Costa Blanca Life

History & Culture


The beauty of this region lies in its balance between old and new, medieval and modern, nature and human heritage, united to create a unique cultural melting pot that brings alive the memories of past times. What impresses so many people who visit Costa Blanca is how history here becomes alive and more than just history. Over the centuries, it has become a part of local life and lore. Hundreds of urban landmarks and architectural wonders faithfully depict the lavish Moorish legacy, as well as other cultural and political influences that came before and after the Moors.

The majority of these localities and national customs are under UNESCO heritage protection. Moorish castles, churches, watchtowers, walls, bastions, batteries, defense towers, forts, walled palaces and their magical gardens, all miraculously preserved over the course of centuries and tumultuous history of the region — shed light on the past, creating the imagery that reminds us of Shahrazad’s story of One Thousand and One Nights.

Valencia’s Silk Exchange (La Lonja de la Seda), World Heritage Site under the protection of UNESCO, is a marvelous example of the 15th-century Gothic architecture and Renaissance Mediterranean decoration that teach us about the prosperous commercial history of the city of Valencia. It was a flourishing maritime oil and silk trading centre of the time.

This way, traditional arts and crafts are preserved with the participation of the entire local community.

Elche, too, has its UNESCO-protected festival called the Mystery of Elche, which was declared the Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

Another interesting legacy of Valencia is Fallas festivity, declared the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The festival takes place on the streets of Valencia in March celebrating the arrival of spring. Giant fallas, caricature monuments, created by local artists as a satire of the current state of society, get burned on the last night of the festival. The craftsman guilds of the region unite with local communities to create a great variety of costumes and scenographies that parade through the city for hours and days.