Alcoi

Guide to Alcoi, an inland town on the Costa Blanca, Spain.

Costa Blanca Towns - Alcoi

Alcoi (Alcoy) - The capital of the L’Alcoia region of the Alicante province of the Costa Blanca, Spain, Alcoi is the largest industrial town in the area, with a population of around 60,000 it is situated about 48 km north of Alicante.

Alcoi sits on a promontory between two rivers - the Molonar and the Barchell, and a large number of bridges span the rivers and ravines of Alcoi, giving it its name “city of bridges”.

Centred around the flamboyant Plaza de España and the impressive Plaza de Pins, Alcoi boasts some fine architecture, mostly dating from the 19th Century. It has a number of “Modernista” buildings one of the finest being the Circulo Industrial (Calle San Nicholas), dating from 1868 and noted for it’s superb ironworks and ceramics. Designed as a cultural centre it still pays host to a number of concerts and art exhibitions.

Alcoi is well known in the region for it’s confectionery and sweets, originally introduced by the Moors during the Arab conquest (8th - 13th Centuries) they are a popular product of the town, the best liked being the sugar coated pine nuts known as pecadillas.

Alcoi has survived economically mostly through its production of cotton (still being processed today), and it’s growth, mostly during the 19th Century, was funded largely by the wealth created by the cotton industry.

Alcoi is perhaps best known for one of its fabulous fiestas. Held over four days in April each year, the spectacular Moros Y Cristianos (Moors and Christians) festival takes over the town and it is turned into a medieval pageant to celebrate the victory of the Christians over the Arab invaders. A great amount of time is spent preparing costumes for the event and there is even a festival museum where examples of costumes from previous fiestas can be seen and admired.

Alcoi is surrounded by mountains and there is some magnificent scenery to be enjoyed by visitors to the town.

It is fairly certain that there were pre-historic settlements in the mountains around Alcoi in the Neolithic Era. There is also a record of an inscription being found in a nearby cave dated 15th May 184 BC though there is some doubt as to its authenticity.

During the years of the Arab conquest there was a small settlement of farmhouses, not thought to have been an actual town, in the area. The known history of the town begins with the re-conquest in 1245 when the Christian king Jaime I (King of Valencia and Majorca)” the Conquistador” defeated the Moors and took control of the whole region. However due to the remoteness of some of the farmhouses it took some years to clear out the Arab occupation completely and there were a number of revolts by the Arab leader Al - Azraq during the years 1247 - 1258. Eventually the Arabs withdrew to the Júcar river on the border of the region of Murcia. From this time on Alcoi seems to have become a town in the proper sense.

The old part of Alcoi is centred around a 13th Century Moorish palace which was extended in the 15th Century by Ximén Perez de Corrella.

The manufacture of cloth and drapery in Alcoi goes back to the 13th Century and there was also a thriving metallurgy industry in the town. In 1521 the bronze foundries in Alcoi received an order from the king for the manufacture of cannons, in 1868 there were 3 machinery factories and 2 foundries.

Worth a visit in Alcoi are the churches of St George, St Mary and St Thomas, also the Municipal Archaeological Museum.

Alcoi is situated in the Costa Blanca region, on the N340 north of Alicante, if you are travelling from the Alicante area you need to take junction 67 of the AP-7 and head north, passing through Xixona (Jijona) and the Sierra de la Carrasqueta mountains before reaching Alcoi.

Alcoi Links: Alcoi Map - Alcoi Weather - Alcoi Spain

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Nearby Places: Cocentaina - Jijona - Penaguila - Ontinyent - Ibi - Alcalali - Benidorm - Denia - Moraira - Calpe - Altea - Albir - Javea - Guadalest - Villajoyosa - Busot - El Campello - Finestrat

Attractions: Gallinera Valley - Penon de Ifach - Algar Waterfalls - Caves of Canelobre - Fuentes de Algar

Golf Courses: Oliva Nova Golf - Ifach Golf Club - Real Faula Golf - Spain Golf

Costa Blanca Guides: Benidorm - Albir - Calpe - Denia - Moraira

Related: Alicante - Murcia - Valencia - Alicante Weather - Alicante Transfers - Spain

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