Guadalest - The Old Town

Through the ‘Portal de San José

Welcome to part two of my hub on Guadalest in this hub we are continuing where we left off at the  ‘Portal de San José’. The upper part known as the Castle village is entered through this 15 meter long, man made, tunnel through solid rock called the ‘Portal de San José  and it is a much photographed part of Guadalest as the tunnel frames photographs wonderfully.

‘Portal de San José’

‘Portal de San José’
‘Portal de San José’
View framed by ‘Portal de San José’
View framed by ‘Portal de San José’

The Old Town

Guadalest is a very popular day trip for holidaymakers on holiday in Benidorm which is only about 30 kilometers from Guadalest.

Guadalest was in existence during the time of the Muslim occupation of Spain in the thirteenth century and was itself occupied by the Moors. It came into the hands Bernardo de Sarrià in 1293 when King Jamie II after its conquest gave the castle of Guadalest to the Sarrià family.

It remained in the family’s hands for 42 years during this period the castle and all the county belonged to the Sarrià family.

Guadalest was given to a succession of noble families until in 1543 when the king and queen D. Carlos and Dª. Juana gave Don Sancho de Cardona and his descendants the permanent title of Marquis of Guadalest. The last Cardona, Marquis of Guadalest, died in 1699 without any descendants.

Orduña House

Once through the ‘Portal de San José’ the first thing you will see is the Orduña House which was built after the great earthquake in1644. This earthquake demolished much of the original housing in Guadalest, the Orduña house is named after the family Orduña, who came to prominence in Guadalest during the time of the Cardonas.

The Orduña family came to El Castell de Guadalest as friends of the Cardonas. They served the Cardonas as guardians of the castle and governors of their estates. The Orduñas were Mayors of Guadalest from 1669 and the last of the Orduñas died in 1934 without any descendants and all his property was given to distant relatives. The house eventually came into the hands of the Town Hall in 1994 when it was turned into a MunicipalMuseum which you see today.

The Orduña House now a museum

The Orduña House now a museum
The Orduña House now a museum
The Orduña House now a museum dressed up for the Fiesta of 'Nuestra Señora de la Asunción'
The Orduña House now a museum dressed up for the Fiesta of 'Nuestra Señora de la Asunción'

The Church Nuestra Señora de la Asunción

Next door to the Orduña house is the Baroque style Church or Iglesia called Nuestra Señora de la Asunción which was originally built in 1740 but it was burnt and looted during the Spanish Civil war. The church that we see now was altered in 1962 and renovations of the inside were carried out in 1995

The Church Nuestra Señora de la Asunción

The Church Nuestra Señora de la Asunción
The Church Nuestra Señora de la Asunción
This photograph of the church was taken late afternoon hence the shadows.
This photograph of the church was taken late afternoon hence the shadows.
You can see from this photo just how narrow the street is.
You can see from this photo just how narrow the street is.

Inside of the Church

They made a good job of the renovations and the inside of the church is quite pretty. Unlike most Catholic churches which tend to be very ornate this church is very simple in its decoration and layout. If the church doors are open you are free to go inside but it is good to remember that it is also a place of worship and to respect that.

Inside the Church

The Interior of the Church
The Interior of the Church
The Interior of the Church
The Interior of the Church

One of the many gift shops

Next door to the church ‘Nuestra Señora de la Asunción’ is this very pretty shop that is filled to the brim with quality items which are ideal as mementoes of your visit to Guadalest or as presents for friends and family back home.

Just opposite this gift shop is the Museum of Miniatures of Manuel Ussa. In this museum you can see such curiosities as the Guernica of Picasso painted on a seed or the Statue of Liberty in the eye of a needle!

Shop and Museum

The Gift shop next to the church
The Gift shop next to the church
Museo de Micro Miniaturas
Museo de Micro Miniaturas

The Main Square

Walking a little further on up Iglesia Street we come to the main square any time you come to Guadalest you will have a good time as the scenery from the main square is breathtaking but there is one time of year when you will have an even more amazing visit and that is during its main fiesta. There are fiestas throughout the year but the main one being in honour of the Virgin of the Assumption is held in August (14th to 17th), during which you will be able to enjoy spectacular firework displays, parades, processions and dances. The Orduña house is dressed for this particular fiesta in one of the photos at the begining of this hub.

The Tiny Town Hall was formerly a courthouse and prison though as you can see from the photograph it is quite a pretty building not at all prison like. In the main square visitors can enjoy everything from drinks and snacks to a full meal in one of the restaurants, while taking in the magnificent scenery as they do so.

The Main Square

In the Main Square dressed with buntin for the fiesta
In the Main Square dressed with buntin for the fiesta
The Town Hall In the Main Square
The Town Hall In the Main Square
In the Main Square
In the Main Square

Hand Painted Roof Tiles

I took this photograph of the painted roof tiles because I liked them very much and one of them featured the Painted Houses that Villajoyosa is famous for. We had a few of these tiles on our terrace as they are the same tiles I have on my roof and my son painted the picture of the Painted houses of Villajoyosa on one of them and it turned out very well so well in fact that he gave it to his sister when she came for a visit.

Painted Roof Tiles

Painted Roof Tiles for sale outside one of the many small gift shops on the main square
Painted Roof Tiles for sale outside one of the many small gift shops on the main square

Peñon de la Alcalá

Peñon de la Alcalá is a striking looking rocky peak which rises straight up from the land below only the lower half of the cylindrical castle tower exists today. From the original tower it was easy to keep a watch over the valley from this strategic point and this structure was very easy to defend because of it inaccessibility.

Peñon de la Alcalá or Rock of Alcala

Peñon de la Alcalá or Rock of Alcala
Peñon de la Alcalá or Rock of Alcala

San Jose Castle

The Castle crowns the Village but unfortunately very little of the castle of San Jose (Saint Joseph) remains today. As you can see from the photographs the castle is towering over the old walled town from its commanding position. The castle is built on the highest point of the cliff which gave it an almost unassailable position being only accessed through the portal of San Jose. Due to the strategic location of this castle it played an important role in the history of the region. It was originally constructed in the 12th century, and was later reformed in the 15th and in 16th centuries; unfortunately it was then almost levelled by the 1644 earthquake. However, it is worth the three Euros entrance fee and there are guided tours of the site at certain parts of the day when you can learn more about the castle and its history.

These photographs of the castle were taken in February when all the Almond trees were in blossom in the second photograph below you can see an Almond tree absolutely full of the pink blossoms. The countryside around Guadalest at this time of year is filled with acres and acres of Almond trees all in blossom.

San Jose (Saint Joseph) Castle, Guadalest

San Jose (Saint Joseph) Castle, Guadalest
San Jose (Saint Joseph) Castle, Guadalest
San Jose (Saint Joseph) Castle, Guadalest.
San Jose (Saint Joseph) Castle, Guadalest.

Inside the Castle Grounds

Having paid over your three Euros you are free to roam the inside of the castle walls, the photographs of the newer part of Guadalest that were in the first part of this hub were taken from up here in the castle grounds. Dotted along the paths you will find the pretty blue and white Stations of the Cross each one having a painted tile depicting a different station.

Inside the Castle Walls

One of the many little stations of the Cross that are dotted all along the paths inside the Castle walls
One of the many little stations of the Cross that are dotted all along the paths inside the Castle walls
One of the many little stations of the Cross that are dotted all along the paths inside the Castle walls
One of the many little stations of the Cross that are dotted all along the paths inside the Castle walls

The Graveyard

Also located in the grounds is the cemetery which is very much a typical Spanish type cemetery. In Spain on the “Día del Muerte” there are festivals and parades, and at the end of the day, the people will gather at cemeteries like this one and pray for their loved ones who have died.

The Grave Yard

The Entrance to the Grave Yard
The Entrance to the Grave Yard
A Plaque near The Entrance to the Grave Yard
A Plaque near The Entrance to the Grave Yard
The Entrance to the Grave Yard
The Entrance to the Grave Yard
The Grave Yard
The Grave Yard

I hope you enjoyed your visit


Well I hope that you have enjoyed your little virtual wander around our beautiful village of Guadalest and the next time you are in this region I would strongly encourage you to pay a visit to see this wonderful place for yourself.

Take some time out to see some of the other places I have travelled to. My travelling is not just limited to Europe there are Hubs on places in USA also.

Thank you for your visit please take time out to leave your comments.

My other Travel Hubs

If you have enjoyed this hub you might enjoy some of the other places I have visited and written about.

 The Indian Dwelling at Manitou Springs

I loved Colorado and I loved seeing the Anasazi Indian Cliff dwellings at Manitou Springs. These authentic Indian Cliff dwellings are situated off Route 24 just west of Colorado Springs where we were staying and are located at the foot of Pikes Peak nestling under the red sandstone overhang which protects them.

 Tombstone Arizona

If you are looking for a page full of facts figures and history then this is not the page for you and there are plenty of other sites on the web already that can give you that. As someone who has been a tourist in America many times this hub will give you a typical tourist’s view of a visit to Tombstone as seen through the eyes of someone that comes from another country.

 Guadalest Spain

Guadalest or to give it its full title El Castell de Guadalest has to be one of the most photographed towns in all of Spain and no matter what time of year you visit there always seems to be some tourists about.

 Guadalest part two the Old Town

Welcome to part two of my hub on Guadalest in this hub we are continuing where we left off at the ‘Portal de San José’. The upper part known as the Castle village is entered through this 15 meter long, man made, tunnel through solid rock called the ‘Portal de San José and it is a much photographed part of Guadalest as the tunnel frames photographs wonderfully.

 Easter in Villajoyosa Spain

Villajoyosa is a small seaside town on the Costa Blanca in Spain. It is a delightful mixture of the old and the new. The old dates back to the 1300’s and the new is being built all around us as I write. Villa as it is often called by the locals is a fishing port that still has a beautiful harbour and marina plus a working boat yard.

 Villajoyosa Moors and Christian Fiesta

I cannot believe that it is July again already, and things are beginning to hot up in Villajoyosa in more ways than one. The Spanish are saying that the hot weather we are having at the moment is more like August weather than July weather and the temperature looks set to rise some more. Two days ago it was the presentation of the two Kings ready for this year's Moors and Christians fiesta.

 Shoshone Falls Idaho

This guide to Shoshone Falls is not a typical tourist guide as I am not a travel writer, I don’t work for a travel agency I am just a simple tourist and this article is written from a real tourists’ perspective. What you read is our own personal experience as tourists who were actually visiting Shoshone Falls and hopefully you will get a more realistic idea of what is on offer than that which is from the some blurb written by someone with a vested interest. I hope the photos will also give a proper taste of what is actually there.

 The Real Grave of Billy the Kid

This hub is designed to give you a real tourist’s eye view of the Billy the Kid tourist attraction. So often the stuff written about these places are written either by travel writers or tourist information places who either are paid for their opinions or want to encourage you to go so that they can part you from your money.

 A very Special day in St George Utah

This is another of my travel hubs and as usual it was a fly-drive holiday with only the first and last nights accommodation booked. What follows is from the perspective of an ordinary family of tourists on holiday, I hope that you will enjoy your virtual trip to St George in Utah with me.

The Miami Police Museum

If you find yourself in Florida on Vacation be sure to leave space in your itinerary for a visit to one of the must see places in Miami, the Miami Police Museum. A visit to this museum will be time well spent.This museum has over 10,000 items on show relating to law enforcement in Miami and America as as whole.

More by this Author


Comments 13 comments

alekhouse profile image

alekhouse 7 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

Nice hub and beautiful town. I have been to Spain many times and enjoyed every visit.


rnmsn 7 years ago

this was a great visit maggs!! thank you!! those gorgeous shadows and the narrow treets...imagine the first artist to stand at bottom, look up and have an epiphany "WOW so THAT'S perspective :) HA"


Candie V profile image

Candie V 7 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

What an absolutely magical town! I cannot imagine living in a place like this, so completely different!! Thank you for bring the world to my home, Maggs! Love you so very much!


maggs224 profile image

maggs224 7 years ago from Sunny Spain Author

Hi Alekhouse, rnmsn and Candie I am glad that you all enjoyed your visit Guadalest photographs beautifully and the light at different times of the day and different times of the year can make the same shot look completely different. thank you all for your kind comments and for taking the time to come and visit the hub.


Candie V profile image

Candie V 7 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

Maggs, your hubs are one of my priorities..


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

Another fine Hub about this interesting place in the world. Thank you. The photos are beautiful, too.


maggs224 profile image

maggs224 7 years ago from Sunny Spain Author

hi James I am glad that you found it an interesting place and liked the photos.

Candie every time I see your name it makes me smile you are such an encourager thank you for encouraging me


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

What an absolute delight to see this wonderful place through your eyes and that of your camera lens. I love the pictures of Guadalest taken through arched doorways, etc. Loved this! Thanks!


maggs224 profile image

maggs224 6 years ago from Sunny Spain Author

Hi Peggy, I am glad that you enjoyed your virtual visit to Guadalest. The light out here in Spain is wonderful and at certain times of the day the photographs almost take themselves Lol… I like the photos taken looking through arched doorways too.


oliversmum profile image

oliversmum 5 years ago from australia

maggs224. Hi. Oh this is beautiful.

The photographs are wonderful with the lighting,shade and shadows that you have captured so perfectly.

You have an incredible way of making us feel that we are actually in all the places that you write about.Thank you.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Guadalest,what a wonderful place to visit.:) :)


maggs224 profile image

maggs224 5 years ago from Sunny Spain Author

Hi oliversmum, what a wonderfully warm and generous comment, you have really made my day.

I am so glad that you enjoyed your virtual visit to Guadalest, it is a very beautiful mountain village that looks even better in real life. I hope that one day you get the chance to see it for yourself :)


alicante 2 years ago

I love Guadalest it is one of my favorite Villages on the Costa Blanca


maggs224 profile image

maggs224 2 years ago from Sunny Spain Author

@alicante It is one of my favourite villages too :D

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