Our history

Sant Joan d’Alacant is Close to Everything. Our municipality has everything a visitor could want. We are close to the beach, close to the mountains, close to the capital, Alicante, and close to the neighboring towns of El Campello, Mutxamel, Sant Vicent del Raspeig, Busot and Xixona.

The history of our town is closely linked to Camp d’Alacant. Since time immemorial, this territory has been dedicated to cultivating the land, but it is from the 16th century onwards that our period of greatest prosperity began to take shape. This was possible thanks to the construction of a colossal engineering feat, the Tibi Reservoir. It is the oldest dam in Europe, being linked to a network of irrigation canals that distributed the waters of the Montnegre River throughout the L’Alacantí region.

The irrigation ditches were the backbone of the Huerta landscape. These routes determined the urban configuration of the town, some streets such as Mayor or Maigmona were born following the Acequia Mayor. As a result of that water system linked to the Huerta, an impressive heritage complex was also developed, composed of defensive towers and hermitages, farms and houses from the Late Middle Ages to the 19th century.

The Torres de la Huerta were strategically distributed throughout Camp d’Alacant. Se comunicaban con las torres vigía de la costa. They were built to warn the town’s populations of attacks by Berber piracy, which were very frequent from the mid-15th century to the 17th century. Therefore, the network of towers served to protect the peasants and lords of the Huerta. The towers that are still preserved in Sant Joan d’Alacant are those known as Ansaldo, La Cadena, Salafranca and Bonanza. Furthermore, neighboring Alicante still has 19 towers and Mutxamel with 3, although there were many more, which have now disappeared as a result of indiscriminate population growth. The entire defensive complex of the towers is declared an Asset of Cultural Interest.

The system of orchards, irrigation ditches, houses and towers was structured by a network of paths. Formerly the municipality was crossed by two important crossings, that of Játiva and that of Silla, which branched in the center of the town, where Maisonnave Square with Church Street is currently located. Today none of those communication routes pass through the town anymore.

For centuries, intense work was done to guarantee the state of conservation of the water infrastructure of the Huerta, such as the Major irrigation ditch, its branches, uncovered channels and the bridges that crossed it. The Irrigation Water Market from the Tibi Reservoir was held in Plaza Maisonnave, on the porch of Bar Pepe.

Its proximity to the Alicante capital determined the residential character of Sant Joan, where many wealthy families established their second residence here, especially during the 19th century. Numerous personalities from Alicante’s high society lived in the estates and houses located in Sant Joan, such as Mr. Emilio Castelar, Mr. Benito Pérez Galdós and Mr. Isaac Peral. The poet D. Ramón de Campoamor y Campoosorio resided with his wife on the O’Gorman estate, where he wrote some of his wonderful poems. Witness to those fervent times are the farms and houses that still stand, some with valuable architectural interest: Abril, La Cadena, Buena Vista – Pritz, La Paz, La Princesa or Palmeretes, to name just a few. Princess Pío and her husband and firstborn, the Count of Lumiares, resided on the La Princesa estate, where fondillón wine was grown.

The 20th century has witnessed the urban growth of the population, favored by the proximity to the city and the beach, which has promoted cultural and social development. The 20th century has witnessed urban growth. The creation of cultural, sports and festive associations has allowed the conservation of our identity.stic of the population, favored by the proximity to the city and the beach, which has promoted cultural and social development. The drastic decline in agricultural activity has given way to new economic sectors linked to services, leisure and culture. Furthermore, Sant Joan d’Alacant is closely related to well-being and health, as it houses the Clinical Hospital and the University Campus dedicated to Health Sciences.

In the last decade, work has been carried out on the recovery of historical heritage, a work that continues progressively today. Spaces like the House of Culture, the Cultural center (headquarters of the library and Municipal file), together with our important parks and gardens, the commercial area of ​​Miguel Hernández Avenue and the traditional center, together with the impressive heritage legacy treasured throughout our history, constitute the main values ​​that will allow us to continue building a prosperous future.