Nice to see you all again! Today we visit one of the places which was awarded the Heritage of Humanity 17 years ago, located in Elche and considered its most important place. El Palmeral.
El Palmeral contains around 200,000 palm trees and covers 500 hectares in the city centre. It is the biggest palm tree park in Europe and is used for agricultural purposes. It’s origin dates back to the Muslim occupation in the 7th century, when Elche was created.
It was loved from the very beginning, in fact, the first laws protecting it were created in the Medieval Age. It was King Jaime 1 who avoided its destruction in 1265. You may be asking why would anyone want to eliminate it? Well…. It was associated with the Muslim empire and there were some who wanted it destroyed.
Nowadays, in order to get the most from the visit, we recommend you follow the 2.5km route, to enjoy the splendour of the park. The route starts and ends in “Huerto de San Placido”, where there is a museum. The museum offers, amongst many activities and pictures, interactive elements, such as videos that help us to discover the history of this place.
Among the plant species to be found here, we highlight the “Phoenix Dactylifera. Thanks to this, we can enjoy a meal called “Las Delicias de Elche” made from the dates with bacon and almonds.
However, among the palm trees, the most remarkable is the “Imperial Palm Tree”, which owns its name to the Empress Isabel de Baviera (Sissi) and has the shape of a candelabra. It is 165 years older than the 200 years which most palm trees live.
Regarding the plots of land, the most important is known as Huerto del Cura. Its name is due to the owner: The Chaplain Jose Castano Sanchez. This garden is approximately 13,000 m2 with not only 1,000 palm trees, but also pomegranate, lemon and fig trees.
Unfortunately, the landscape is at risk of the presence of larvae from the Red Weevil. This specie is extremely harmful for the trees as it eats the stem of the plants. Fortunately, an exhaustive disinfection process was carried out and this seems to be helping the plants, although there is still a lot to do.
We hope you found this article interesting. Enjoy your day.