Alicante Visitor information
Alicante is a Spanish city and the capital of the province of Alicante. It is located on the Mediterranean coast in the southeast of the country and is ranked as the 11th largest city in Spain. The economy is based primarily in the services sector, which currently employs around 90% of the active population. Commerce plays a large part in this, due largely to the historic importance of the port. Tourism is also an extremely important aspect of the city’s development. Although it started growing steadily from the 1950s, some form or other of it was present ever since the middle of the 19th century.
A large part of the city is covered with parkland. The Explanada de España, also known as the Paseo de la Explanada, is a seaside promenade, which runs parallel to the port. It is made up of over 6 million tesserae which produce an ornate, undulating mosaic of red, black and white. For the Alicante community it is a sign of the city’s identity, as well as a symbol of tourism.
Accommodation in Alicante’s student residences
All the student halls in Alicante are assigned to the University of Alicante, located in the nearby town of San Vicente del Raspeig, around 6 kilometres (4 miles) northeast of the city, and offer basic but comfortable accommodation. It should be understood that these residences are designed primarily for students and not children or adults expecting a high level of luxury. However, with this in mind, the halls do meet a level of comfort that we expect most visitors to be happy with, and we will welcome any feedback where this is not the case.
Getting around Alicante
The city has an extensive bus network. All transport in the area can be used with the Móbilis travelcard. The international airport of Alicante is located around 10km (7miles) away from the city. There are currently 3 railway lines in the city that connect it to the centre with the suburbs and nearby towns and villages. The city offers great links to cities like Murcia, Valencia, Barcelona and Madrid.
In 201 BC the Romans captured the Iberian town known as Leukante, which was blessed with an excellent port. This was the beginning of what would eventually become Alicante. Between 718 and 1248 the city was under the islamic dominion and was named Al-Laqant. Today you can still see archaeological remains from this period, located near the city’s town hall. Then in 1248 the city was conquered by the forces of the Castilian king, lead by his own son Alfonso, who would one day become Alfonso X “The Wise” of Castile. As a result of the Treaty of Almizra of 1244 between the kings of Castile and Aragon, the city of Alicante remained under Castilian rule for a further 48 years. Alfonso X wished to establish a Christian colony here, however, this process was ver slow and lasted all the way through the 13th century. In 1252 he gave the city the Fuero Real, a document stating the city’s official status in the kingdom. The Castilian king provided the city with great financial assistance in order to develop the port, which had great strategic importance. In 1296, Alicante was conquered by James II of Aragon, which put an end to the Castilian rule. The Christian colonisation continued repidly.
In the 14th century the city saw a number of crises: the War of the Union, the Black Death, both in 1348, and the War of the Two Peters (Peter I of Castile and Peter IV of Aragon) between 1356 and 1366. During the 15th century, Alicante kept on growing and a very successful agricultural industry was developed, mostly with the export of wine and dry fruit. Ferdinand II of Aragon gave Alicante the status of a city in 1490. The city was almost destroyed in 1692 by the French squadrons, commanded by Admiral D'Estrées. Between 1920 and 1935 the city’s economy followed the industrial path, while the agriculture suffered. During the Spanish Civil War, the city was subjected to 71 bombings, which destroyed over 700 buildings and left 481 casualties. In spite of these bombings, the city remained loyal to the Republic until the end of the war. In the 1970s the economy finally turned towards toursism and the city saw an unparalleled urban development.