Our past draws from the influence of several cultures and is reflected in the wealth and diversity of our traditions
The history of Benissa is the tale of a land leaning out on the Mediterranean upon which mankind has left its mark all the way from prehistory to the Iberians, Romans, Arabs and Christians.
The discovery of small cave paintings has revealed that human settlement stretches back to the Neolithic, at the latest. Furthermore, Roman presence is amply attested by the coins and amphorae that were discovered on the coastal seabed.
Nevertheless, the origins of the place name that gave rise to that of Benissa (Banu-Issa) go back to the period of Muslim influence, as the word comes from Arabic. Likewise, most of the rural areas in the district have retained their Arabic names to this day. This confirms the historical thesis according to which there was a significant Arab population when James I the Conqueror reached Benissa in 1248. After the Expulsion of the Moriscos (1609), our land was repopulated by settlers from the Pyrenees, Catalonia and Aragon. The walls that gird the city and of which some remnants still stand date back to this period.