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Santa Pola History
History of Santa Pola, Costa Blanca, Spain
Santa Pola History
Archaeology tells the story of a walled Iberian settlement whose major activity was trading with other settlements around the Mediterranean. Upon the arrival of the Romans the town was named Portus Illicitanus. It grew in size and stature, fast becoming one of the key commercial ports along the coast. Indeed fish factories were set up using salt extracted from the nearby salt flats as a method of preservation. Although Portus Illicitanus was indeed a town in its own right, it really acted as the port of a much larger inland Roman settlement, the Colonia Julia Ilice Augusta, or Elche as it is now known. It is through this partnering process that both Elche and Santa Pola prospered, and ultimately became what they are today.
The fall of the Roman Empire began around 500 AD, and the middle ages brought an era of decline for the town. Pirates stationed on the Isle of Santa Pola (now known as Tabarca) attacked regularly, and the whole region suffered a process of depopulation. The Goths ruled here for a time, followed by the Arabs (or Moors) who controlled most of southern Spain until 1100 AD (the start of the reconquista (re-conquest)).
The 21st century brought modern infrastructure to Santa Pola and its port, facilitating the berthing of sporting and fishing vessels, in addition to the loading of salt for export. Today Santa Pola's fishing harbour is still one of the largest in the Mediterranean. The region is still a huge exporter of salt, in addition to agricultural produce, such as oranges and lemons. A huge boost is also given to the town's economy by way of tourism; the majority coming from Spain's interior, although international interest is growing.
Santa Pola has done well to conserve much if its inherited historical buildings and monuments under the constant pressure of advancement. The town boasts ancient Iberian and Greek ruins. Roman presence has also been preserved by way of an ancient fish factory and the infamous "Palmeral" villa. However (although more recent) the town's centrepiece must be its magnificent 16th century castle, built by Felipe II. Still used today to host events, and the focal point of various fiestas throughout the town calendar, the castle is immaculately preserved. It is now home to a small museum and a chapel dedicated to the Virgin of Loreto.
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Santa Pola History, History of Santa Pola, Costa Blanca, Spain
Santa Pola History, History of Santa Pola, Costa Blanca, Spain. Holiday, Property and Tourist Information. Santa Pola Information, general information on Santa Pola. Santa Pola Costa Blanca, Spain. Holiday and Property.