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History

THE MEANING OF THE NAME

Almudaina means “fortress”. According to the Valencian philologist Sanchis Guarner comes from the Arabic word “almudena” which means “fortress” which has its explanation by the tower of Roman time that rises there.

The historian Escolano says that Almudaina comes from the Arabic word “medina” and means “careful city” or “small population”. This etymology of Escolano does not seem accurate.

 

FIRST POPULATORS

The first settlers were probably the Iberian contestanos that settled down to the north of the province of Alicante and the south of the one of Valencia, having by capital to Cocentaina, whereas the Edetanos Íberos settled down in the center and north of the province of Valencia, being Its capital Liria.

 

ROMAN AGE

The Romans also settled in Almudaina, because according to the historian Francisco Figaeras, its fortress tower belongs to the Roman time. This tower, because of its strategic location, was later rebuilt by the Arabs.

 

RECONQUEST

During the years 1244-45, King Don Jaime conquered all the area of ​​Cocentaina that belonged to the jurisdiction of the Moorish King of Dénia, and donated the entire term of Planes and Almudaina to Doña Teresa Gil de Vidaura and their son Don Jaime, Lord of Jérica.

Dona Teresa Gil de Vidaura, daughter of Juan de Vidaura, a noble Navarrese, a very young widow of Don Sancho Perez de Losada. Don Jaime met her before the death of his second wife, Dona Violante, and was enthralled by her beauty. On the death of Doña Violante (1251), Don Jaime courted insistently to Do6na Teresa, who never acceded to his amorous pretensions. Until one day, carried by passion, King Don Jaime, entered his room, making him, before two knights, oath of marriage and that was when Dona Teresa agreed to his love desires. But Don Jaime never kept his promise; Took her with her and treated her like a queen, but she never gave him the title of such. From this union were born two sons: Don Jaime, Lord of Jérica and Don Pedro, Lord of Ayerbe. Dona Teresa who in her youth had dazzled by her beauty contracted the disease of leprosy. Don Jaime asked Pope Clement IV in 1266 to undo his marriage but this did not grant it.

Don Jaime (1276), Donna Teresa Gil de Vidaura and his son Don Jaime, Lord of Jérica and the wife of this Dona Elfa Albero de Asagra, ceded all their possessions from Planes and Almudaina to Don Arnaldo de Senolis and Raimundo de Pujasons. These possessions covered up to the terms of Margarida, Alcalá de la Jovada, Gallinera Valley, Perpuchant Valley (Lorcha – Beniarrés), Alcocer, Travadell Valley (Gorga – Benimarfull) and Ceta Valley. In this donation, Doña Teresa and her son reserved the possession of the Castle of Planes and the Tower of Almudaina, in addition to commerce and administration of justice.

 

SALE OF THE CASTLE OF PLANS AND THE TOWER OF ALMUDAINA

It seems that on the death of Dª Teresa and her son Don Jaime, the property of the Castle of Planes and the Tower of Almudaina reverted again to the crown of Aragon, because in 1389, Don Juan I king of Aragon and His wife Doña Violante de Bar sold the Castillo de Planes and the Torre de Almudaina, along with other goods, to Juan Gascon de Valencia, for the price of 198,900 Barcelona salaries (9,945 pounds). Don Juan I led a life dedicated to luxury, to pleasures, to diversions of music and to hunting. In a moment of economic predicament, he was forced to sell these possessions, according to a document preserved in the Kingdom Archive of Valencia.

THE TOWER

Always linked to the military strategy of the Castle of Planes, a tower-fortress moruna is conserved in Almudaina. It measures 22 m. Of height and is of square base. It rises on a rock and on the edge of a precipice and, according to the historian Francisco Higueras, belongs to the Roman time, but does not indicate in which it bases its opinion.

For three of its faces it is united to the buildings of the town, very close to the parochial temple. Its strategic value lay mainly in the fact that it was a point from which the entire valley of Planes, Catznarruch, Beniarrés and Gaianes, Plana de Muro, the southern slope of the Benicadell and Mariola mountains, the tower of Cocentaina and the castle of Travadell.

Within the hull of the town of Almudaina many tombs have been found, some of them, as Sanchis Severa says, with Arabic inscriptions, which have been lost. The situation of these tombs, placed very close to each other and in perfect symmetry, make suspicious the existence of a fierce battle by the possession of the Tower. A place with as few inhabitants as Almudaina was in the time of the Arabs, makes a cemetery of such proportions impossible.

In 1408, Mrs. Violante de Bar, wife of King D. Juan el Cazador, granted Francisco Folorado the right to settle there, adapting it as a dwelling for which the battlements and merlons had to be torn down and a roof added to two slopes. Water.

In its interior it has three floors in which there are:

A room that is thought to be divided into two parts by the remains and serials of partitions, at the same time there is a fireplace, with shelves attached.
Two independent rooms, because there are two doors one for each one and between them there is no communication.
Last floor of the Tower, with a very small height. It has no compartments and its roof is the roof of the Tower.
Later it was used to shelter animals such as hens, rabbits, geese, pigeons … Afterwards, it was sold to private households in Denia. At the moment it has been acquired by the Excma. Diputación Provincial de Alicante, according to a deed of sale dated 3 December 1999, to its former owners Mr José Luis Riera Cabrera and Mr Joseph Antoni Devesa Riera, is currently registered with farm no. 1845 in the Register of The property of Cocentaina and as of today is in period of restoration, with a budget of 477.244, 00 euros, financed by the Diputación Provincial de Alicante.