Discover the best of the Old Town of Javea with a walk through the narrow streets, starting in the Historic Centre of Xabia at the Church of San Bartolomé. The origin of Javea's Historic Centre dates back to the Medieval period and many characteristic buildings that have been built through the centuries remain.
Historic Centre - Old Town of Javea
The Historic Centre of Xàbia originates from the Medieval period, spanning over seven centuries. Today the Old Town of Javea consists of streets with white façades, arched doorways, gothic windows and ironworks, all finished with the areas´ characteristic “tosca” sandstone.
The main parking area for visitors to the Historic Centre is the underground parking located at the Plaza de la Constitución. Discover the best of the Old Town of Javea with a walk through the narrow streets, visiting the many historic sights.
1) Start your walking tour in the centre of the Old Town, The Church of San Bartolomé in the Plaça de l'Església.
2) Next to the Church discover The Municipal Market with its wonderful selection of food stalls as well as 3 other historic buildings - Palau dels Sapena (15th century) the Casa dels Bolufer (18th-19th century), and the Town Hall (18th century).
3) Walk up Calle Primicies to visit the Soler Blasco Museum; leaving the museum travel along Calle Major to discover the Casa de Tena (1867), which is currently being used as the CA Lambert Exhibition Hall.
4) Travel allong Calle D'Avall to find the Capilla de Santa Anna; continue down Calle Major to Plaza del Convent where you will find the Convent de las Agustinas.
5) Walking up Avenida Princep d'Asturies, you will find the medieval walls which have undergone reconstruction. From here a stroll across Montaner Park leads you to Riurau de los Català d´Arnauda, a building that represents the rural architecture of Javea.
Exploring the Historic Centre of Javea, you will also discover many shops, restaurants and bars which add to the wonderful charm of this area.
Iglesía de San Bartolomé
The "Iglesia de San Bartolomé de Xàbia" is located in the historic center of Javea in the Plaza de la Iglesia.
The church building dates back to the 14th and 16th century, serving over the years as both a church and also as a building to defend the town.
The original part of "Iglesía de San Bartolomé" building dates back to 1304. During the 16th century, the building was enlarged in Elizabethan Gothic style, being built mainly using rock from Cabo San Antonio, on the coastline just north of Javea.
The main entrance to the church on the Eastern side is medieval style and is dedicated to San Bartolomé. At the side, you will find a second door dedicated to San Gil - this is located in front of the Ayuntamiento (City Hall).
The bell tower stands 30m high and offers beautiful views across Javea. Look out for historic features including openings for guns above the main doors and cannons surrounding the church.
The church can be visited from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. from Monday to Friday. In the afternoon, on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, it is open 30 minutes before Mass.
Mercado Municipal - Indoor Municipal Market
The Mercado Municipal is located next to the Historic Church of Javea, located within the "Mercado Municipal de Abastos", a building constructed on the original site of the 17th century convent, "Convento de las Agustinas Xabia". During the civil war (1936-1939) the old convent was destroyed and the Municipal market was built in its place.
Within the market you will discover a wonderful array of stalls offering bread, fruit and vegetables, meat, seafood, cheeses, bread and more. You can also enjoy a drink and snack from one of several bars within the market.
The Mercat de Xàbia is open Monday to Friday: 08:00-14:00 / 17:00-20:00,
The Soler Blasco Archaeological and Ethnological museum
The Soler Blasco Archaeological and Ethnological museum is located in the historic centre of Javea (in Calle Primicies) in a building known as 'la casa-palau de Antoni Banyuls' (the palace of Antoni Banyuls). It is one of the towns most important historic buildings, now housing a large permanent exhibition alongside temporary ones.
Built by Banyuls - who was connected to King Philip III - in the first half of the seventeenth century, the palace has an impressive Tosca stone facade and is divided over three floors. It was renovated in the second half of the nineteenth century, leaving only one room with original tiles and clay 'mocadorets' in green and white.
Consisting of 10 rooms for exhibitions, of which eight are dedicated to the permanent exhibitions with examples of Javea's Iberian Treasure and Roman and Medieval ceramics, among others.
Summer: Tuesday to Friday, from 10 to 13h and from 17 to 20h. Saturdays, Sundays and bankholidays, from 10 to 13h. Mondays closed.
Winter: Tuesday to Friday, from 10 to 13h and from 18 to 21h. Saturdays, Sundays and bankholidays, from 10 to 13h. Mondays closed.
Capella de Santa Anna
The "Capella de Santa Anna" is a small chapel (located in Carrer D'Avall) which is the only remaining part of the original hospital building from 1502.
The hospital was important in medieval times due to the frequent outbreaks of plague. This is a small Gothic style building with a beautiful vaulted ceiling.
Opening Times: 11am to 1pm Monday to Friday.
Riurau de los Català d´Arnauda
This long rectangular building is one of the largest of the typical historic riuraus that represent rural architecture of Jávea, where raisins were protected and stored. The raisin trade was historically of great importance to the Marina Alta, and the buildings were usually built with large arches and a cane roof, to house the grapes and spread out for drying.
Riurau dels Català D’Arnauda recently moved from its original location close to Avenida Rey Juan Carlos I to the Montaner Park, and is now a popular location for local concerts or events.
More information on the History of Javea / Xabia
In the 13th century, Javea was only a small enclosure sealed in by a city wall with corner towers. The major population increase in the 15th Century caused for urban development in which roads were added extending from the city walls' ring roads and creating access to the city via 'portals' (city gates), namely Portal de San Vicent, Portal de la Ferreria, Portal del Clot, Portal de Sant Jaume and the Portal de la Mar.
The town continued to expand around the city wall and the church during the 16th and 17th Centuries, establishing some of Javea's most representative buildings. These civil gothic houses built by the Bourgeoisie are found close to the church in the following streets: Sor Mª Gallart, Pl. de l’Església, Sta. Marta, Sor Catalina Bas, S. Pere Martir, Metge González, Major and Estret. The Palau dels Sapena (Pl. de l’Església) is a good example of the style, with three-centred arches in the gallery and twin trefoil arch windows.
The sailors established their residence at the Porta de la Mar, the city entrance from the port. In 1515, the Iglesia del Loreto (Our Lady of Loreto Church) was built here to serve the sailor and fishermen population and was demolished in 1870. At present, there is a small “tosca” sandstone building with a Neo-Gothic style built in 1954. A new modern Parroquia de Nuestra Senora de Loreto was built in 1967 in Aduanas de Mar (C. Pío X).
During late 18th Century and the 19th Century, the local Merchant Bourgeoisie dedicated to raisin exportation and the agricultural landowners selected the area near the Church to build ostentatious buildings with examples such as: Casa dels Bolufer, Casa de les Primícies, Casa Arnauda (or Senyoreta Josefina), Casa Abadía, Casa de Montalbán (Captain of the “pailebotes” or clipper ships fleet owned by the Bolufer family), and the Casa de Tena. The Casa de Tena, built in 1857, was a pharmacy and is currently in use as the CA Lambert Cultural Centre.
In 1805 the “Portal Nou” (New City Gate) was opened in the current Pl. Marina Alta but between 1869 and 1874, the city walls were demolished to accommodate the town’s urban expansion like the execution of the l´Eixample with wide avenues to facilitate the transport of goods to the port from the Pl. del Convent, where the main district roads arrived. They are the current avenues: Avenida Príncep d’Astúries, where the farmers who earned their wealth from raisins continued to build their homes and Avenida d’Alacant, where part of the Merchant Bourgeoisie settled.
As testimony of the raisin trade's importance in Xàbia, the “riurau” (raisin drying facilities) still remain; they were rectangular structures with sandstone partitions and galleries with large “ulls” (arcades), whose purpose was to shelter the grapes extended on “cañizos” (thatched mats) to dry. One of the largest raisin drying structures is the “Riurau de los Català d´Arnauda”, recently transferred from its original site to the Montaner Park.
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