Alicante is an important port and one of the cities with the highest population growth in Spain. Because of large and massive building interventions, also realized to contain the significant increase in population registered in a few years, its appearance has changed greatly since the end of the twentieth century. The economy is based on tourism, wine production and services. It exports wines, olive oil and fruit and has many industries in the food, textile and tanning sectors. The city is home to the Office for the Harmonization of the Internal Market (OHIM), the European Union Agency that deals with brands and design.
In its history there were Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians and Romans. In 237 BC the Carthaginian general Amilcare Barca fortified the hill on which the Muslims later built the castle. The Romans in the 2nd century BC they founded the town of Lucentum nearby. In the period of the barbarian invasions it became an important Visigothic city, then passed to the Byzantines and, in the eighth century, to the Arabs, who held it until the thirteenth century, when it was conquered by the Christians and populated by the Catalans. In 1936 was shot Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera, leader of the Falange Española, one of the first episodes that triggered the Civil War that in 1939 led to the dictatorship of Francisco Franco. In the context of the military intervention of fascist Italy alongside Franco’s nationalist forces, on 25 May 1938 the Italian Legionary Air Force bombed Alicante, causing between 275 and 393 deaths, more than about 1,000 injured.
Alicante has a ferry service to the Balearic Islands and to Algeria (Oran) and an international airport of Alicante Airport (IATA code: ALC). In the city there is also a railway station (served, among other things, by the Cercanías of Murcia and Alicante) and a tram network.
Paseo de Gómiz, playa del Postiguet
The locality is of tourist interest both in winter and in summer. The center of city life, where the main hotels are located, as well as the restaurants and entertainment venues, is the so-called Explanada de España (Esplanada d’Espanya in Catalan). It is a tree-lined promenade, which runs from the foot of the Santa Barbara castle hill to the main pier of the port.
Alicante is a bishop’s seat together with Orihuela: the city is in fact full of religious buildings and has as many as 36 churches in the inhabited center alone.
Furthermore, it is home to a university.
Among the popular festivals, the San Juan Festival is renowned: Alicante celebrates Les Fogueres de Sant Joan-Hogueras every year from June 19th to 24th. The celebrations consist mainly of the construction of monuments made of wood and cardboard that are burned on the night of 24 June. 
The local culinary specialty is nougat.
Inhabitants 330 525