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Monovar

Monovar is a small town in Alicante province, with a population of 13,060 people. It is about 15km from Pinoso and like Pinoso it is famous for its marble quarries, shoe making and wine. It is in a pretty, mountainous area, the town stands at a height of 341m (1,119 ft). Monovar has several traditional fiestas during the year, ranging from "Dwarves and Giants" in July to the week long town fiesta in September in honour of the Virgen de los Remedios.

Traditional food, like Pinoso, includes rice made with rabbit and snail, gazpacho manchego - a hearty rabbit stew, migas - fried breadcrumbs with garlic and usually chorizo and of course the local red wine. There are 4 wineries close by.

There is evidence of people living in this area since pre-history. The Romans also lived here, the remains of a Roman villa has been discovered in the nearby village of Maña. In the Islamic era Monovar and Chinorla were fortified with a castle and a tower. The first documented history of Monovar was in the 13th Century. When the Moors were expelled from Spain in 1609 Monovar lost nearly 80% of its population. As a result Monovar became depopulated and abandoned. As a reward for their support of the Bourbon Dynasty in the war of Succession, Philip V gave Monovar the title "Very noble, faithful, illustrious & loyal" - this was encorporated into their coat of arms with a lily flower.

During the 18th century the population and the economy began to grow again, there was a resurgence of agriculture - with the growth of cereals, olives and grapes. This century also saw the construction of some of Monovar's most emblematic buildings, which you can still see today, such as: the Clock Tower (clock tower), John the Baptist Church, the Chapel of the Virgin del Remedio and the Hermitage and Convent of Saint Barbara, which overlooks the town from the top of hill, keeping guard over Monovar. In the middle of the 18th century the railway came to Monovar, giving access to the rail line running from Alicante to Madrid and of course this played an important role in the economic development of the town. In the 20th century Monovar finally got the official title of city, as a consequence of its rapid growth. Since the 1920s the main industries have been, soap, flour, shoe-making and marble.

The modern day town has many bars and restaurants, small shops, a large supermarket, bullring, two wineries, a theatre/concert hall and a cultural centre. Monovar is a safe and friendly place to live and makes an interesting day visit. It is located on the CV83, the main road that runs from Elda to Pinoso.

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