Saturday 22 February: More than 50 members of the Amics del Museum de Xàbia (AMUX) ventured to the southern-most point of Alicante province last Saturday for a special guided visit of the archaeological and historical sites of Guardamar del Segura.
Guardamar's strategic position, at the mouth of the River Segura, means it has been settled from pre-history to the present day. The Phoenicians, Iberians, Romans and Islamic people all left substantial traces of their occupation.
Guided by Antonio García Menárguez, Curator of Cultural Heritage and director of the Museum of Archaeology of Guardamar (MAG), AMUX members visited both the 'Fonteta', site of the Phoenican city port and one of the best preserved urban complexes in the western Mediterrean, and the 'Rabita Califal' or Islamic school. The 'Rabita Califal' is a unique group of religious islamic buildings from the Omeya Andalusi period conserved almost in its entirety.
Menárguez' colleague and technical assistant at the Museum, Francisco Panes, guided the AMUX round the Archaeological Museum and the Forestry House, which houses a display of photographs, documents and objects related to the reforestation process started in 1900 by engineer Francisco Mira to stop the sand dunes invading the town. For more than 25 years, the local people planted thousands of trees which not only stopped the dunes invading their homes but revealed many important archaeological sites, but created a unique coastal forest, known as La Pinad.