ORIHUELA, a town and episcopal see of Spain, in the southern portion of the province of Alicante, 13 miles northeast from Murcia and about 15 from the sea, is situated in a beautiful and exceedingly fertile " huerta," at the foot of a limestone ridge of moderate height, and on both sides of the Segura, here crossed by two bridges. There are remains of an old fort on the hill commanding the town ; and the gateway on the side of Valencia - the Puerta del Colegio - is a fine lofty arch, surmounted by an emblematic statue and the city arms. The most prominent buildings are the episcopal palace (1733), with a frontage of 600 feet, but partly ruinous ; the townhouse (1843), containing the municipal archives and a considerable number of curious and important documents of national history ; and the cathedral, a comparatively small Gothic structure built on the site of a former mosque in the 14th century, and enlarged and tastelessly restored in 1829. There are large barracks on the outskirts, and many noblemen have town houses or " palaces " in Orihuela. There are also a considerable number of convents, now suppressed. The university of Orihuela, founded in 1568 by the archbishop of Valencia, was closed in 1835, part of the revenue being applied to the support of a college affiliated to the university of Valencia. Besides numerous primary schools there are a theological seminary and a normal school. The final separation of Orihuela from the diocese of Cartagena took place in 1564. The inhabitants are largely engaged in agriculture, the trade in fruit (oranges and citrons, pomegranates, dates), as well as in cereals, oil, and wine, being considerable. There is a lively and picturesque weekly market. The manufactures, which are of secondary importance, include textile fabrics, leather, saltpetre, and hats; dyeing is also carried on. The population of the ayuntamiento was 20,929 in 1877, Orihuela is not mentioned in ancient geography, for a proposed identification with the Orcelis of Pliny is almost certainly wrong. As Auriela or Aurivalet, on the other hand, it figures frequently in the annals of the Moorish period ; in 713 it was held successfully for some time by Theodemir against Abd-al-Aziz. It was conquered by Jayme of Aragon, for his father-in-law Alphonso of Castile, in 1265. It suffered sack during the disturbances at the beginning of the reign of Charles V. (1520), and again in the War of Succession (1706). Local annals specially mention the plague of 1648, the flood of 1651, and the earthquake of 1829.