It is well-known that, in the past, the region of Alicante was inhabited by Arabics. Muslims were settled in this area for many years so, when they leaved and christians re-conquered the villages and towns, they left behind a huge cultural heritage, as well as traditions, knowledge and buildings. In fact, a lot of our towns’s names come from the Arabic tongue.
In the case of Torremanzanas, co-officially known as La Torre de les Maçanes, the very own origin of the village is due to the muslims, to a XII century castle concretely. This small and picturesque village, which is surrounded by Jijona, Alcoy, Benifallim, Penàguila and Relleu, is a perfect place to explore if you are looking for a quiet environment and many interesting spots.
The village is dominated by a Almohad tower, known as La Casa Alta (literally, the high house), because of its placement in the highest part of the village. During our visit to Torremanzanas, we can enjoy its lovely situation, next to the Torremanzanas river, which has a promenade on its side, so we can have a nice and quiet walk in the nature.
We can find a lot of buildings which have an important role in the village, such as Santa Ana‘s church, built during the XVII century, which is the main church of the village and has a lot of charm, even though it has been rebuilt several times, resulting in a current neoclassical style. Churchs have been historically the main buildings in the whole village.
We can also visit several buildings considered as architectonic and cultural heritage, such as La Foia de Cortés, a country house with fortifications, in which we can find the remains of a medieval mill. In this house, arabic remains were also found, something that means it has had a main role in the area in different times.
The surroundings of the village are also pretty interesting. We can hike to some interesting points and, walking through the beautiful nature, we’ll find a lot of constructions that have a great historical meaning for the area.
For example, we can find some prehistorical remains, such as Freginal de la Font Major, from the mesolithic period. Besides, we can find grain storages in La Foia de Cortés and El Xipreret, and a necropolis placed in Barsella’s mountain, where we can also find an interesting cave.
On the other hand, we can visit more buildings that will guide us through the history of the village, such as the snow wells, one of the most characteristic constructions of the whole area of the mountains of Alicante. These wells were used around the XVI century to collect snow in order to commercialize it.
Another interesting building, because of its historical role, is what used to be a hospital for tuberculosis patients, which formerly had been a military hospital, in times of the Spanish Civil War. It is currently abandoned, but still has an impressive charm, mostly because of the history its walls hide.
It would be also interesting to plan a visit around the country houses around Torremanzanas. These buildings were pretty important several years ago, when the economy of the area was mostly based on agriculture. They were used as houses, but had a lot of land to work, and even had some resources to process the products, in order to make oil or flour.
All this interesting places to visit in Torremanzanas make this village an ideal place to visit if we want to get to know the lifestyle of its inhabitants and the traditions of the area, because tourists rarely visit the village. It is a perfect way to know how is the day to day life in a village in Alicante.