Palmeral of Elche (2000)
Spain

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The Palmeral of Elche, a landscape of groves of date palms, was formally laid out, with elaborate irrigation systems, at the time the Muslim city of Elche was erected, towards the end of the tenth century A.C., when much of the Iberian peninsula was Arab. The Palmeral is an oasis, a system for agrarian production in arid areas. It is also a unique example of Arab agricultural practices on the European continent. Cultivation of date palms in Elche is known at least since the Iberian times, dating around the fifth century B.C. 

Spain 2001. Palmeral de Elche

Spain 2001. The Mystery of Elche. Scan by courtesy of Mario Villena (Spain). 

Elche (ancient Ilici) is a city in southeastern Spain, in Alicante Province, Valencia, near the city of Alicante and the Mediterranean Sea. 

Dates, olives, cereal grains, and pomegranates are cultivated, and woolens, brandy, wine, and olive oil are manufactured. 

The city's Iberian origin is indicated by the Lady of Elche, a painted bust from the 5th century BC. Elche, occupied by Carthaginians, Greeks, and Romans, was made an episcopal see by the Goths. It lost importance during the Moorish period but retains much of its Moorish architectural character. 

  • Spain 1986. El Misterio de Elche. The stamp number 12 in a long series of stamps dedicated to Spanish religious celebrations and festivals. Scan by courtesy of Mario Villena (Spain). 

Spain 1986. El Misterio de Elche.

The lady of Elche has also appeared on a Spanish banknote. 

Spain 1969. Lady of Elche. Spain 1948. Spanish banknote of 1 peseta. The Lady of Elche. Pick #135.  

Sources and links:

Other World Heritage Sites in Spain (on this site). Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, Spain-section, for further information on the individual properties. 

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Revised 19 jul 2007  
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