Alzira (its official and Valencian name; in Spanish: Alcira) is a town and municipality of 44,440 people (2006) in eastern Spain. It is the capital of the comarca of Ribera Alta in the province of Valencia.
Alzira's climate is typically Mediterranean: warm with no extremes of temperature either in summer or winter. Rainfall is scarce and irregular. Torrential rains usually follow periods of relative drought.
The town is situated on the shores of the Júcar river. The Murta and Casella valleys are well worth visiting as they are by far the most beautiful areas in the Alzira area.
The town borough extends over 111 square kilometres. The population count was 44.440 inhabitants in August 2008 in the city and 50,000 with the surroundings (estimated).
Alzira was founded by the Arabs with the name Al-Yazirat Suquar, or Júcar Island. During the Middle Ages, it was a prosperous Moorish trading-station. In 1242, James I of Aragon put control of the town in Spanish hands.
Alzira, located right on the bank of the Júcar, has suffered devastating floods throughout its history - in particular in 1472, 1590, 1864, 1916, 1982 and 1987.
Alzira has historically been a walled town, surrounded by palm, orange and mulberry groves, and by low-lying rice-swamps, which rendered its neighborhood somewhat unhealthy. It is sometimes identified with the Roman Saetabicula.
During the Muslim era, Alzira became a very important town. It even had its very own local government. It was known throughout the region as a cultural hub for writers, philosophers, and law experts.
King Jaime I re-conquered the town for Christianity on the 1242-12-30.
Agriculture was the prime economic driving force in Alzira up to the middle of the last century. The most important produce are oranges and they are distributed by important local co-operatives.
During the 20 th century, Alzira changed from an agricultural based economy to a diversified industry-orientated city with an important commercial infrastructure and associated services.
As capital of the Ribera Alta region, it boasts numerous public services such as: Area Inland Revenue offices, Social Security, The Ribera Hospital, Public Health Centre, educational establishments, Traffic Administration office, law courts etc.