What to see in Alicante
Located in the homonymous square is the Basilica of Saint Mary, the oldest church in Alicante. It was designed in a characteristic Valencian Gothic style on the foundations of an old mosque during the 14th and 16th centuries.
Throughout the centuries, this temple was an important part of the history of Alicante and suffered repeated damage. The most serious damage took place during the Spanish Civil War, when its interior was looted and used as a military warehouse. It was reformed and restored in the following decades.
Its design is a single nave with a polygonal apse, and on its sides are the chapels between buttresses. On its façade, its curious unequal towers stand out. One of them, from the 14th century, is L-shaped, while the opposite one, from 1713, is rectangular. However, the most impressive thing is its beautiful Baroque doorway, richly decorated by a set of sculptures by the artist Juan Bautista Borja.
The interior of the temple is splendid thanks to the prominent high altar in the original 18th-century rococo style and the Gothic-style choir dating from the 15th century. The chapel also stands out, treasuring an image of the Immaculate Conception by the artist Esteve Bonet from the 16th century and an antechoir with a rich Baroque stone doorway and the splendid baptism chapel made of Carrara marble.
The basilica contains a large number of works of art, including two very valuable works from the 15th century, a Gothic-style image made of stone from Saint Mary and a carving of Santos Juanes, the work of Rodrigo de Osona, as well as incunabula from the 13th century and later. Without a doubt, the most valuable is an 18th-century silk engraving of the Immaculate Conception made in fine rococo style, the work of Pedro Paredes.