Location in the Valencian Community, Spain
Location in the comarca Alto Palancia
|• Mayor||Ángel Gil Ordaz|
|• Total||78.30 km2 (30.23 sq mi)|
|Elevation||523 m (1,716 ft)|
|• Density||19.84/km2 (51.4/sq mi)|
|Website||(Spanish) Official Website|
The municipality has an area of 78.30 km², is crossed by the river Palancia, and an area in the south is part of the Calderona mountain range. However, no part of the municipality is in the Sierra Calderona National Park.
The town centre is located at a height of 523 m, on a rocky promontory along the Palancia river channel. The precipice is very difficult to access and therefore, the population has settled in the opposite direction, staggered along the slope of the hill.
Districts and pedanías
In the municipality of Jérica there are two population centres:
- Los Ángeles
The first evidence of human settlement is from the Neolithic period, from human remains found in the Herreros Cave (Cave of the Blacksmiths). Several settlements from the Iberian period exist within the castle bounds.
The municipality has the highest number of Roman artifacts discovered in the comarca, especially the large quantity of gravestones, including the unique gravestone of Quintia Prova of Hispania on which the cost of a Roman arc with two statues is mentioned.
The first references to the present nucleus of the settlement are in the period of Muslims' presence in the area, including the Taifa of Valencia and the after the disintegration of the Caliph of Córdoba in 1027 and then the subsequent capture of the area by the Cid in 1098. The first stages of the towers and the oldest parts of the castle are from this time.
On 5 February 1235, the area was captured by the Christian army in order to control the sacristan of Girona, Gillém de Montgriu, although the Muslim population were not expelled.
In 1249 the Carta Puebla is issued to populate Jérica, since the deployment was already evident. In 1255 King James I of Aragon donates the estate of the villa of Jérica to Teresa Gil de Vidaurre and the son he had by her. Their son was James I, Baron of Jérica. On 29 November 1255, in Calatayud, King James I granted the privilege that the Camino Real (Royal Road) from Aragón to Valencia passes through Jérica, leaving the old road which did not pass close to the population. The real privileges followed; the King granted polto in 1261 extending the realm of the castle and villa of Jérica. In 1272, King James I donated the castle and villa of Jérica to his son in his will. James II of Jérica succeeded in 1284 and two years later, in 1286, King Alfonso IV of Aragon confirmed the lord's privilege of freedom of the villa. It was governed by him until 1321, when it is passed to his heir, his son Jaime. James III of Xérica with provision by king Alfonso IV of Aragon, commissioned the fortification of the villa by extending the preexisting walls.
Peter of Jérica was head in 1361, in preference of his children Juan and Pedro, staying as heir of lord Juan Alfonso. At this time, war between the kings of Aragón and Castilla breaks out again, and in 1363 the Castilian army enters the villa utilising the castle and the church that he was constructing.
In 1369, the last heir of the ville of Jérica, Juan Alfonso, dies ending the lineage. Jérica then is given back to Peter IV as an estate. The King decides in 1372 to make a condado (give land to a Count) and to give to investiture of Jérica to the Infante Don Martin as a Fiefdom, in a treaty, returning Jérica to Corona, when marrying Maria de Luna, Lady Segorbe.
The incorporation of Jérica to Real Corona did not last for long: in 1417 King Alfonso V of Aragon gives the señorío (noble estate) to his brother, the Infante Don Juan.
The señorío only lasts few years and in 1431 the Infante Don Juan sells it illegally to Francisco Zarzuela. This caused years of misery for the people of Jérica, who suffered with the tyrannous government of a family who nothing had to do with them.
This continued until 1479 when negotiations between the Jericanos and King Ferdinand el Católico bore fruits and the villa was again is incorporated into Corona.
In 1537, Carlos I of Spain gave the señorío to the Duke de Calabria, who on his death, donated it to the monks of the Monastery of San Miguel of the Kings of Valencia. A litigation between the governors of the villa and the then emperor Carlos I occurs, as he wishes it to be incorporated into the Real dominion. During the government of Felipe I, in 1564, Jérica already it is totally incorporated to the Real dominion. In 1565, it leaves Aragon, of which it had been a part of and joins Valencia and since then has had its own shield.
Finally, the locality was devastated during the Spanish Civil War, to the point of asking for inclusion to the list of Devastated Regions, which meant the state was in charge of numerous reconstructions of buildings.
The religious monument Torre de las Campanas (Tower of the Bells) was constructed in 1634 in style of Mudéjar on the site of a previous works. It is a unique example of the style in the Valencian Community . Due to its position as the highest construction in the area, it is the most familiar image of it.
The area has two civil monuments: a castle and watchtowers. There is a castle, of which the Roman foundations can still be observed, although most of the construction is of the Muslim period. The best conserved area is the main tower, the Torreta. This construction is robust: it is square with walls more than 1.5 m thick. The vaults in the centre of the ground floor are remarkable. These Muslim watchtowers, Torres de los Ordaces y la Muela, overlook the castle. Presently, they are in need of conservation.
The population was 1,577 in 2005, with 1482 around the main centre and 95 in the pedanía of Novaliches.
Table of population by year
The current mayor is Amadeo Edo Salvador of the Socialist Party of Valencia Country, part of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party.
Traditionally, the primary sector has been of great importance in the Jericano economy. The agriculture of arid land has been important, producing olive, carob and almond crops. Recently, rural tourism has been an important sector; centering around the medieval market.
The town can be accessed by rail as a station (Jérica-Viver) close to the town is on the C-5 del núcleo de cercanías de Valencia Valencia-Caudiel that connects Valencia and Castellón de la Plana.
- 17 January - Fiestas de San Antón (Celebrations of San Antón) The animals and assistants on the church roll are blessed. The origin of the celebration is very old.
- 5 February - Fiesta de Santa Agueda (Celebration of Santa Agueda, the patron of Jérica) It is a local celebration commemorating reconquering of the Villa by the troops of James I of Aragon. There is an offering to Santa, the Mass and Procession in the streets by the locals. For years it has been accompanied by bullfighting and also different activities like exhibitions, cultural days, etc.
- Easter - The most outstanding events are the celebrations of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, the nocturnal procession of the Blood of Christ, Patron of Jérica. Previously it was accompanied by the licensed soldiers, the “Encounter” where the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Virgin Mary, after their routes through different streets, are in the seat and this makes three reverences.
- The Wednesday following Pentecost there is the popular “Joust” keeping up medieval traditions.
- A complete weekend of June Celebrations in honor to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, with religious acts, a verbena etc.
- The second Wednesday of July is the Fiesta del Cristo de la Sangre (July festival of the blood of Christ) The origin of this celebration goes back to the foundation in Villa of the Convent of the Capuchins, who brought Christianity to the area.
- Third Sunday of July - Domingo de las Fuentes (Sunday of the Sources) There is a concert by the Municipal Band.
- Second week of August - Celebration in honor to the Virgin of the Abandoned ones, organized by the town veterans.
- Weekend of the 16 of August Celebrations in honor to San Roque, organized by the young people of the town. If this is not a weekend then the next weekend is used
- The first Saturday of September - Romería to the Sanctuary of the Santa Cave.
- Second weekend of September - Celebrations of the Daughters of Maria, with religious acts, a verbena, etc.
- Third Sunday of September - Fiestas en honor a la Divina Pastora (Celebrations in honor to the Divine Shepherd). They are, perhaps, the most popular celebrations of Jérica. During the first week there are a range of events, from the presentation of local senor and junior fair queens with their respective court, to the Rosary of the Shepherd, verbenas, the offering, the “varieties”, the junior Sunday Mass, games, the Vole, the Bacalá, etc.
- (Spanish) with some English Statistical portal of the Valencian Generalitat
- (Spanish) Official Website of Jérica alternatively www.jerica.com
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