A bit of history
The first settlements in La Vila Joiosa date back from the Bronze Age. The hill where the Old Town is located nowasdays was an Iberian town, and there are well-founded reasons to identify Villajoyosa with the Alonis of the classic texts. The Department of Archeology has plenty of quotidian and militar material resulting from the archeological dig on the Poble Nou Necropolis (6th Century).
During the Roman era, the area reached its economic and cultural peak. This results on the identification of the city with Alonis. From this period, a lot of archaeological rests that you can see visiting the Archaeological Museum have been left by the romans to us. During the Middle Age the coast was uninhabited because of the constant pirate raids, and in the 8th century the Southeastern coastal regions, known as Levante, were islamized. In 1300, the Admiral of Jaume II, king of Aragón, Bernat d'en Sarriá, founds this town. La Vila Joiosa means "The Joyous Town", an attractive name for the new Christian settlers from the peninsular North East.
The town used to have a castle with towers on the corners for protection and surveillance. Today, we can see the walls of the castle, from the 16th century, wich are one of the best kept examples of the first military architecture of the Renaissance in Spain.
According to the tradition, the inhabitants of La Vila Joiosa asked for the intercession of the Saint of the day to reject an important Berber attack. Since that day, the 29th of July was declared as the day of Santa Marta, wich is part of the "Moros y Cristianos" (Moors and Christians) celebration, from 24th to the 31st July. This dates back as far as 1694, and reached the statement of International Tourist Interest.