The old town of Javea is slightly inland from the port, and still retains much of its Spanish character, with narrow streets and whitewashed houses, dating back to the 16th Century.
The church of Sant Bertomeu at the centre of the old town has an inner wall dating from 1244, when King Jaime the Conqueror defeated the Moors here. The outside bears the scars of the Spanish Civil War.
But the repopulating of Javea after 1244 was slow. With wars endemic, the war with Castille from 1296 and the raids from Granada (1304, 1308) city walls were necessary. The town was described as a small enclosure closed by an adobe wall with loafer towers. One of them, probably that of En Cairat appears to have formed part of a previous construction, an Islamic farmhouse. The wall went along the streets Sor María Gallard, Primícies, Major y Roques.
In 1397 the title of Vila with a Council and district was granted, but it continued forming part of the County of Dénia.
New walls were built. The central nucleus was occupied by the local oligarchs. The rest of the Vila was inhabited by the "mà menor" (peasants, craftsmen, fishermen, etc.).
Berber Corsairs raids continued from the XV century. And in 1513 the walls were strengthened with internal buttresses on the Església de Sant Bertomeu. The Església de I'Oreto was also constructed in 1515, near the Porta de la Mar, where a small garden is currently found.
In 1510, there were some 930 inhabitants -the greatest population of the region- and a century later it reached 1800 inhabitants.
The economy of the area was mainly agricultural: wheat, almonds, vineyards, carob-trees and olive trees. The wheat was the most important, the local as well as that imported from Sicily. Its transformation into flour by the windmills of la Plana and the water mills of les Barranqueres.
The growth of the population brought expansion into the suburbs of Convent, Baix, of Sant Jaume and Patraix, all outside the walls. Houses were more spacious.
Between 1810 and 1812 the war with the French saw different raids against the Vila of Jávea by the troops quartered in the Castell of Denia.
Raisins grew in importance during the 19th century. From the second half of the 19th century, the production and export of raisins increased to the North European and American markets, which resulted in the appearance of a local middle-class mercant class. These families built their most ostentatious buildings close to the church, as the Casa de la Senyoreta Josefina, the Casa dels Bolufer and the Casa de les Primícies. The agrarian owners also built larger houses which still can be seen at Carrer En Grenyó, Carrer Major and Tossal de Dalt .
In 1873 the city walls were demolished and wide avenue constructed to make access to the port easier.
Sights to take in today include:-
The church Iglesia de San Bartolome, which was built in the 12th century - an example of late gothic with a defensive character.
Museum Soler Blasco in the Calle Primicias. The museum displays a copy of the treasury of Javea, which consists of jewelry from the past centuries.
Admire the view from the Cabo de San Martin. You can walk up a path from Javea harbor
Cabo de Nao - a small hill - with a lighthouse on top. The top of the Cabo de Nao also has great views
The old part of the town is made up of a labyrinth
of narrow streets full of whitewashed houses, many dating back to the 17th and
18th century. Peculiar to Javea is that many of the older buildings have window
and door frames which have been roughly carved from sandstone blocks.
The covered indoor market selling all sorts of household goods, fruit, vegetables, meat and fresh fish brought up from the Port daily.
The port zone, known as Aduanas de Mar with its promenade along the seafront and its fish restaurants. Fishing boats dock with their daily catch next to the attractive marina.
Also at the fishing port is the modern church of Santa Maria de Loreto; with a roof in the sahape of a ship´s hull.
Outside the town, following the road to the San Antonio cape, the architectural sites include the monastery of Nuestra Senora de los Angeles, a series of small hermitages on the slopes of the mountain and some ancient windmills.
The Arenal area is the commercial and tourist part of Javea .The sandy bay is planted with palm trees and is fringed by the promenade with its bars and restaurants.
There is a busy daily market selling fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as freshly caught fish in the evening. There is a large market on Thursday morning.
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