Most tourists that visit Almansa in Albacete, Spain, do so to see the magnificent castle perched on a rock overlooking the town. But if you approach the castle across the Plaza Santa Maria, keep an eye out on your left for the historic Town Hall.
You cannot miss this former palace, built in 1575 for a local nobleman, because of the remarkable carved facade, which is in itself very impressive. If you walk into the building you will find yourself in an open quadrangle surrounded by arched arcades. Doors either straight in front or to the left lead you into the rear garden of the former residence, a shady corner complemented by a fantastic collection of abstract sculptures by the renowned Almansa artist Jose Luis Sanchez.
Sanchez’s most famous work, the “Monument to Victims of Terrorism (1968-2007)”, can be found in the Spanish town of Oviedo, and his work is also on display in the Vatican City collection of modern art. Yet this sculpture garden in his native city is easily overlooked and even slightly neglected. It is not advertised, but taking the trouble to find it makes a great addition to the trip to the castle. Aside from Sanchez’s pieces, there are a number of smaller works within the Town Hall quadrangle as well.
Know Before You Go
Another, very large public sculpture by Sanchez, "La Paz Apuda," can be seen on a roundabout near the closest junction to the town on the A31 motorway.