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Javea History


The History of Javea

Artefacts found in caves of Mount Montgó, give evidence of human activity in the area around Javea some 16,000 years ago, during the Upper Palaeolithic Era, further activity is evident from the Neolithic Era and from the Bronze Age. There have been some important finds from the Iberian Culture including pieces in silver and gold, dating from the
3rd to 2nd Centuries BC. The arrival of the Romans after the Second Punic War (219-201 BC) heralded an improvement in organised society and many advances in agricultural activity in the area around Javea. Villas were constructed, particularly in the fertile valley formed by the River Gorgos, and there was a settlement in the area of Playa de Arenal
where the fish sauce, ‘garum’ was produced and exported. After the decline of the Roman Empire, the Romans were replaced by the Visigoths, and although little is known of their time in the region, there is some documentation suggesting the appearance of a monastery (San Martin), though there is no firm evidence to support this.

In the 8th Centruy the Moors invaded and conquered the Iberian Peninsular, where they remained until the 13th Century (the Christian re-conquest of Denia is documented in 1224). The Arabs continued with the agricultural improvement of the area, using expert irrigation
methods brought from the arid deserts of North Africa and the Middle East. In the centuries following the Christian re-conquest, the town of Javea was walled and fortified to fend off attacks from marauding pirates, and there is still evidence today of these ancient fortifications.

Probably the most popular spot for modern day tourists to Javea is the old port, retaining much of its original charm, it has not been spoiled by modernisation. It has a good range of bars and restaurants and is a
great place to enjoy a delicious local seafood dish. The harbour dates from the 15th Century and it was formerly an important shipping point for the export of raisins until the collapse of the raisin trade in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.