The city of Villena, with a population close to 34,500 inhabitants, is the capital of the Alto Vinalopó district and is located in the northwest of the Alicante province, at a unique crossroads between the Valencian, Manchegan and Murcian regions. This fact has conditioned many aspects of the local population, such as speech, gastronomy or the economy.

Villena, due to its inland location, has a continental climate with very cold winters and hot summers. It is located on a high plateau that combines Meseta and Mediterranean landscape features, with the Vinalopó river as the backbone of the area. Between the large number of mountains, the Sierra Salinas in the south, which rises majestically to a height of 1,123 metres at the Pico de la Capilla is worthy of note.

The oldest human remains dating back to the Middle Palaeolithic, approximately 50,000 years old, were found in the Cueva del Cochino, in the Sierra del Morrón. However, the Bronze Age is more significant in the history of Villena, with the famous Cabezo Redondo site, an urban and social model of its time, to which the most valuable archaeological site of local interest probably belongs: The Treasure of Villena.

The origins of the current city go back to the times of Muslim rule. Times when the castles of the Atalaya and Salvarierra were erected. The then town was conquered by the troops of King Jaime I in 1240, passing initially to Aragonese domain before ending up under the control of Castile. The town and its inhabitants earned titles granted to Villena, particularly Castilian families who governed the town, such as the Manuels in the XIII and the XIV centuries or the Pachecos in the XV century.

The modern stage arrives in 1488 when the city became the town of Realengo in the time of the Catholic Monarchs. Finally, Carlos I grants him the title of “city” in 1525.

The modern era arrives in 1488 when the town became known as Realengo in the time of the Catholic Monarchs. Finally, Carlos I granted the title of “town” in 1525. During this long period, it was also worth highlighting the crucial role played by our town in the War of Succession, in the early XVIII century, as a bastion of the Bourbon cause, as well as the harsh consequences it had to face during the War of Independence against the French.

The arrival of the railway, in the mid-nineteenth century, helped to transform the local history and economy. Thus, the traditional agricultural economy gave way, at the end of the nineteenth century, to the production and commercialization of wine and to a powerful industry from the early-mid twentieth century, with the development of the footwear sector, that is still important to this day.