The History of Javea (Costa Blanca)
Javea is a coastal town in the province of Alicante, Spain, situated on the eastern tip of the Costa Blanca. It is a popular tourist destination that offers a relaxing holiday atmosphere, a rich cultural heritage, and a stunning natural environment.
A brief history of Javea
Javea has a long and diverse history that dates back to prehistoric times. The first settlers were the Iberians, who left behind some archaeological remains such as the Montgó cave and the Poble Nou de Benitatxell. The Romans also occupied Javea and established a port and a fish-salting factory. The name Javea comes from the Latin word Xabia, which means “place of water”.
During the Middle Ages, Javea was part of the Kingdom of Valencia and was frequently attacked by pirates and invaders. To defend themselves, Javea inhabitants built walls and towers around the old town and the port. The most notable example of this period is the 14th-century church of San Bartolomé, which has a Gothic style and a defensive character.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, Javea experienced an economic boom thanks to the cultivation and export of raisins. Many wealthy merchants built elegant houses and mansions in the town, such as the Casa dels Bolufer, the Casa de Tena, and the Casa de la Primicia. However, this prosperity declined in the 20th century due to competition from other countries and the phylloxera plague that affected the vineyards.
In the second half of the 20th century, Javea reinvented itself as a tourist destination, attracting visitors from all over Europe and beyond. The town developed its infrastructure and services, while preserving its natural beauty and cultural identity.
The current town of Javea
Today, Javea is a modern and vibrant town that offers something for everyone. It has three main areas: the old town, the port, and the Arenal beach.
- The old town is the historical centre of Javea, where you can admire the ancient architecture, visit the museums and monuments, and enjoy the local cuisine and traditions.
- The port is the maritime area of Javea, where you can see the fishing boats and yachts, stroll along the promenade, and taste some fresh seafood in one of the many restaurants.
- The Arenal Beach is the most popular beach in Javea, where you can relax on the fine sand, swim in the clear water, and have fun in the bars and clubs.
Javea also has many other attractions to discover, such as:
- The Montgó Natural Park, which is a mountain range that dominates the landscape and offers spectacular views and hiking trails.
- The Cabo de la Nao lighthouse, which is a scenic spot that overlooks the Mediterranean Sea and marks the easternmost point of Spain.
- The Granadella cove, which is a secluded beach surrounded by cliffs and pine trees that has been voted as one of the best beaches in Spain.
- The Soler Blasco Archaeological Museum, which displays some of the most important archaeological findings from Javea and its surroundings.
More facts about Javea
Javea is not only a beautiful town but also an interesting one. Here are some more facts about Javea that you may not know:
- Javea has a Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild winters. The average annual temperature is 19.48ºC (67.06ºF) and it has 320 days of sunshine every year.
- Javea has a diverse population with almost half of its residents being foreigners. According to the latest census data from 2023, out of 28.731 inhabitants, 16.098 are Spanish and 12.633 are foreigners. The most common foreign nationalities are British (5.372), German (1.589), French (1.057), Dutch (1.036), Moroccan (1.021), Romanian (763), Belgian (578), Italian (478), Russian (352), and Swedish (312).
- Javea has a strong connection with art and culture. Many famous artists have lived or visited Javea, such as Joaquín Sorolla, Salvador Dalí, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, David Ferrer, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Andrés Iniesta, Xavi Hernández, Rafa Nadal, etc.
- Javea has a unique dialect called xabiero or xavienc that belongs to the Valencian language group. It has some distinctive features such as dropping final consonants or using different pronouns.
- Javea has a rich gastronomy that reflects its maritime and agricultural heritage. Some of the typical dishes are arroz a banda (rice with fish), fideuà (noodle paella), cocas (savory pies), borreta (vegetable stew), espencat (salad with roasted peppers and cod), and mistela (sweet wine).
The Bottom Line
Javea is a town that combines beauty and modernity with charm and history. It is a place where you can enjoy a wonderful holiday in any season of the year.
Doctor – University of Florida College of Dentistry
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