(in Spanish) or Alcoi (in Valencian)
is a city and municipality located
in the province of Alicante, Spain.
The Serpis river crosses the
municipal term of Alcoy
first traces of human presence in
the area date to c. 60,000 years
ago, when Neandertal hunters settled
here. A site with rock paintings,
dating to c. 10,000/6,500 years ago,
has been discovered near la Sarga.
From around the mid-3rd millennium
BC people started to move from the
caves to the plain where cereals
were grown, while mountain
fortifications were erected (Mola
alta de Serelles, Más del Corral,
Más de Menente, el Puig).
After the Roman conquest of the
Iberians, several rural villas were
built in the area, as well as a
necropolis. The town itself was
established in 1256 by James I of
Aragon, with the construction of a
castle on a strategic position over
the Serpis river, to secure the
southern frontier of the Kingdom of
Valencia during the Reconquista.
In 1291 the town was donated by King
James II of Aragon to the Sicilian
admiral Roger of Lauria; it will not
return a royal possession until
1430. During the War of Spanish
Succession, Alcoy sided for the
cause of archduke Charles, and was
therefore besieged and stripped of
numerous privileges, which started a
period of decline.