Alicanteis a city with over 3000 years of history, as revealed by the earliest archaeological remains found at the Cova del Fum cave in Fontcalent, which date from the third millennium BC.
The earliest inhabited settlements were found on the hillside ofMountBenacantil, where there is believed to have been an Iberian population.
The earliest town as such dates back to the 4th century BC which is when Tossal de Manises, first became home to the Ibero-Roman colony of Lucentum.
THE MOORISH CONQUEST
After the Roman era came the Moorish conquest, when the colony was relocated to the slopes ofMountBenacantilfor defensive reasons, creating the Vila Vella orOldTown.
In 1247, when the town was captured, for theKingdomofCastilleby the Infante Alfonso, who was to become King Alfonso X, The Wise, it came to be known as Vila Nova, or the New Town.
In 1249, King Jaime II incorporated the town ofAlicanteinto theKingdomofValenciaand then two centuries later, in 1490, Ferdinand the Catholic King grantedAlicantethe status of city.
In the 19th century progress arrived in the city with shape of the Alicante-Madrid railway, the installation of street lighting and the new town planning regulations, which would eliminate the walls and create new neighbourhoods.
In the 20th century the bonfire celebrations known as the Hogueras deSan Juan, which have been officially declared as of Interest to International Tourism, were bornThen, the University was opened and in 1993 the city was selected as the headquarters of the European Office of Harmonisation for the Internal Market (OHIM), the EU’s largest independent agency.