Les Alqueries

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Les Alqueries
Municipality
Town Hall.
Town Hall.
Flag of Les Alqueries
Flag
Coat of arms of Les Alqueries
Coat of arms
Les Alqueries is located in Spain
Les Alqueries
Les Alqueries
Location in Spain
Coordinates: 39°53′47″N 0°06′49″E / 39.89639°N 0.11361°E / 39.89639; 0.11361
Country  Spain
Autonomous community  Valencian Community
Province Castelló
Comarca Plana Baixa
Judicial district Vila-Real
Government
 • Mayor Consuelo Sanz Molés
Area
 • Total 12.6 km2 (4.9 sq mi)
Elevation 40 m (130 ft)
Population (2009)
 • Total 4,284
 • Density 340/km2 (880/sq mi)
Demonym Alqueriers
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 12530
Official language(s) Valencian and Spanish
Website Official website

Les Alqueries (Valencian pronunciation: [lez aɫkeˈɾi.es]) is a town in eastern Spain, in the province of Castellón, part of the autonomous community of Valencia.

Economy is based on agriculture, specializing in growing oranges. It became an independent commune from Vila-real in 1985.

History[edit]

The area where Les Alqueries is located (60 kilometers to the north of Valencia) has been populated since the Iberian era. Les Alqueries was formerly divided into three smaller villages called Bellaguarda, Bonastre and Bonretorn. Prior to 1609 most inhabitants of those villages were ethnically Andalusī Muslims. A new Christian population slowly occupied the properties left by Muslims (Moriscos) after April 1609 (date of the expulsion); many of these newcomers were peasants from nearby villages like Artana, Betxí, Nules and Vila-real as well as other settlers from the north of the Kingdom of Valencia (Maestrat). Seventy-two years after the expulsion of ethnic Muslims, monks from Caudiel (near Segorbe) built a little church (Església del Replà) which became a sort of meeting point for the inhabitants of this area. With the passing of time, this church led to the unification of the three former villages which became known as Les Alqueries, which means "the villages". After the Christian conquest in the 13th century, Les Alqueries became part of Vila-real municipality but it gained independence in 1985 after a decree issued by Generalitat Valenciana (Valencian autonomous government).

Les Alqueries has now over 4200 inhabitants and its urban area has grown significantly after the year 2000 becoming a quiet residential area.

Main sights[edit]

Les Alqueries is located in a coastal plain, 9 kilometers to the Mediterranean sea. Landscape is largely dominated by orange trees. Sierra de Espadán mountain range (an important protected area) is clearly visible from the village.

The town hall, Casa Safont, a modernist building, and La Plaça de les Pedres square, where the rests of a Roman mill are exposed, are two interesting places for tourists.

Culture[edit]

The village has two annual festivals in June and October. Bous al carrer, literally bulls on the street, is the main attraction of October celebrations.

Twin towns[edit]

References[edit]

Ventura Rius, Albert (2004): Alqueries, temps d'un poble. Diputació de Castelló. Castelló.

External links[edit]