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Basilica of Santa Maria

For more than 500 years this church has been at the heart of Alicante’s Roman Catholic community. Today it’s worth a visit just for its inspiring architecture.

In the heart of Alicante’s Old Town sits the oldest active church in the city. The Basilica of Santa Maria is an opulent example of Valencian Gothic architecture; its interior is adorned with breathtaking décor. The church is immediately recognizable for its two towers and baroque doorway. Although parts of the church were destroyed by fire during the 15th century, much of it still dates back to the 14th century. When Alicante was conquered, the city was converted to the Christian faith and the church was built on top of the remnants of a mosque. Today, the church attracts visitors who come to see its architecture year-round, reflect in its cavernous nave or attend the Mystery of Elche festival each August.

Arrive early in the morning to attend the morning mass, a beautiful and almost timeless experience. From the small square in front of the church you’ll be able to watch the local people of Alicante file through the ornate doorways and into the nave. Above the door sits a statue of the Virgin Mary. Look up to see a number of gargoyles adorning the spires above. This is a great opportunity to take a photo of the church from the outside; however, cameras are not permitted indoors. Take a seat and watch and listen as a guitarist leads the service. Mass is delivered only in Spanish, but this should not deter visitors since the experience transcends language. 

Time your visit between masses to explore the basilica’s six chapels. The church interior is lavish and requires a couple of hours to be fully appreciated. See the 18th-century altar and the original organ that dates back to 1653. 

The Basilica of Santa Maria is located in the Old Town and is best reached on foot. The church is open daily, but is closed in the middle of the day. A timetable for mass is available outside the church. Admission is free.


Guide to Exploring Basilica of Santa Maria


Top Basilica of Santa Maria Flight + Hotel Deals

Top Hotel Deals

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Hotel Hospes Amerigo £117
Hotel Hospes Amerigo

Hotel Hospes Amerigo

     
    5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    This family-friendly Alicante hotel is located in the historical district, steps away from Alicante Town Hall, Alicante Harbour and Explanada de Espana. Postiguet Beach and Central Market are also within 10 minutes. Alacant Terminal Station is 15 minutes by foot.

    Eurostars Mediterranea Plaza £58
    Eurostars Mediterranea Plaza

    Eurostars Mediterranea Plaza

       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Alicante City Centre, this hotel is steps away from Alicante Town Hall, Alicante Harbour and Explanada de Espana. Postiguet Beach and Central Market are also within 10 minutes. Alacant Terminal Station is 18 minutes by foot.

      Tomate Rooms
      Tomate Rooms

      Tomate Rooms

      Rafael Altamira 3 1st floor Office 101, Alicante
         
        3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Alicante City Centre, this hotel is steps away from Alicante Town Hall and Explanada de Espana. Alicante Harbour and Postiguet Beach are also within 10 minutes. Alacant Terminal Station is 15 minutes by foot.

        S30 Reina Victoria Suites £62
        S30 Reina Victoria Suites

        S30 Reina Victoria Suites

        Calle San Vicente 30, Alicante
           
          3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in San Antón, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Central Market and Explanada de Espana. Alicante Harbour and Postiguet Beach are also within 15 minutes. Alacant Terminal Station is 16 minutes by foot.

          Palacio Salvetti Suites £109
          Palacio Salvetti Suites

          Palacio Salvetti Suites

          Carrer Castanos, 7, Alicante, Alicante
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Alicante City Centre, this aparthotel is within a 5-minute walk of Calle Castaños and Explanada de Espana. Alicante Harbour and Postiguet Beach are also within 10 minutes. Alacant Terminal Station is 13 minutes by foot.

            Hotel Leuka
            Hotel Leuka

            Hotel Leuka

               
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in the heart of Alicante, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Placa de los Luceros, Central Market and El Corte Ingles Shopping Center. Alicante Harbour and Postiguet Beach are also within 1 mile (2 km). Alacant Terminal Station is 8 minutes by foot.

              La Milagrosa Bed & Breakfast £39
              La Milagrosa Bed & Breakfast

              La Milagrosa Bed & Breakfast

                 
                1.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Alicante City Centre, this pension is steps away from Alicante Museum of Contemporary Art and Alicante Town Hall. Postiguet Beach and Alicante Harbour are also within 5 minutes. Alacant Terminal Station is 19 minutes by foot.

                Suites del Mar By Melia £101
                Suites del Mar By Melia

                Suites del Mar By Melia

                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Alicante City Centre, this beachfront hotel is in the city centre, just steps away from Gravina Museum of Fine Arts, Postiguet Beach and Alicante Harbour. Explanada de Espana and Central Market are also within 15 minutes. Alacant Terminal Station is 20 minutes by foot.