The Marina Baja town celebrates its origins as a township
The town of Altea in the Marina Baja area of the province of Alicante commemorated its 400th birthday on Wednesday, the anniversary of the signing of the Town Charter in 1617.
The signing, which took place at the Town Hall in what is now the Plaza de Francesc Martínez i Martínez, signified the birth of Altea as a town, and by the document Don Jaume de Palafox, the second Marquis of Ariza, allowed the sixty families who had arrived in the newly walled settlement from the Kingdom of Valencia in the early years of the 17th century to form a township, making use of the castle and the church.
As part of the celebrations the Town Hall invited all members of the public to attend a midday meeting of council in the Plaza de Carmelina Sánchez Cutillas, close to the spot where the “Carta Puebla” was signed 400 years ago. Mayor Jaume Llinares presided over proceedings, and schoolchildren representing the majority of the many nationalities now represented in the municipality read the text of the historic document.
Once the official ceremony has been concluded, music and dancing is scheduled in the streets of the old town centre.
Altea has certainly come a long way since the town was founded in the 17th century, and now has a population of over 22,000, among whom approximately one third are non-Spaniards.