Caudette

caudette.gif Caudete is a peaceful town located on the edge of the province of Albacete, within an hour of Alicante and Valencia cities. If you are able to linger a while you will find that there are many places in Caudete that are definitely worth a visit.

Fine architecture and historic buildings survive from every period in this town of 10.000 inhabitants and you will be able to discover for yourself the wonderful views and the rural calm to be found in this countryside. Caudete offers as well pretty civil and religious constructions, such as the Castle, the old Town Hall, the Bullring and many others.

La Villa
This is the old quarter of the town and dates from medieval times. 500 years ago it was surrounded by stone walls. There were originally three main gateways. You will find through the narrow streets tranquil little hiding-places that make it a perfect place for strolling.

The Castle
Overlooking la Villa is the castle, that was built by the Moors in the 12th Century. This castle was an important stronghold having a tower looking over the two provinces of Alicante and Albacete this being the dividing line between Castilian and Valencian territories.

The Church of St. Catalina
This church was built in Catalan Gothic to Barroque style.  Its constuction began in the 14th century and in 1506 the clock-tower was built, although it was not until the 18th century  that it was completed with the addition of the belfry. This explains the use of the different styles in its construction. The belfrey houses five fine bronze bells, three of these being originals. Inside, there is a fine nave with gothic vault.     St Catalina Church, with its blue lined dome and clock tower, is the most famous sight of Caudete.

Sanctuary of Virgen de Gracia
To the south of the city, only 25 minutes walk away, is the Sanctuary of Virgen de Gracia, with its blue Barroque dome, set on a peaceful pine-covered site. As this sanctuary is always open during the hours of daylight, please spare the time to view the golden altar, the image of the Virgen and the fine paintings of José Perezgil on the side walls.

The San Francisco Quarter
On the outskirts of the town, towards the north east, is the San Francisco Quarter. Here, you will  be unable to miss seeing the impressive Plaza de Toros Las Arenas
( the bullring), that was built by the Earl of San Carlos in 1908 in modernist style reflecting the moorish influence. It is one of the most beautiful examples of modernism in the whole Albacete province. Another building of interest is San Francisco Pantheon Church, which was built in 1909. Francisco Albalat Navajas, Earl of San Carlos, gave instructions for it to be built in memory of his first wife, Helene de Saint Aymour, Baronesse de Caix. The church is noted for its rich decoration and its stained-glass windows. 

The Countryside
If you are staying in Caudete for a time you will have the opportunity to explore a little further. The spectacular countryside surrounding the town has a rich rural landscape of large farmhouses and vineyards The area surrounding Sierra Oliva offers unlimited possibilities for hiking, climbing and cycling.
The path PR AB 50 from Caudete to Sierra Oliva is a circular route and has a total length of 21 ' 5 km. The highest point of the tour is one of the peaks of Sierra Oliva, also known as Sierra Santa Barbara (1.141 mts). Along the itinerary you will find an 18th Century ice-house, farmhouses typical to this area, cucos (shepherds huts), former water mills, many acres of pine trees and a varied vegetation uncommon for these zones. The views from the top of the mountain are impressive. Definitely well worth the hike.

Shops, bars and restaurants
The town has an excellent range of small shops, bars and restaurants, while the central covered market and Friday street market are a joy to visit. The vineyards of the area produce some fine wines for you to taste and enjoy.
Festivals
Special events and festivals are organised throughout the year, dates and venues on request from the Tourist Information Office. Caudete has one of the best Moors and Christians festivals that is held annually from the 5th to the 10th of  September. This festival has more than 400 years of history and was declared of regional touristic interest. The parades of La Entrada and La Enhorabuena highlight because of their colour and energy. In the Guerrillas, the fight between both sides, moors and christians, is performed.

Local Cuisine
Traditional cooking is a mixture of Castilian and Mediterranean flavours. There are good local dishes, including the well known paella. Here, it is made with rabbit, chicken, snails and herbs from the mountain. It is worth  trying the "gazpachos manchegos", a tasty game-and-poultry stew, traditionally prepared by local shepherds. Local wines  and olive oil are very good as well.

Cultural Heritage
The Cultural Centre offers you plenty of facilities for you to enjoy, plus regular activities and a full entertainment programme. All year round exhibitions focusing on contemporary art (photography, painting, ceramics and handicrafts) are organised.
The Rafael Requena Gallery houses the largest watercolour collection by this reputed local painter famous all around Spain. It is open on weekly days from 10´00 to 14´00 and from 16´00 to 20´00.

The Tourist Information Office within the Cultural Centre, at 33, Las Eras Street, is the Tourist Information Office, where you can find further details. Please do not hesitate to visit this office from 10'00 to 14'00 from Monday to Friday, when English speaking staff are available to give you every possible assistance.
Telephone: 965-82-81-34
By Encarna
From the Caudete Tourist office
www.caudete.org
www.caudeteonline.org
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Additional information