The cultural mark that the Orchard has left on Elche is extraordinary. On uncountable occasions, it has been the place where capital acts of the city’s history have been gathered and held, and since 1900 the most famous European astronomers have passed through it, led by the famous Camille Flammarion, on the occasion of the solar eclipse that then took place.
Monarchs, and characters from the political world of each stage did not stop to visit the Garden, in addition to essayists, poets of the Generation of 27, musicians and scientists.
El Huerto served as a meeting place for events such as:
- August 1947: The 50th Anniversary of the discovery of the Lady of Elche was celebrated in the Orchard, in an important act that was culminated with the inauguration of the pond, followed by a reproduction in stone of the Lady of Elche.
- August 1951: The act of “Alforjas para la poesía (Saddlebags for poetry)” took place at the Orchard, to which a chosen few Spanish literati attended.
- September 1951: presentation and official opening of “Aromas ilicitanos (Aromas of Elche)”.
- June 1994: The prizes of James I for Research, Economics and Clinical Medicine were awarded in the Huerto del Cura Hotel. The 8 Nobel Prize winners visited the garden as the tradition says.
- August 2012: Cycles of Musicians in Paradise. Musical series of 4 concerts: Electric Link Duo, La Negra, Xavier Paxariño Trio, and Luis Delgado & Cesar Carazo.
- August 2013: Cycles of Musicians in Paradise. Carolina Andrada, Alba Carmona and the Elche Symphony Orchestra.
- August 2013: “La Palmera and the poetry of Gerardo Diego in the Huerto del Cura”: tribute to the poet Gerardo Diego, 70 years after his visit to the Garden, when he left some verses in the Guestbook that are now transcribed in The facade of the house. The event was attended by the Professor of Literature at the University of Murcia Don Francisco Javier Diez de Revenga, who delivered an emotional speech.
The Visitors’ Books
The first album was officially inaugurated on the 28th of May 1900. Today there are 24 memory books that have more than 14,000 pages with the commentaries of its visitors.
Some of the Characters that have came by the Huerto del Cura are:
- 1894 Elisabeth of Austria (Sissi): Empress of Austria and Queen Consort of Hungary.
- 1900 Camile Flammarion: Astronomer
- 1905 Alfonso XIII: King of Spain
- 1906 Princess Patricia of Connaught (Lady Patricia Ramsay), granddaughter of Queen Victoria
- 1906 Santiago Rusiñol: painter, poet
- 1907 Ignacio de Zuloaga: painter
- 1910 Benito Pérez Galdós: Writer
- 1912 Victoria Eugenia: Queen of Spain
- 1919 Eduardo Dato: President of the Government of Spain
- 1922 Juan de La Cierva: inventor of the autogyro
- 1923: Alvarez Quintero Brothers with Margarita Xirgú (writers; actress)
- 1924 Ernesto Halffter: composer
- 1924 Oscar Esplá: Composer
- 1925 Juan Belmonte: Bull Fighter
- 1930 Jose María Sert: Painter
- 1932 Niceto Alcalá Zamora: President of the Spanish Republic
- 1932 Miguel de Unamuno: Writer
- 1935 Claudio Sánchez Albornoz: Historian. Prince of Asturias Award Winner 1984
- 1935 Eugenio D’Ors: Essayist
- 1936 Rafael Alberti: National Theatre Prize 1981, Cervantes Prize 1983
- 1943 Gerardo Diego: National Literature Prize 1925, Cervantes Prize 1979
- 1946 Joaquín Rodrigo: composer
- 1952 Gregorio Marañón: Essayist
- 1952 Vicente Aleixandre: Nobel Prize Winner for Literature 1977
- 1972 Arturo Rubinstein: Pianist
- 1976 Don Juan Carlos I and Doña Sofía, Kings of Spain
- 1989 Severo Ochoa: Nobel Prize for Medicine 1959