Step inside the door of this building and you can't fail to be impressed by the grandeur of the stone arches that stretch around the ground floor. Once a palace owned by the Earl of Limiares, this elegant building now holds a collection of art ranging mainly from the 16th to the 20th century. Opened in 2001 the 2000 works owned by the Provincial Council are housed here and 500 of them have been selected for exhibition. Unusually these works are put into context by the use of audio-visual equipment, period furniture and textiles. The curators hope that rather than being mere spectators, visitors to the gallery will be encouraged to play a more active part in understanding the artwork.
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