History of Javea Alicante, Spain tourist guide

Javea History - Xabia

The XVIII century began with the defeat of Almansa and the Decree of New Plant (1709), by which the Valencian jurisdictions were abolished. Javea, which impelled it demographically and economically throughout the century, ahead of the rest of the region, follower of the Austrian band. Together with the honorific titles, it obtained for the port a concession of exportation of merchandise and fruits of the country. This united to its situation, safe from storms, and its capacity for vessels of great tonnage, converted the port into the activator of the local economy, first with the importation of wheat and afterwards with the trade of raisins.

The economy of the population, eminently agricultural, was based on the cultivation of dry lands: wheat, almonds, vineyards, carob-trees and olive trees. The wheat was the most important, the local as well as that imported from Sicily. Its transformation into flour provoked the development of the mill, as in the case of the windmills of la Plana and the water mills of les Barranqueres. It is fitting to emphasise the growing importance of the elaboration and marketing of raisins which reached a peak in the XIX century.

The growth of the population was reflected in the urban expansion of the suburbs of the Convent of Baix, of Sant Jaume and Patraix all outside the walls. A change in the architectonic language was produced: the houses were more spacious, being reflected in a wider façade with an architrave door, cart entrance and more windows toward the exterior. Following these trends many gothic arches were suppressed. Between 1810 and 1812 the war of the French passed, with different raids in the vila of Javea on the part of the troops quartered in the Castle of Denia.

From the second half of the XIX century, the production, elaboration and exportation of raisins was converted into the motor of modernisation thanks to a strong increase in the demand of the North European and American markets, which resulted in the appearance of a local middle-class mercantile. These families also chose the surroundings of the church to build the most ostentatious buildings, as the Senyoreta Josefina´s house, the Bolufer´s house and the Primicies house. The agrarian owners also built larger houses as those which can be admired in the Street en Grenyó in the street major and in the tossal de Dalt.

In 1873 the walls were desomolished and the execution of l´Eixample was carried out with avenues which favoured the transit of merchandise toward the port, joining it with favoured the transit of merchandise toward the port, joining it with the Placeta del Convent, where the principal roads of the region reached. In its surroundings and in the current Princep d´Asturies Avenue , the farmers enriched thanks to the raisins, were situated.

In the Avenue d´alacant part of the commercial middle – class was installed. In this period the eclectic style, which was profoundly established in the society of Javea of the XIX century, triumphed. We can basically differentiate three models. One of them follows the standards of symmetry and austerity of the Bolufer´s house with flat sandstone mouldings which marked the division between the different floors, emphasising the horizontal position of the building, framing windows and doors as well as in the base. The gratings and balconies are forged and the wood is imported from mobila.

Another model is that of the houses which follow a romantic style, which substitute the flat sandstone mouldings for others of plaster with vegetable motives.

Finally we find a group of houses which collect numerous neo-classical elements as the pilasters which frame the entrance, with a roman arch and fan mount and triglyphs and metopes under the projection. All this economic and urban development was accompanied by an adequate infrastructure as the Port Customs, the ajudantía de Marina, Sanitation, the telegraphic cable, electrical lighting and public fountains, but also of a complete series of institutions devoted to leisure: Theatre, Pelota Court, Bullring, Coffee Shops, recreational societies, etc. The Physiognomy of Javea fully enters modernity.


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