2021-07-16

Palm grove – Spain

Palmeraie Elche Espagne — The Elche Palm Grove, also known as Huertos de Palmeras de Elche, is a large expanse of palm trees within the Spanish city of Elche. It is the largest palm grove in Europe, with between 200,000 and 300,000 specimens,  occupying some 1236 acres and one of the largest in the world, only surpassed by some Arab palm groves. It is home to the main species, the Phoenix dactylifera (date palm), which was introduced by Muslims to the area during their occupation of the Iberian Peninsula.

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Palm groves

Palmeral de Elche

The city of Elche, located about 20 km from Alicante. Palmeral Alicante — A center steeped in history dating back to pre-Roman times and an inland boasting beautiful beaches and spectacular national parks. However, its most iconic feature is arguably its magnificent palm grove.

Palmeral of Elche — On November 30, 2000, UNESCO declared the Palm Grove of Elche a World Heritage Site. Some historians unanimously place the origin of the Spanish palm tree and the pomegranate in the Phoenician era, but the truth is that there is already a representation of Spanish palm trees in the Iberian vessels of Elche, as the historian José Aparicio Pérez attests. In Iberian times an irrigation system was implanted, before the Romans who adapted and expanded it, but with the arrival of the Egyptians, experts in the irrigation of the Nile, who settled mainly in the Valencian territory - since the Muslims, dedicated more to livestock, they occupied Andalusia - they configured the palm grove in a more orderly way.

Elche Palmeral — The Palmeral of Elche in Muslim times would be much larger than the 300,000 specimens of date palms today. Palm trees can live up to 300 years, even though it takes approximately 10 years for a meter of the trunk to grow. The first Muslims who settled in Elche followed the same protection tactic and increased the plantation; with Abderramán I the great network of ditches was made. 

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Palm trees in Spain
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Spain Palm trees
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Palm groves of Elche

Later, in the Middle Ages, a series of laws were passed to protect it and since then it has never stopped being watched and cared for. The first precedent of interest of the authorities for the protection of the Palm Grove dates back to 1265 with the reconquest of Jaime I, who apparently prevented them from being razed by being associated as an identifying element of Islamic culture. 

Palmeral of Elche — The best known complexes of the Palmeral are the Municipal Park, the Huerto de Abajo, the Huerto del Cura and the Huerto del Chocolatero. Among all, the best and oldest specimens are in the so-called Huerto del Cura, within the great Palmeral. The name comes from its owner in 1918. Some specimens are over 300 years old. It must be taken into account that the Spain palm trees have an average life of 250 to 300 years. These palm trees are of the same species as those of Iran. They are date trees and it is in December when they bear fruit. In addition, there are also other tropical species.

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Spanish Palm tree
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Spanish Palm trees
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Spanish Palm
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Palmeral of Elche
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Palmeral de Elche
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El Palmeral Elche
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Palmeral Elche
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El Palmeral Google map

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Date Palm grove
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source — Wikipedia / Visitelche

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