Costa Blanca: History
The White Coast
The Costa Blanca region has a rich and distinguished history and many artifacts have been found dating back to the Neolithic period. Lying in an important strategic position on the Mediterranean coastline, the Costa Blanca has been invaded and occupied by various civilisations, starting with the Moors in 711 AD who conquered Spain through Gibraltar, and occupied the region of Alicante by 718 AD. Their occupation was to last nearly four hundred years and would mould the landscape of the area. The Moors introduced irrigation and the planting of oranges, peaches and almond orchards, and the terraces seen on the hillsides throughout the region are an everlasting Moor legacy. The Moors were eventually expelled when Ferdinand and Isabella, the Catholic monarchs, finally took control of Granada. In 1095, Spain became part of the North African Berber Empire and for another four hundred years, the Moors and Christians went into battle, and Alicante was gradually regained from the Moors in 1248 by Jaime I of Aragon.
After their expulsion, the Moors continued to attack Spain, and between 1500 to around 1650, Berber pirate attacks were frequent all along the Mediterranean coastline. The first Spanish constitution was written in 1812 and following this the provincial boundaries were established, forming the regions including Alicante and Murcia as they still stand today. In 1923, Miguel Primo de Rivera took control of Spain as a dictator, eventually forcing Alfonso XIII into exile, but the Spanish Civil War which took place between 1936 to 1939 divided Spain, whilst Alicante and Murcia remained supporters of the Republican movement. In 1939, General Francisco Franco, the leader of the Nationalists took control of Spain, and his death in 1975 brought later brought democracy back to the country. Tourism however began to take off in the 1960s and 1970s which has continued to increase ever since thanks to the growing number of resorts and facilities for holidaymakers, and the Costa Blanca is now visited by thousands of visitors every year.