Alicante is located on Spain's Costa Blanca in the Levant Region, along the country's southeastern coast and is a tourist resort and commercial port. The region is marked by lush mountain ranges. During the Gothic era of the fifteenth through sixteenth centuries centuries, art and architecture flourished in Alicante and the remainder of the Levant Region. Immense palaces and grandiose churches were built with elaborate baroque details. Visitors can see a third century BC fortress - the citadel of Santa Bárbara built by ruler Amilcar Barca, a Carthaginian, Arrabal Roig - the old quarter, the Baroque town hall, the 14th century Church of Santa Maria, the Renaissance church of San Nicolás de Bari and the 18th century Gravina Palace.
Early history has been traced back to Paleolithic man, who made rock paintings depicting his daily rituals. Founded by Greeks in 325 BC, the city was called Lucentum in 201 BC under Roman domination. The Moors ruled from 718 to 1249 when it was called al-Akant. It later became part of the kingdom of Aragon and suffered sieges by the French in 1709 and Cartagena in 1873.
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