FIVE REMARKABLE MUSEUMS
Do you feel you need more after enjoying our beaches and mountains, local festivities, tasting our food or our wines? If all that is not enough to still your urges to explore, our province also has nearly a hundred museums at your disposal. To choose among them is far from easy, but we would hereby like to suggest five that stand out because of their unique and innovative character.
If you have a footwear fetish, you will know the fame of Spanish shoe manufacturers; and you will probably also have heard of Elda’s shoe factories and its shoemaker culture. The Museo del Calzado covers no less than 2000m2 of displays dedicated to this industry’s long history, featuring pairs that belonged to famous people throughout history, unique and handmade ones that will delight fashion, art and design lovers alike. And yes, it is an excellent excuse to go on a shoe shopping spree along the town’s Outlet Route.
Another important Alicante product are toys. Entire generations have enjoyed themselves for hours thanks to dolls, action figures or cars made in Ibi. It is truly the Spanish capital of toy production. The Museu Valencià Del Joguet beckons you to explore its considerable toy collection, including tin ones. You will also discover the facilities and tools of a historical factory and therefore how children’s dreams were made in the early twentieth century.
A second option for children- both for those that are already grown up and for those who are still doing so- is the MUBOMA or Firefighters’ Museum in Alcoy. Would you like to get to know the evolution of this dangerous but essential trade? Its interior will reveal it to you along with the different devices that have been employed throughout the ages, including several historical vehicles, so do not hesitate to visit it.
In firefighting, water is crucial. It is obviously far more than a fire extinguisher; it is key to life and our planet. This is the focus of the Museo de las Aguas de Alicante, three floors dedicated to explaining how it has been obtained and tapped throughout the centuries, including an interactive one and another one dedicated to environmental projects. And if that were not enough, it also includes the Pozos de Gorrigós, a water obtention system carved in bedrock from the 19th century.
From sweet water to saltwater: the Museo del Mar opened just now this month of June in the completely refurbished auction house in the city’s harbour. Its first exhibition presents a unique heritage of maritime treasures donated or on loan to the city, many of which have been sitting in storage for decades hoping to be put on display one day. It is an excellent way to explore more than 2300 years of history linked to the Mediterranean. You will even bump into a king on a visit, and I am not kidding.
What are you waiting for to visit one of these cultural centres? Do not hesitate to check out their websites to plan your visit.
By Alexander Van der Biest