Las Salinas de Torrevieja
Torrevieja was originally a salt-mining and fishing village as it is located between the sea and two large salt lakes (Las Salinas), which give Torrevieja a healthy micro climate.
Until 1802, Torrevieja existed only as an ancient guard tower, which gave the town its name (Torre Vieja (Spanish) means Old Tower) and some labourers’ cottages. But in 1803, Charles IV authorized the movement of the salt production offices from La Mata to the town itself and allowed the construction of dwellings there. In 1829, the town was totally destroyed by an earthquake but the basins were soon reconstructed and re-opened. In 1931, Alfonso XIII gave Torrevieja city status by special grant. During this period, there was also a growing market for flax, hemp and cotton.
In the 19th century, the salt was mainly shipped from the town by Swedish and Dutch ships. At the time, there was only limited demand from other regions of Spain, mainly Galicia and to a lesser extent, Valencia. Although by the dawn of the 20th century, a quarter of all the salt harvested from the lagoon in Torrevieja, was sold in Spain itself and the rest exported was to foreign markets. Today, it is still an important industry in Torrevieja and a major employer. You can visit the Museum of Sea and Salt.