Castalla Spain

Guide to Castalla, a town on the Costa Blanca, Spain.

Costa Blanca Towns - Castalla

Located directly north of that Alicante in the L'Alcoiá district, the historical city of Castalla is overlooked by its 11th Century Moorish castle, which stands high on a hill dominating the town. Castalla is a relatively small city with a resident population of about 8,000 and a municipal area of 114 square kilometres, its economy is based mostly on farming and the manufacture of toys, furniture, textiles and building and construction materials.

Alhough there were settlements in the area around Castalla as far back as the Neolithic Era, very little is known of the town before the Moorish Occupation (8th to 13th Centuries) of the Iberian Peninsular. It was known to be settled by the Iberians (ancient Spanish peoples) and later by the Romans who named the town “Castra Alta” (meaning High Fort), but it was the Arabs who founded Castalla as a fortified, walled town and erected the spectacular castle in its position high above the town. The castle was probably started in the 11th Century although there are remains of a earlier work from the 6th Century, the town was in an important strategic location and would no doubt have been a prime target for the forces under Jaime I during the Christian re-conquest. Jaime I in fact took Biar first and then moved on to Castalla in 1245. After this Jaime I made some renovations and improvements to the castle and later returned to the town, camping out in the “Huerto del Real” (Royal Garden).

In 1311 Castalla was given the right to hold its own Saturday market by King Jaime II, the tradition has continued and the market is still held today. During the War of the Two Pedros (Peters) 1356-1375, Castalla was ceded by Pedro IV to Don Raimón Vilanova (September 1362), and some time later in 1729 the castle was inherited by the Lladro family, in particular Marquesado de Dos Aguas and it remained in this family right up until 1989 when it was taken over by the municipality of Castalla.

During the War of Spanish Succession (1701-1714) Castalla sided with the Bourbons and afterwards was given the title "Muy Noble, Fiel y Leal" (Noble Faithful and Loyal) by Felipe V (Phillip V). Castalla was also later was awarded a “Cross of Distinction” (1813) after the defeat of the French in a battle during during the War of Independence. In 1890 Castalla was declared a City by Royal Decree the title awarded on September 13th read as follows - “The Queen Regent of the Kingdom on behalf of his Majesty the King, has deigned issued by the Ministry Royal Decree: Wishing to give prof. Of my appreciation to the Royal Villa Castilla, for its increasing population and progress of agricultura, Industry and Trade, on behalf of my son Augusto D. King Alfonso XIII and as Queen Regent of the Kingdom, I come to give the title of the City”.

Modern day Castalla today has an economy based on agriculture (mostly olives, grapes and almonds), the manufacture of toys, furniture and textiles and the production and sale of building and construction materials. There are numerous interesting places to visit in and around Castalla including the 11th Century castle from where visitors can enjoy superb views of the town and surrounding valley and mountains, the gothic style Church of the Assumption (begun in 1572), the Hermitage of the Blood (La Ermita de la Sang), and the Renaissance style Town Hall dating from the 17th Century.

Castalla Fiestas - Castalla like all Spanish towns, celebrates many festivals and fiestas and these include the Moors and Christians (Moros y Cristianos) in September, the Fair (Feria) of San Isidro in May, the Feast of the Cow (Fiesta de Vaca) in August and the Semana Santa - Easter celebrations (March / April).

Castilla is located just off the CV-80 and the A-7 motorway approximately 35 kilometres north of Alicante and the Costa Blanca coastline.

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Nearby Places: Elche - Elda - Novelda - Monforte del Cid - Biar - 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

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