Disembarkation and Reconquest of the Moors and Christians in Villajoyosa
Are you on holiday in Benidorm at the end of July? Who can resist the temptation and curiosity to experience the Moors and Christians Fiestas in Villajoyosa.
The most important celebration of this symbolic location is situated on the Alicante coast line with one of the most spectacular and famous disembarkation of the national territory. So if you decide to come to this fiesta which is steeped in history and culture you will also enjoy a wide and varied programme with lots of events well worth seeing and enjoying.
This lovely city is famous for its popular Moors and Christians Festival reminiscing year after year the thrilling disembarkation, re-enacting how the Christians managed to emerge from a sudden and unexpected war provoked by the attacks of the Berber troops who invaded the city.
This conflict took place in the XVI century, exactly in 1538 and this charismatic disembarkation is commemorated every year. Re-enacted in a masterful performance demonstrating how the dreaded and fearsome troops of pirates and their leader Zallé-Arraez defeated and driven out of the city.
In this publication we have counted with the help of Alba, a young member of the Moros de Riff company, to give us a first hand account of this experience, the most important disembarkation in Spanish territory.
Alba informs us that on the 25th and 26th before the disembarkation there are some spectacular parades of the Moors and Christians throughout the centre of the town. These parades give the opportunity for the troops to demonstrate to the public their army before the combat. The great day arrives on the 27th when the Moorish army prepares to disembark meanwhile the Christian army waits on the central Villajoyosa Beach.
The excitement starts with the Alijo of the Moors and Christians which consists in a meeting where the Christian smugglers offer their help to the town to fight against the Berberiscos. From this moment, the spectacular fiesta commences for the people of Villajoyosa, who start to make their way down to the beach to the constant sound of canons whilst the troops arrive to the shore.
The Alijo takes place at approximately 19.00 hrs and always in the evening before the disembarkation.
The Disembarkation of the Moors and Christians in Villajoyosa
At approximately 4 o’clock in the morning explains Alba the Moors start to disembark meanwhile the Christians are waiting on the beach. During this time, the Christians celebrate the great fiesta accompanied by the public. Its easy to come across bonfires on the sand accompanied by striking fireworks.
A starting gun is fired to mark the beginning of this great event and the moors begin their attack. They send a messenger to the Christian quarters, the messenger who is blind folded arrives to the coast in a small rowing boat flying a white flag. The messenger presents himself before the king of the Christians and endeavours to come to an agreement in order to avoid the great battle. The conditions layed down in front of the king is that power is given to the Moors. Due to the negative attitude of the Christian King the messenger returns to his boat and changes the flag from white to red. This is the moment when the berbers start to attack and the great battle begins.
Le 28 juillet a lieu la traditionnelle reconquête du château de Villajoyosa. Suite à la victoire du camp berbère, les Chrétiens reviennent au château et entament, après l'envoi de leur propre messager, une lutte spectaculaire pour reprendre la ville de Villajoyosa. Zallé-Arraez et ses troupes sont expulsés et prennent le large.
How to get to Villajoyosa?
This exciting programme of events take place year after year and without doubt have a profound significance for the inhabitants of Villajoyosa and the hundreds of tourists who come to see the Disembarkation of Villajoyosa.
If you are staying in any of our 9 hotels in Benidorm between the 24th and the 31st of July it will only take you 10 minutes by car to get to the fiestas. However, if you prefer to forget about the car then you can catch the TRAM which stops in the town centre near to the beach.
Enjoy this experience?