From Academic Kids

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View over Alicante and the Mediterranean

Alicante (Castillian Spanish) or Alacant (Valencian Catalan) is the capital of the province of Alicante and of the comarca of the Alacant, in the southern part of the Land of Valencia, Spain, a historic Mediterranean port. The population of the city of Alicante proper was 316,000, estimated as of 2004, of the entire urban area, 405,000. Population of the metropolitan area (including satellite towns) was 680,000 as of 2004 estimates, ranking as the eighth-largest metropolitan area of Spain.

Alicante is one of the fastest-growing cities in Spain. Its economy is based upon tourism in the beaches from Costa Blanca coast, wine production, services and administration. It exports wine, olive oil, and fruit, and has light industries, including food-processing, leather, textiles, and pottery. Torrons (turrones in Spanish) —a honey and almond nougat—is a food specialty of Alicante.

City Hall
City Hall

The city has regular ferry services to the Balearic Islands, and an international airport is nearby. It is strongly fortified, with a spacious harbor. Amongst the most notable features of the city is its castle, the "Castillo de Santa Barbara", which sits high above the city upon a cliff. The most important festival, the Bonfires of Saint John, takes place at the time of the summer solstice, and they are declared of international touristic interest. Another well-known festival is Moros i Cristians in any quarter of the city, such as Altozano or Saint Blase.

The city is the headquarters of the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market.

Seaside promenade and Castillo de Santa Barbara
Seaside promenade and Castillo de Santa Barbara


The population of the city in 2004 was 316,178 inhabitants, 688.351 in the metropolitan area "Alicante-Elx".

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Alicante was founded in 324 BC by the Greeks, who named it Akra Leuke (White Peak). In 201 BC it was captured by the Romans who called it Lucentum, and Hannibal is said to have unloaded his famous war elephants here. Between 718 and 1249, the city was ruled by the Moors. In 1265 it was retaken by Alfonso X of Castile and incorporated into the kingdom of Castile. In 1304 it was incorporated into the kingdom of Valencia, in the Aragon Crown.

The city was besieged by the French in 1709 and 1812, and later by the Federalists of Cartagena in 1873. In the Spanish Civil War, Alicante was bombed by Italian aircraft, and was one of the last cities to fall to Franco. In Alicante, the Falangist Jos Antonio Primo de Rivera was executed in November 1936.

In 1982 and 1997 heavy rain caused severe flooding and some loss of life.

Famous citizens

External links

de:Alicante es:Alicante fi:Alicante fr:Alicante it:Alicante nl:Alicante (stad) no:Alicante pl:Alicante ro:Alicante zh:阿利坎特


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