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Archena is crossed by the Segura River and is the entrance to the Ricote Valley. This fertile oasis surrounded by mountains is notorious for the therapeutic power of its thermal waters and for a history which dates back to the Iberian period




B from benefit, B from balneary, B from beauty. Like an oasis inside of another, in a stunning natural spot located in the heart of the Valle de Ricote, the Balneario de Archena (Archena Spa Resort) is waiting for you! This complex of more than 2152.782 ft² is considered one of the best spa resorts of Spain and is a guaranteed success if you want to relax, become toned and experience great benefits from minerals. The truth is that after 15,000 years inside the Earth acquiring its therapeutic power, water from this spring is both calm and beneficial. Here you'll be able to enjoy the best facilities and the latest health and beauty treatments, without overlooking, of course, your own happiness.




Join the most typical and coastal route of the Region, the one of the poet Vicente Medina. This walk passes along the left side of the Segura River, between waterwheels, viewpoints and natural vignettes with a Moorish touch. If you wish, you'll be able to follow this path which goes from the Balneario de Archena to the municipality of Lorquí while experiencing how the most original verses of this poet from Archena come to your mind. In the vicinity of the Archena Museum, you'll have the opportunity of improving your quality of life and having a good time with the youngest ones of the family thanks to the outdoor fitness complex; all of this at the same time that you enjoy the best views of the municipality.




At the end of May or June, come to the procession of the Blessed Corpus Christi during the Saint Patron Festivities of Archena. You'll be surely fascinated by the flower carpets which neighbours prepare in the streets in order to welcome the step of the monstrance, the only one who can step on the carpets. These laborious works of art are made from petals of flowers, leaves of aromatic plants, sand, sawdust and salt, what offers a really colourful effect. The festivity also includes the election of queens and ladies, the wine parade, fairs, shows, sport and children's activities and a passionate pilgrimage.




At the same time as the local holidays take place, Archena celebrates the festivity of Moors and Christians, although they have an special way of doing it. For a week, different events are organised, such as passacaglias, arquebusiers, parades, floral tributes to the saint patrons and a parliament or embassy with a guerrilla force, where the signing of the Founding Letter by the Moorish people and the Hospitable Order of Saint John from Jerusalem, which was the owner of these lands during that period, is represented. Apart from the Huge Parade, another of the most mass events is the "noche miguera", when almost all the municipality participates in the competition of "gachasmigas" (traditional dish made with flour, water, garlic, olive oil and salt).




One of the places that it's compulsory to visit is the Archena Museum. Its external design is the first thing that catches one's attention, with a transparent glazing which allows to enjoy the beauty of the riverbank of the Segura river during its way along Archena. Inside the museum you'll be able to discover the real Thermal Village of Archena through its archaeological remains, historical pieces and other interesting objects of interest left by the different civilisations settled down here since prehistoric times, surely due to the fertility of its "huertas" (vegetable gardens), one of the most productive of the Region.




People always enjoy a good recipe, and in Archena there are many of them. Both for history and geography, the gastronomy of the Ricote Valley includes stews and pastries of its ancient settlers, the Moorish. Going together with the seasons, the basis of this gastronomy is composed of vegetables and fruits. When it rains, the most typical lunch is rice with rabbit meat and "gachasmigas". It's also typical the stew with fennels and white beans, especially during Lent; "michirones" (fava beans with bacon); Swiss chard vegetable soup; gypsy stew and "gachas", made just with flour, oil, water and salt. The "pebre" (bread soup with leg of lamb) and the garlic soup are also very popular. As for pastries, horn-shaped meringue puff pastries, éclairs filled with custard, and "negritos" (little cakes) filled with meringue and covered with chocolate stand out. Besides, jam-making process, specially for peach and apricot jams, is a tradition still alive. During Christmas many homes continue making craft Christmas sweets with flour, almonds and lard; butter rolls, "cordiales" (little cakes made from eggs, almonds, spaghetti squash jam, sugar), and little cakes of spaghetti squash jam and anisette; and during Easter, don't forget to try Easter breads.




The church of San Juan Bautista is another compulsory visit in Archena. This baroque building from the end of the 18th century, built with the support of the neighbours from the municipality, is made with facing bricks and ashlar base. However, it stands out due to the simplicity and sobriety of its façade, whose style was similar to the following Academic art style of the 19th century. The original altarpiece, together with the statues, was destroyed during the Civil War, and nowadays imitates the Gothic style. Among the statues of the different altars, the Virgin of Sorrows, the Christ Crucified and the Nazarene stand out, as well as Our Lady of the Rosary, which is carved, Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Our Lady of Piety.




The most ancient and important building of the locality of Archena is the Casa Grande, a Renaissance style building property of the Hospital Order of Saint John of Jerusalem. It was built in the 15th century and in its beginnings it was used as Casa de la Tercia (House of the Tercia) and grain warehouse. Each of its façades is different, but all of them respect the symmetry of the openings in the different orders of the main façade. It was deeply restructured in the 19th century, when the balcony running along the main façade was added. The beautiful eaves and the ironwork of the windows will catch your attention. The building, acquired by the City Council at the end of the 20th century, is nowadays the Casa Consistorial (Council House).




In your way to the core of the municipality, you'll find the Palacete de Villarías (Small Palace of Villarías), where there's one of the most successful museums among local people and tourists, the Museo del Esparto y Antigüedades de Archena (Museum of Esparto and Antiquities of Archena). Here you'll be able to enjoy countless craft objects made of esparto, implements and farm work tools for the "huerta" (vegetable garden). Among the most curious things a replica of the Church of San Juan Bautista, the Murcian well, and even a bikini made with this material stand out. Once you know what "cachuleros" (bag made in esparto usually used to store snails) and "seras" (basket made in esparto) are, and after enjoying the museum, you'll be able to visit the outside garden, where you'll find some surprises such as a protected eucalyptus with a circumference of six metres or a spot perfect for romantic spirits with ponds and waterfalls.




Archena watches over one of the most important and well-known archaeological sites from the Iberian period, El Cabezo del Tío Pío (The Hillock of the Uncle Pío). The digs revealed that in this place there was an Iberian town, inhabited from the 6th B.C. to the end of the 1st century of this era. Among the treasures found in the dig, twelve amphorae, cinerary urns, kalathos, Attic ceramics and weapons such as falcatas and soliferrum are the most important ones. But the jewel in the crown is the Glass of Warriors, a piece which is exhibited in the National Archaeological Museum of Madrid, although a replica can be found in the Archena Museum.

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