Alicante HistoryHumans have inhabited Alicante for over 7000 years, beginning around 4000 BC. Around 1000 BC, Greek and Phoenician traders recognized the value for import and export and used the city port for trading. The Roman and Carthaginian armies fought for control over Alicante and the entire Iberian Peninsula in the 3rd century BC. The Carthaginian army won, naming the city Akra Leuka (White Mountain). During the early centuries of AD, the city remained conquered by Carthage, though many outlying areas belonged to the Romans. This reign gave way to the Arab conquest of the 8th century, from which the Moors gained control over much of southern Spain. Alfonso X conquered the city in 1246 only to pass it to the rule of King James II of Aragon by 1298. The city and port became an important location for the trade of wine, rice, oranges, wool, and olive oil. Unfortunately, around 1609 to 1614, King Felipe III sent away thousands of trade workers, charging them with allegiance and fraternization with the pirates of the Barbary Coast, virtually shutting down the port. Around World War I, the city port was brought back into glory, exporting and importing at will due to the neutrality of Spain. Alicante was the last city to remain loyal to the Republican government of the nation during the Spanish Civil War, when Dictator Franco took control. This reign caused hardship for Spain. Alicante bounced back by the 1950 and 1960s, welcoming a burgeoning tourism industry to the shores of the Costa Blanca. At the death of Franco in 1975, the nation became a democratic constitutional monarchy, governed by Juan Carlos I, who gave the regions of Spain more autonomy, which served Alicante well. From the 1980s to present day, the port is an important part of the economy of the region and is currently one of the most important cruise ports in all of Spain. Car hire Alicante Airport is available on-site for travellers seeking to explore the historical sights of Alicante as well as the gorgeous shoreline of the Costa Blanca.
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