Guide to Biar, a historic town on the Costa Blanca, Spain.

Biar CastleView From the CastleBackstreets of Biar

Costa Blanca Towns - Biar

Nestled at the foot of the Sierra de Mariola in the Vinalopo Valley, around 39 km from the provincial capital Alicante, the historical town of Biar is guarded by its medieval stone castle dating from the time of the Moorish occupation. Biar is a small town and municipality with an area of 98.2km2 and a population of approximately 3,647 (2006 census).

The charismatic 12th century castle built by the Moors, is the first sight you are likely to see when driving into Biar, as it dominates the skyline from all approaches to the town. Declared a National Monument in 1931 the castle at Biar consists of 2 parts, a semi-circular enclosure with four towers, one at each corner and a space with other cubic structures including the impressive Tower of Tribute, now restored but which originally dates from the 12th century is about seventeen metres in height.

Though historical information is scarce before the Moorish occupation, Biar was settled by the Romans during their time on the Iberian Peninsular and they called it Apiarum (Beehive), because in Roman times the town was a major producer of honey, the bees gathering nectar from the abundant mountain herbs which grow in the region. The origin of the name of the town is surrounded by some mystery as some believe that it is derived from the Roman name - Apiarum others believe that it is from the Arabic for “Place of Springs” (there is also a town called Biar in Algeria), we shall probably never know for certain.

Strategically located, as it was, between the ancient Spanish Kingdoms of Castille and Aragon, Biar was the subject of many disputes throughout the reconquest and numerous treaties set boundaries for both Kingdoms (which were generally not respected), an agreement was finally made that a hypothetical line drawn between Busot and Biar be the boundary - Castille to the south and Aragon to the north. During these troubled times the castle and town were still held by the Arabs and though an agreement was made between Jaime I and the Arab leaders in 1252 to hand over the town, the Saracen residents refused and lay siege to the castle, though it still fell to the Christians in the following year (1253). Biar saw further battles during the War of Spanish Succession (1701-1714), when it sided with the Bourbons and during the War of Independence.

Modern day Biar is a thriving little town and the economy revolves mostly around the production of dolls, blankets, pottery and forged metal items.

Places of interest in Biar are the aforementioned 12th century walled castle, the Parish Church of the Assumption of the Virgin (15th century) and the town square where you will find the Town Hall (Ayuntamiento) and the tourist information office.

Biar holds its weekly market on Wednesdays and this is a good place to stock up on fresh products and maybe buy a gift or two, there are always plenty of good quality leather goods on offer.

Biar Fiestas - Biar celebrated a number of fiestas and celebrations throughout the year the main one being the Moors and Christians (Moros y Cristianos) which is held over several days in May each year.

Biar is situated on the CV-799 between Castalla and Villena. There are a number of interesting towns and villages to visit around Biar and these include Alcoy, Elda, Onil, Novelda, Elche, Sax, Aspe, Villajoyosa and Benidorm.

Biar Links: Biar Map - Biar Weather

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Nearby Places: Elche - Elda - Novelda - Monforte del Cid - Castalla - Onil - Agost - Santa Pola - Monovar - Sax - Aspe - Jijona - Villena - Los Arenales - Hondon de los Frailes

Attractions: Rio Safari Elche - Fortuna Spas - Santa Barbara Castle

Golf Courses: La Finca Golf - La Marquesa Golf - Spain Golf

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