BASILICA DE LA ALCUDIA
The archaeological site of La Alcudia, has prehistoric origins, but as a city it will already appear in the contestant Iberian stage, of great importance from the 5th and 4th centuries, of which remains of walls and a large collection of ceramics are known. painted and also sculptural, to which the famous Lady of Elche belongs (at the MAN in Madrid).
It became a Roman colony, called Ilici Augusta, it preserves two baths, walls, several domus, mosaics, sculptures, epigraphy, necropolis. One of the main preserved buildings, it is a rectangular construction, with an apse at its head, in the eastern part, it is an early Christian church/basilica, with a single nave that was considered a Hebrew synagogue, according to the interpretation of a geometric motif that was misinterpreted as a menorah,
The debate on the chronology of this building fluctuates between the 4th and the 6th centuries, although it underwent renovations in the 7th, when it returned to be the episcopal seat, it was Roman and Byzantine, now Gothic, with its bishops appearing signing as holders of the chairs from Elche and its added elotana, most likely transferred from El Monastil (Elda). The reinterpretation of some of these materials or the often cited treasure trove of gold pieces, seem to make it legitimate that the basilica is a Byzantine construction, at least that of the mosaic phase, which would be from the middle of the 6th century.
Antonio Poveda for URBS REGIA
It is a basilica-shaped temple with a single nave, with a semicircular apse, which preserves a large geometric and polychrome mosaic, in which Greek texts appear written in three different bands; texts in Greek >are somewhat neglected or with errors, next to the one on the south band, it has been possible to identify a scene from the Biblical cycle of Jonah, specifically the ship from where Jonah is thrown to the sea, emerging from it a sea monster or cethos, whose body and tail can be clearly seen; the mosaic pavement seems to have undergone several reforms throughout his life.
Other architectural elements of the church that are preserved are a group of openwork and bevel-worked plates, in local stone, decorated with fauna, flora and geometric elements. Some of these pieces could be from a gate, but others clearly seem to be latticework. of church windows. In its surroundings, an ad sanctos necropolis was found and partially excavated. Also some column fragment, decorated cymacio, Greek marble altar table and Byzantine typology, which can be associated with this exceptional and religious building.
Other interesting information
Hours: Tuesday to Saturday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Entrance fee: Normal: €5 Reduced: €3 Free: institutions
Lorenzo, R., “La basílica-sinagoga de l’Alcudia d’Elx (1905-2005): problemas i stat de la qüestio 100 anys
després”, Lucentum 23-24, 2004-2005, pp. 127-156.
Lorenzo, R., Morcillo, J., “La basílica paleocristiana de Ilici (L’Alcudia, Elche)”, Madrider Mitteilungen 55,
2014, pp. 486-559.
Poveda Navarro, A.M., El edificio de culto de La Alcudia de Elche:¿sinagoga o basílica? Un siglo de debates,
en J. Castaño (ed.) ¿Una Sefarad inventada? Los problemas de interpretación, Córdoba, 2014, pp. 161-180.