In this section we aim to help you understand more about the geography and history of Orihuela and discover why such factors help the town to be such an important tourist destination in this area of southeast Spain. Here you will find information of interest regarding nature, gardens, the mountains, the sea and the imposing 'Palmeral'.
When looking at the history of Orihuela, we can talk about the history of our town in prehistoric era, in ancient times, the Middle Ages, at the time of Muslim and Christian reign, in the modern age and in our current contemporary era.
The geography of the municipality of Orihuela offers interesting data such as the fact that it covers an area of 388.7 km2. Orihuela has a colourful history offering a mix of cultures that have come and gone from the province of Alicante, while the town remains head of the district of Vega Baja.
Orihuela town is situated 57 kilometres from the provincial capital, Alicante, and only 23 km from the city of Murcia.
Orihuela has a large area bordered by many municipalities such as Murcia and Pilar de la Horadada to the south, while we ahve Hondón de los Frailes, Albátera, Cox, Benferri, Granja de Rocamora, Callosa de Segura, Almoradi, Benejuzar, San Miguel de Salinas and Torrevieja to the east, Fortuna y Abanilla to the west and Pinoso to the north.
It is also the first municipality to be more than ten times bigger than the average of all municipalities within a certain district.
The town is surrounded by countryside where different crops are alternated throughout the year... with orange, mandarin and olive groves, which cross the River Segura slowly toward its mouth in Guardamar del Segura. It also has mountain ranges that serve as a protection, creating a special microclimate area away from the mountains towards the north and the Sierra de Abanilla-Albatera-Crevillente, or the Sierra de Orihuela and El Hurchillo that forms the border with Murcia.
From the point of view of the protected areas around Orihuela, we have the pine forests at Dehesa de Campoamor, the Orihuela coast cliffs and coastal marine habitats at La Rambla Salada, El Agudo, Sierra de Orihuela and El Hurchillo. The municipal district is also neighboring areas of high ecological protection such as the wetlands of the Laguna de la Mata and Torrevieja.
The city of Orihuela, has the second most important palm tree grove (Palmeral) in Europe, second only to that at Elche. The Orihuela Palmeral belongs to the palmeral route of the southeastern Spain, of Arabic Legacy, the route of Al-Andalus, and the old 'Ruta de las Caravanas' throughout the Mediterranean and the Arab world.
As Orihuela municipality is officially declared as a Tourist Municipality, it is a town that holds many hidden treasures including a wide range of both cultural and natural attractions.
Orihuela has seen over the course of history the rise and fall of many civilisations. As a result, the city's cultural identity has been determined by the diverse cultural influences and effects left by the invasions that the city has experienced. Orihuela has existed since the lytic Calco period.
Identified by many as the old 'Orcelis', 'Oriola', 'Oleza' 'Aurariola', the town has seen how for centuries the fertility of its land and the strategic location of its fort became an area coveted by many. Romans, Visigoths, Arabs, Spanish and Catalan-Aragonese, have battled for control over its land.
Orihuelas important history, however, dates back only to the 6th century AD, when it remained the capital of the Spanish province of 'Aurariola' as it was then known.
This invaluable strategic and fertile nature of the town led to the concentration of important political, religious and cultural institutions: Head of Government, Episcopal headquarters and a University, whose activities have left a mark on the rich and monumental urban fabric of the town. In the village of Orihuela you will find the most important artistic buildings in the province of Alicante, with its heritage, with 5 National Monuments making it one of the most important cultural heartlands of the 'Comunidad de Valencia'.
Both geographically and historically, Orihuela is a prime tourist destination for those in search of a holiday with a cultural touch!
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