Onil is a village situated in the north of the province of Alicante and it is near Sierra de Mariola Natural Park. Thihs delightful town is known as the “Cuna de las muñecas” (dolls cradle) because its economy is based on toys manufacture. It takes you half a hour to get there by car from Alicante.
This picture was extracted from Weather-forecast
In the Main Square, the Palace-Fortress of Marqués de Dos Aguas will catch your eye. It is one of the most lovely civic buildings in this area. In 1539 this palace was ordered to built by Ramón Vilanova, who was Baron of Foia de Castilla and Lord of Onil and Fabanella, and it was finished in 1614. Its style is mixture of Gothic and Renaissance. Later it was property of Gaspar de Rocafull, Marqués de Dos Aguas. The palace consists of four towers but one of them is the bell tower of Santiago Apóstol Church. Inside, you can visit Museum of the Festero, The Three Wise Men Museum and Eusebio Sempere´s Museum.
Santiago Apóstol Church is set on the western side of the palace-fortress and it was completed in 1778. This religious temple consists of a single nave, small pillars with capitals and semicircular arches and you can find fresco paintings. In the main altar you can see the altarpiece of the 15th century, which is dedicated to Santiago Apostle. Also the Baptistry is interesting because there are frescoes painted in 1950 by Eusebio Sempere who is a local artist.
Maybe the most famous monument in Onil is Casa de l´Hort (House of the Orchard), now it is the Dolls Museum. It was named for the large garden that was in front of the main façade. This building was a majestic palace of the 18th and was declared a Cultural Heritage Site in 1977. Its plan has a rectangular shape and it composed of three floors. The ground floor was used for agricultural purposes. The access is through a stone doorway with a wrought iron and a coat of arms above it. Inside you come across with impressive spiral staircase and more than 1,400 toys from different periods. You will find Playmobil city, the largest collection of Mariquita Pérez (it was a doll which madre from 1939 to 1976 in Spain) and Nancy.
This picture was extracted from Museo de la Muñeca de Onil
Other interesting museum is the Oil Museum where you will discover several pieces to make olive oil from different eras. Also you can visit convents, such as Monasterio de Monsterrat or Convento de San Buenaventura, and hermitages for example Nuestra Señora de la Salud Patrona de Onil Hermitage and Santa Ana Hermitage. Also you could visit the ancient snow well which is digged in the land and it was built between 17th to 18th. It shape is circular and is covered with a conical dome. It was used to collect snow to make ice and it sold it to preserve meals.
If you travel with kids, I suggest you to go to Road Park of Traffic, usually children love this place because they can drive and learn the traffic signs, also how to respect to the others.
This picture was extracted from Policia Onil
Very close to here there is another excellent village, Castalla. It takes you about 10 minutes from Onil. The main attractive to visitors is the castle that was declared Interest Cultural Site. It set in the strategic site, on the summit of the mountain, and it was made by Muslims. Over time it was refurbished. It consists of three parts:
- El Palau ( the Palace), made between 14th and 15th century: it has a rectangular share and composed of three floors. Its function was manor house and military.
- Patio de Armas (Weapons courtyard): its surface is irregular and long. It is delimited by the wall. Here it made daily tasks.
- Torre Grossa (Huge Tower): it is in the southern part and it was made in 1529. Its shape is circular and it composed of two floors that are covered by a hemispherical vault each of them.
For the youngest family members I recommend you to go the Playmobil Playpen. It is located in the historical centre.
These pictures were extracted from Turismo Castalla