Chronicles of Orihuela: Where legends and history collide

Chronicles of Orihuela: Where legends and history collide.

Chronicles of Orihuela: Where legends and history collide. Image: Ayuntamiento de Orihuela. 

The municipality of Orihuela boasts a rich archaeological heritage spanning from the Palaeolithic era to the Argar Culture (2500-1300 B.C.).

Its origins trace back to the Late Bronze Age settlement of Llano de San Miguel and have evolved through Visigothic, Muslim, and Christian periods.

Orihuela has been controlled by various empires, witnessing the formation of an oligarchic republic and enduring conflicts such as the War of the Two Peters.

In 1437, Alfonso V granted it city status, and in 1510, the Collegiate Church was elevated to a Cathedral, leading to disputes with the Diocese of Cartagena.

During the War of the Germanies, Orihuela was involved in anti-nobility movements and gained its own bishopric in 1564.

University of Orihuela

The University of Orihuela, established in 1610, thrived until 1824.

The 17th century saw demographic changes due to the expulsion of the Moors and the plague.

In the War of Succession, Orihuela sided with different factions, suffering significant consequences, including losing its privileges after being sacked in 1706.

In the 19th century, it supported the Carlist cause and later the Republicans during the Spanish Civil War.

Modern Advancements

Modern advancements in Orihuela include the establishment of the Higher Polytechnic School in 1972, the Fernando de Loazes Chair in 1998, and the Salesas campus in 2001.

From 2003 to 2004, the city hosted the exhibition ‘La Luz de las imágenes. Semblantes de la vida,’ which helped restore its heritage.

Recognised as a Great City by the Generalitat Valenciana in 2010, Orihuela continues to preserve its cultural legacy while embracing modern developments.

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Written by

Anna Ellis

Originally from Derbyshire, UK, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 20 years.