/al'euh kan"tee/; Sp. /ah'lee kahn"te/, n.
a seaport in SE Spain, on the Mediterranean. 184,716.

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City (pop., 2001: 284,580), southeastern Spain, located on Alicante Bay of the Mediterranean Sea.

It was founded as a Greek colony in 325 BC and was captured in 201 BC by the Romans, who called it Lucentum. After being ruled by the Moors (718–1249), it was later incorporated into the kingdom of Aragon in 1265. The city was besieged by the French in 1709 and by the Federalists of Cartagena in 1873. Its economy is based on tourism and the export of wine and produce.

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Valencian  Alacant 

      port city, capital of Alicante provincia (province), in the comunidad autónoma (autonomous community) of Valencia, southeastern Spain. It is located on Alicante Bay of the Mediterranean Sea. Founded as Akra Leuke (“White Summit”) by Phocaean Greeks (from the west coast of Asia Minor) in 325 BC, the city was captured in 201 BC by the Romans, who called it Lucentum. Under Moorish domination, which lasted from 718 to 1249, it was called Al-Akant. It was later incorporated into the kingdom of Aragon and was besieged by the French in 1709 and by the Federalists of Cartagena in 1873.

      The city is dominated by Benacantil Hill (721 feet [220 metres]) and the citadel of Santa Bárbara (1,000 feet [305 metres]), the earliest foundations of which date from 230 BC. Arrabal Roig, the old quarter, overlooks the bay from the heights known as the Balcón del Mediterráneo (“Mediterranean Balcony”). Notable landmarks in Alicante include the Baroque town hall (1701–60), the Church of Santa María (14th century), and the Renaissance collegiate church of San Nicolás de Bari (18th century).

      Alicante serves as the commercial port of Madrid and has excellent road, rail, and air transportation facilities. Its main products are wine, raisins, vegetables, and esparto grass—all exported—and tomatoes, bricks, cigarettes, aluminum utensils, furniture, and embroideries. Local commerce and services are the main economic activities of Alicante. Its mild climate makes it a winter resort, and the beaches of the Costa Blanca (part of the Mediterranean coast) are a popular tourist attraction. Pop. (2007 est.) mun., 322,673.

Valencian  Alacant 

      provincia (province) in Valencia comunidad autónoma (autonomous community), southeastern Spain. It was formed in 1833 from parts of the historical provinces of Valencia and Murcia. The barren mountain terrain of the north and northwest stands in contrast to the densely populated southern fertile coastal plain, which is irrigated by the Segura River.

      The province's principal products are wine, fruits (lemons and oranges), vegetables, and fish. Alicante city, the provincial capital, and the towns of Alcoy and Jijona are known for their locally produced almonds and turrones (“nougat”). The salt industry at Torrevieja is the largest in Spain, and the city is also known for its manufacture of leather shoes. In addition, the tourist trade has become very important; Denia, Calpe, Altea, Benidorm, and Alicante are favourite summer and winter resorts of the Costa Blanca (part of the Spanish Mediterranean coast). There is an airport in the province. Area 2,246 square miles (5,817 square km). Pop. (2007 est.) 1,825,264.

Vicente Rodriguez

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Universalium. 2010.

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