Altamira Palace, also known as “Alcázar de la Señoría”, stands in the northwest
corner of the town’s former medieval Islamic Medina. The palace was
built in three separate periods: Almohad; 15th and 16th centuries, and 18th century.
The latter consists of a two-storey residence commissioned by the Count of
Altamira and attached to the southern facade. The building concealed the medieval
entrance and was given a new access route from the Vinalopó River. The
great keep was used as a residence by monarchs – Jaime II, Pedro IV, Alfonso
III and Spain’s Reyes Católicos – and as a meeting place by the town’s General
Council up until the 15th century.
New restoration work has enabled the “Alejandro Ramos Folqués” Elche Archaeological
and History Museum to be opened in the palace and in the basement
area under the square. The museum displays archaeological remains from
all over the region through to the Visigoth era and illustrates the town’s history
from when the Islamic Medina of Ils was built right through to the present day.
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