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History

If you want to enjoy one of the region's best conserved Medieval town centres take a stroll though the Old Town of Benissa, that dates back to the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, and relive the epoch of Valencia's Classic book and author, Tirant lo Blanc and Ausias March.

Years of Iberian, Roman, Arab and Christian history have formed the character of this town named Benissa. Going back thousands of years, remains like small cave paintings have been discovered that suggest the area was inhabited in the Prehistoric era. Coins and amphoras are signs of Roman presence in our lands. Nevertheless the origin of Benissa's name (Banu-Issa) is considered to be Arabic. Even today most of the rural areas of the municipality conserve their Arabic names. This confirms the historian's theory that points to the presence of an important Arabic population when James 1st "the Conqueror" arrived at Benissa in 1248. After the expulsion of the Moriscos in 1609 the land was repopulated by settlers from the Pyrenees, Catalonia and Aragon. It was in this era that the town's walls were built. Today only small traces of these walls remain.