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Flag of Orihuela
Coat of arms of Orihuela
Coat of arms
Motto: Muy Noble, Leal y Siempre Fiel Ciudad de Orihuela
Orihuela is located in Spain
Location in Spain
Coordinates: 38°5′8″N 0°56′49″W / 38.08556°N 0.94694°W / 38.08556; -0.94694Coordinates: 38°5′8″N 0°56′49″W / 38.08556°N 0.94694°W / 38.08556; -0.94694
Country  Spain
Autonomous community  Valencian Community
Province Alicante
Comarca Vega Baja del Segura
Judicial district Orihuela
 • Alcalde Monserrate Guillén (2011) (Confederation of the Greens)
 • Total 365.44 km2 (141.10 sq mi)
Elevation 236 m (774 ft)
Demonym Oriolano/a, Orcelitano/a
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 03300 (centro), 03189 (costa), and in their parishes: 03310-03318, 03320, 03369, 03689.
Official language(s) Spanish
Website Official website

Orihuela (Spanish pronunciation: [oriˈwela], Valencian: Oriola [oɾiˈɔla])[2] is a city and municipality located at the feet of the Sierra de Orihuela mountains in the province of Alicante, Spain. The city of Orihuela had a population of 32,472 inhabitants in the beginning of 2006. The municipality has a total area of 367.19 km², and stretches all the way down to the Mediterranean coast, west of Torrevieja, and had a total population of 77,949 inhabitants in the beginning of 2006. This includes not only the city of Orihuela, but also the coastal tourist centre (urbanización turística) of Dehesa de Campoamor with 21,659 inhabitants (2006) and a few other villages.[1]

The river Segura flows through the city. The city was settled by Romans who called it Orcelis and subsequently Aurariola.


Orihuela is the capital of the region of the "Vega Baja del Segura" (natural region of the Segura River); it has been the capital of a province and even of a kingdom. The city was named the first city of the province of Alicante, 11 September 1437.

In 576 it was the capital of the Visigothic province of Aurariola, to which it gave its name. In 713 (5 April) the military man and Count Teodomiro, proclaimed himself King of Tudmir.

In 825 the Kingdom of Tudmir, became a dependent kingdom under Umayyad control, and the capital was moved to Murcia. In 910 the Kingdom of Tudmir passed to the Emirate of Cordova.

In 1053 the principality of Murcia, part of the Kingdom of Denia, is created. In 1086 the principality of Murcia becomes independent from Denia. In 1212 the area passed to the Kingdom of Murcia.

In 1304 Orihuela was considered to be on the border between the kingdoms of Castile and Aragón. In 1366 it passed to the kingdom of Valencia.

In 1437, it was declared a city and in 1707, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor made Orihuela capital of the province of Orihuela. In 1737 Alicante, Elche, Monforte, Jijona, Villajoyosa, Agost, Busot, San Juan or Muchamiel became independent from the province of Orihuela, forming the one of Alicante.

1799 Orihuela was part of the province of Alicante. In 1810, Napoleon made Orihuela part of the Department of Segura with the capital at Murcia. In 1822, Orihuela passed to the province of Murcia. 1833 it became part of the province of Alicante. In 1920 nationalistic movements spoke of Orihuela as belonging to the "country of Murcia."

Between 1988 and 2006 various research studies from the Universities of Andalusia, Castile and Murcia demonstrated that Orihuela was more culturally part of Murcia than Valencia in terms of phonetics, lexicon, architecture, agriculture, folclore, musical celebrations, instruments, language, burial customs, gastronomy and varieties.

In the cathedral

City and suburbs[edit]

Orihuela coast.

The municipality had a total population of 77,979 inhabitants in the beginning of 2006, of which the city of Orihuela only accommodated 32,472 of them. Another major locality within the municipality is the tourist centre of Dehesa de Campoamor, located on the coast, more than 20 km from Orihuela. It had 21,659 inhabitants in the beginning of 2006.[1]

The metropolitan area of Orihuela includes the eleven municipalities of Orihuela, Benejúzar, Benferri, Beniel, Bigastro, Callosa de Segura, Cox, Jacarilla, Rafal, Redován and Santomera. It had a total population of 151,358 inhabitants in the beginning of 2006, and a total area of 510,3 km².[1]

The metropolitan area of Orihuela is also a part of the larger Murcia-Orihuela conurbation, with a total population of 727,741 inhabitants (2006) and an area of 1,743.5 km².[1]


The agriculture of Orihuela is based on lemons, oranges, almonds, olives, palm trees, pomegranates, cotton, hemp and vegetables. It also has an important industry of silk, wool and preserved food.

Main sights[edit]

The most important architectonic monuments of Orihuela are an Arabic castle with its towers, a Catholic cathedral built between the 14th and 16th centuries and the Baroque church of Santo Domingo. While staying in this municipality, it is imperative to visit the monumental city. Its Historic-Artistic Site has five National Monuments and an urban layout that is the result of its former rank as a University Centre and Episcopal See. We must highlight two of its holiday celebrations: the processions of Holy Week, and the parades of Moors and Christians, in July.

Famous people[edit]

The Spanish poet Miguel Hernández was born in this city, which shares a campus with the University Miguel Hernández. It is also important for its festival of Moros y Cristianos.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Población de España – datos y mapas
  2. ^ Although Orihuela is in one of the Spanish-speaking areas of the Valencian Community, it also has the Valencian name Oriola.

External links[edit]