All about Biar

All about BIAR - Costa Blanca

All about Biar - The town of Biar is situated 39km from Alicante and 82km from Benidorm, located in the “ Sierra Mariola” mountain range in the province of Alicante.  Biar is known for its production of dolls, blankets, forged metal goods and pottery.

Biar was called Apiarum by the Romans, which meant ‘Beehive’, during Roman times it was a major producer of honey, but the origins of the name have long been questioned as in Arabic the word ‘Apiarum’ means ‘Place of Springs.’

The one thing you can not miss as you approach Biar from any direction is the impressive 12th century castle which majestically overlooks this quaint town, the castle is part of the Vinalopo Castle Route.

Step back in time and pay a visit Biar.

Places to visit in Biar

The castle of Biar

The castle is located on a rocky hill at 750 meters above sea level and is of Muslim (Arab) origin  It was built in the 12th century by the Almohads, and reinforced from the mid-13th century onwards. 

In February, 1245, King James I conquered Biar, after this historic event, the castle was used for defence purposes, monitoring the southern border of Valencia. Biar was a strategic point due to its location on the frontier between the kingdoms of Aragon and Castile.

Biar Castle was declared a national monument on June 4th, 1931.

All about Biar

The castle is in a good state of conservation, and comprises a double enclosure. The exterior, which follows the shape of the hill has four semi-cylindrical towers at the corners, all with battlements and arrow slits, there are only curtain walls to the south of the fortress as the northern side is protected by a sheer rockface. The interior also has three semi-cylindrical towers

The castle you can see today is the result of many modifications made over the years.

The great Master or Homage tower is 19 meters high and is built with lime and sand mortar, square and consists of three floors, on the 1st floor is a Traditional Almohad ribbed vault, the only example of its kind in Spanish military architecture and considered the oldest, in Almohad style vaults. 

At the foot of the castle extends the medieval old barbican. 

The castle gives you spectacular panoramic views over the remains of the town walls, Medieval towers the towns historic centre and the Vinalopo Valley.

All about Biar

Opening times - from 10:15 - 13:45, entry 1€ 

It is quite a steep climb up the hill to the castle, from the car park, and some of the interior is quite uneven, so a good pair of flat shoes is recommended.

Driving down from the castle to Plaza del Ayuntamiento, you cross the old preserved and renovated town, full of fountains and stairs, this drive is not for the faint hearted.

Municipal Ethnographic Museum - 1 Calle Mayor, next to the Plaza de España

The building where the museum is located is from the nineteenth century, and its works and objects have been exhibited since 1999. It consists of more than 1000 pieces.

The Museum has three floors with an elevator so that disabled people can access the different floors..

Each section has a QR where there is a summary explanation of the most significant objects. 


All about Biar

Iglesia Parroquial de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción - Situated in the Plaza de la Constitución, this Renaissance Gothic church is dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgine and dates back to the 15th century and is defined by its plateresque door, baroque belltower and churrigueresque communion chapel. 

All about Biar

Santuario de Nuestra Señora de Gracia. Also known as Santuario de Biar, this incredible building is nestled in one of the most beautiful settings in the county, in the heart of Sierra Fontanella.

The Sanctuary consists of three naves, the central one covered with ribbed vaults, with stuccoes and fresco painting and the shields of Biar and Aragon.

Find fresco paintings of remarkable artistic value by Tomas Belando, (1757)  the altar has a dressing room that forms its own, isolated space, where the image of the Virgin (the patron saint of the town) is kept.

Attached to the sanctuary is the hermit's house, and next to it the Hospedería that was for a few years the residence of the Franciscan Capuchins, a religious order that remained in Biar for 321 years.

Acueducto Ojival - This a 70m-long aqueduct dating back to 1490 by Pere Compte, who was considered one of the best architects of the time. The waterway was used to carry irrigation water and aimed to save the Rambla dels Molins from overflooding.

The aqueduct is built forming three eyes: two of them, with pointed arches and the southernmost is a lowered semicircular arch.

Recommended nearby places to Visit - Jijona.

Find lots of other places to visit on the Costa Blanca here. 

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