Alicante

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Alicante (Spanish: [aliˈkante]) or Alacant (Valencian: [alaˈkant])[1] is a city in Spain, the capital of the Province of Alicante and of the comarca of the Alacantí, in the southern part of the Valencian Community. It is also a historic Mediterranean port. The population of the city of Alicante proper was 334,757, estimated as of 2009, ranking as the second-largest Valencian city.[2] Including nearby municipalities, Alicante conurbation was populated by 458,843 residents. Population of the metropolitan area (including Elche and satellite towns) was 795,034 as of 2009 estimates, ranking as the eighth-largest metropolitan area of Spain.

Contents

History

The area around Alicante has been inhabited for over 7000 years, with the first tribes of hunter gatherers moving down gradually from Central Europe between 5000 and 3000 BC. Some of the earliest settlements were made on the slopes of Mount Benacantil. By 1000 BC Greek and Phoenician traders had begun to visit the eastern coast of Spain, establishing small trading ports and introducing the native Iberian tribes to the alphabet, iron and the pottery wheel. By the 6th century BC, the rival armies of Carthage and Rome began to invade and fight for control of the Iberian Peninsula. The Carthaginian general Hamilcar Barca established the fortified settlement of Akra Leuka (Greek: Aκρα Λευκa, meaning "White Mountain" or "White Point"), where Alicante stands today.

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