Elda is a large city with a population of 56,000 and can be found 30km inland from Alicante just off the N330. The town forms part of a larger urban spread with the town of Petrer, although both are self autonomous with their own townhalls and Castles from times gone by. One street even has opposing sides located in either town.
The whole region is involved in shoemaking but Elda is the hub of this thriving industry. There is even a museum in the city dedicated to Spanish shoe manufacturing through the ages. Elda has historically been a trading post due it’s location and also an agricultural exporter. Like most of the surrounding towns and cities, Elda has changed hands several times and has been ruled by the Visigoths, Romans, Moors and conquering Christians who have all left their mark on the city. The Christian were responsible for the expulsion of all the remaining Moors in the 16th Century and this led to a decline in the towns population and economy as the arabs held all the expertise with local agriculture and industry.
In ore recent times the town has recovered, especially following the construction of great transportation links including a railway and road that links Alicante to Madrid via Elda.
This is a working city, although there are some tourist attractions including the Castles of both Elda and Petrer, the Church of Santa Ana and several museums.