ELCHE, a town of eastern Spain, in the province of Alicante, on the river Vinalapo.
Elche is the meetingplace of three railways, from Novelda, Alicante and Murcia.
The harbour of Elche is Santa Pola (pop. 4100), situated 6 m.E.S.E.,where the Vinalapo enters the Mediterranean,.
after forming the wide lagoon known as the Albufera de Elche.
Elche is usually identified with the Iberian Helike, afterwards the Roman colony of Ilici or Illici.
The Elche reservoir, in the same province, has a similar dam 55 ft.
South of Elche is the province of Murcia, watered by the river Segura, on which there is a dam 25 ft.
The principal towns, which are separately described, include Alicante, the capital (pop. 1900, 50,142), Crevillente (10,726), Denia (12,431), Elche (27,308), Novelda (11,388), Orihuela (28,530), and Villena (14,099).
The date-paligi is very general in the southeastern half of the kingdom, but is cultivated for its fruit only in the province of Alicante, in which is the celebrated date-grove of Elche.
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