Denia: Wikis

  

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Denia Castle overlooks the city and the Port beyond.

Denia (Dénia in Valencian), is a city in the province of Alacant, Spain, on the Costa Blanca halfway between Alacant and Valencia, the judicial seat of the comarca of Marina Alta. As of 2007, it had a population of 42,704[1].

Nearby is the popular resort town of Xàbia.

Contents

History

There is evidence of human habitation in the area since prehistoric times and there are significant Iberian ruins on the hillsides nearby. In the 4th century BC it was a Greek colony of Marseille or Empúries, being mentioned by Strabo as Hemeroscòpion. It was an ally of Rome during the Punic Wars, and later was absorbed in the Roman possessione with the name of Dianum. In the 1st century BC Quintus Sertorius established a Roman naval base here[2 ].

In 636-696, during the Visigothic Kingdom of Iberia, it was the seat of a bishop depending from Toledo. After the Muslim conquest of Iberia and the dissolution of the Caliphate of Cordoba, Dénia (known as Deniyya) became the capital of a taifa kingdom that reigned over part of the Valencian coast and Ibiza. The Slavic slaves, saqaliba, managed to free themselves and run the taifa. The taifa lost its independence in 1076, when it was captured by Ahmad al-Muqtadir, lord of Zaragoza, under which it remained until the Almoravid invasion in 1091. The Muslim Arabs originally built the castle fortress, and the French, who occupied the city for four years during the War of the Spanish Succession, re-built it in the early 19th century.

The town was captured by the Christian in 1244. This caused a decline for the city, which remained nearly unhinabited after the exile of most of the Muslim population. It was later repopulated by the Valencian government. Created into a fief in 1298, it was held by the de Sandoval family from 1431, although the city itself was returned to Aragonese crown in 1455. A marquisate from 1487, Dénia gained much privileges thanks to Francisco Gómez de Sandoval y Rojas, Duke of Lerma, a favorite of Philip III of Spain. It suffered a further period of decay after the decree of Expulsion of the Moriscos (1609), by which 25,000 people left the marquisate, leaving the local economy in a dismayal state.

It was reacquired by the Spanish crown in 1803, after which Denia gained an increasingly important role as trading port. A community of English raisin traders lived in Denia from 1800 until the time of the Spanish Civil War in the late 1930s.

Main sights

Denia is home to a castle located on on a rocky crag overlooking the city. It t was built in the 11th and 12th century and offers views around the sea, the city and the backlands. Within the castle is the Palau del Governador with its museum.

Denia is also home to the Museo Etnologico with further details on the history and culture of the city.

Transportation

The ferry to Ibiza and the other Balearic Islands departs from Denia daily. The city also serves as a terminus for a metre gauge railway line through the mountains from Alicante (popularly known as the (Limón Express), run by FGV.

Culture

The popular bonfire festival is celebrated each March. Huge paper mache statues, called fallas are set up throughout the town, and then set ablaze.

The popular Bous a la Mar (meaning "Bulls at the Sea") is held in July. The highlight of this week long festival is watching bulls run down the main street Marques de Campo, only to be chased into the Mediterranean sea by those daring enough to enter a makeshift bull ring with them.

Sports

Denia's local football team is called Club Deportivo Dénia, and plays in Spain's Second Division B.

References

  1. ^ Spanish Statical Institute
  2. ^ (in Spanish) Parque Natural del Montgó - Estudio Multidisciplinar. Valencia: Conselleria d'Administració Pública, Agencia del Mediambient. pp. 60.  

External links

Coordinates: 38°50.4′N 0°06.6′E / 38.84°N 0.11°E / 38.84; 0.11


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Denia is a small tourist city located in the southeastern coast of Spain, to the north of Alicante. It has a population of around 40,000 although this can be more than doubled by tourism during the summer months.

Get in

By train

There is only one train going into Denia, and comes from Alicante. It is also known as El trenet. Going always by the coast, it is an interesting trip (around 2,5 hours) with good sightseeing.

By bus

There are daily buses going to and coming from Madrid, Valencia and Alicante.

By boat

Ferry boats going to the Balearic Islands (Ibiza and Mallorca). During the summer there is also one going to Formentera.

  • Beaches. One of the main attractions of Denia are the beaches. It has around 20 km. of coast divided in three parts: one sandy, the harbour and one rocky. If you go with kids it is more comfortable the sandy beach, which is in the northern part. All of them are equipped with foot showers and red cross volunteers. If you like diving it would be more interesting the rocky beach, like La punta negra or at the end of Les Rotes where there is a huge cliff.
  • Historical sites. Denia has a very long history coming even before the romans (when it was called Hemeroscopeion) and going through the moors until now. Almost everywhere in the town you can find ruins of those times. The castle is in good shape still keeping part of its main wall. There are also some old wind mills near Javea where you will have a great view as well. In the ethnological museum you will find all the information about the ancient and most recent history, when Denia was a big raisin exporter and had a big toy industry.
  • Historic town. Although most of the town is now full of apartments for tourists it still keeps some of its old charm. It is very interesting to walk around the old fisherman neighborhood, the harbour or the main street (Carrer Marqués de Campos).

Do

Denia has a relatively big mountain (around 650 m.) which is very near the sea. It is now considered a nature reservation thanks to its Mediterranean flora and fauna. It has also some interesting caves like La cova de l'aigua.

As said before, if you do scuba diving or just snorkeling the rocky beach is the place for you. Over there you can see all kinds of Mediterranean fishes, squids, octopuses, sea urchins, etc.

  • Peter Arnold Wines, La Bodega del Garroferal (Ptda. Garroferal, Murla, 03792 (Hard to find so phone and ask for directions!)), +34-96 558 1829, [1]. 9am - 7pm. Situated in the Jalon Valley (Vall de Pop), approximately 30 minutes inland from Denia. Although grapes have been grown in this region since Roman times, La Bodega del Garroferal was only set up in 2002. Run by German-born Peter Arnold (who had already made a name in the international wine scene) and his English wife Helen, this is a tiny, relatively new winery in the Xalon Valley. The pair relocated to Spain from South Africa in 2002. They offer a small range of delicious wines - three reds, three whites and one rose. For a small charge, Helen offers a sumptuous range of tapas to complement an arranged wine tasting. You can visit the vineyards, taste and see how the wines are made and then you can play with the family cats! We recommend you phone for an appointment. Prices per bottle range from 4.75 Euros to 7 Euros.  edit
  • La Sella Golf Resort, +34 96 645 4054 [2]. This holiday resort features a five-star Marriott hotel and spa, stylish apartments, a golf course designed by Jose Maria Olazabal, and several restaurants.
  • Villa Belvedere Costa Blanca, Rafol De Almunia (Half way between Valencia and Alicante airport. Fifteen minutes from Denia, 50 minutes from Benidorm), 0035699338471, [3]. checkin: anytime; checkout: anytime. 4 Bedroom Villa enjoying fantastic sea views. Located in a quiet mountain top area overlooking the Costa Blanca this villa offers an ideal location for fun and family holidays. 1 hour drive from Valencia and Alicante, fifteen minutes to the beach, Denia Port and various Golf courses from €550 / week.  edit
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