Sun, sea, and history: The chronicles of Alicante

Sun, sea, and history: The chronicles of Alicante.

Sun, sea, and history: The chronicles of Alicante.

Early History of Alicante

Alicante’s earliest settlers lived on Mount Benacantil, where the Santa Bárbara Castle now stands.

This area was ideal for living because it was close to the sea and offered a safe, elevated location.

While no remains have been found, it’s believed that Iberians once lived here.

Another important area was Benalúa, where the Roman city of Lucentum existed, which is the direct ancestor of modern Alicante.

There were also settlements in Albufereta and Serra Grossa from the same period.

Muslim and Christian Influence

The present-day city started to form when Muslims arrived and built it near the castle.

In 1246, Alfonso X of Castile conquered the area, and in 1308, Jaime I made it part of the Kingdom of Valencia. In 1490, Ferdinand the Catholic declared Alicante a city.

Growth and Prosperity

Alicante became a key port for Castile, boosting trade and growth. By the next century, it was Spain’s third most important commercial city.

However, its coastal location made it vulnerable to sea attacks.

Wars and Rebuilding

In 1691, the French navy bombarded Alicante for seven days. Later, during the War of Succession, the English destroyed part of the Santa Bárbara Castle.

In the War of Independence, Alicante served as the temporary capital of the Kingdom when Valencia was occupied.

19th Century Flourishing

Alicante began recovering in the 18th century, but its true growth came in the 19th century.

The arrival of the railway in 1858 connected it to central Spain, boosting its port and making the city more cosmopolitan due to its strategic seaside location.

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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.