Huerto del Cura Gardens
Huerto del Cura Gardens form part of Elche's famous palm groves. Although the groves spread throughout the city and beyond, its spectacular parks and gardens are the most popular areas to visit. To give it its Spanish name, Jardín Huerto del Cura along with the Municipal Park are the main two areas of gardens. Further gardens and groves can be found in Parc del Filet de Fora, Parc Rei Jaume I and along the Vinalopo River where there are also areas to play sports. When exploring the parks, visitors are never far from some of the city's most popular landmarks.
Huerto del Cura Gardens
Exploring the Huerto del Cura Gardens is an absolute pleasure where you will discover something new around every turn. After paying the entry fee, many visitors start with a wander around the Palm Grove Museum. It houses some interesting displays and pretty pieces of art made from palm fronds. Another reason to begin your visit here is it is also the starting point of one of the most popular walking trails. This takes a circuitous route around the museum and has places to stop for a rest or picnic. Many of the grander palms in the garden have been given imaginative names. Others have been dedicated to important residents or visitors to the city over the years.
The Imperial Palm
The most famous of all the palms in Huerto del Cura Gardens is the aptly named Imperial Palm. This is located opposite the museum and is thought to be around 165 years old. It was given its grand title after a visit to the city by Empress Elisabeth of Austria in 1894. Visitors can also see a bust of the Empress located in the north wing of the Imperial Palm area. The palm is somewhat of a botanical phenomenon as it seems to deceive the laws of biology. The growing shoots of this specimen tend to develop at the base of the palm when it's between 10 to 15 years old. In the case of the Imperial Palm, the shoots were formed at an unheard of height of two metres when the father palm was already 60 years old. This is what gives it its very distinct and pretty shape.
Huerto del Cura Gardens Attractions
Wandering the pleasant nature trails through Huerto del Cura Gardens visitors can view a number of ornate sculptures. One such sculpture is a bust dedicated to King James I of Aragon. This famous and fearless king ousted the Arabic reign of the city in 1265. Furthermore, the king was the first person to claim protection of the palm groves. The gardens are not just about the history of Elche but also have areas children will find fascinating. Walking through the Tunnel of the Equitable you come across an area of ponds and rock gardens. This is a lovely place where the young ones can admire the fish and terrapins or follow the calls of the elusive peacocks. The rock gardens are really beautiful and home to many interesting species of plants, flowers and cacti.