History of Alicante

About Alicante

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Alicante is a city with over 3000 years of history, as revealed by the earliest archaeological remains found at the Cova del Fum cave in Fontcalent, which date from the third millennium BC.The earliest inhabited settlements were found on the hillside of Mount Benacantil, where there is believed to have been an Iberian population.The earliest town as such dates back to the 4th century BC which is when Tossal de Manises, first became home to the Ibero-Roman colony of Lucentum.

THE MOORISH CONQUEST: After the Roman era came the Moorish conquest, when the colony was relocated to the slopes of Mount Benacantil for defensive reasons, creating the Vila Vella or Old Town.

THE RECONQUEST: In 1247, when the town was captured, for the Kingdom of Castille by the Infante Alfonso, who was to become King Alfonso X, The Wise, it came to be known as Vila Nova, or the New Town. In 1249, King Jaime II incorporated the town of Alicante into the Kingdom of Valencia and then two centuries later, in 1490, Ferdinand the Catholic King granted Alicante the status of city.

19th CENTURY: In the 19th century progress arrived in the city with shape of the Alicante-Madrid railway, the installation of street lighting and the new town planning regulations, which would eliminate the walls and create new neighbourhoods.

20th CENTURY: In the 20th century the bonfire celebrations known as the Hogueras de San Juan, which have been officially declared as of Interest to International Tourism, were bornThen, the University was opened and in 1993 the city was selected as the headquarters of the European Office of Harmonisation for the Internal Market (OHIM), the EU's largest independent agency.

21st CENTURY: In the XXI century Alicante is a modern and cosmopolitan city that looks to the future with optimism. Since 2008 it houses the Round Volvo Ocean Race, sailing competition of global significance. Currently it is the city with the most powerful wifi network in the country. It is the seat of the Casa Mediterráneo, an institution for mutual understanding between Spain and the Mediterranean countries.