The Costa Blanca is more than an assortment of breathtaking beaches and mesmerizing views. Indeed, the rich history of the region left behind a rich history of conquers, ruins, passion, and beauty. It is because of this juxtaposition of cultural clashes that the quintessential Spanish culture was born.
Therefore, if you want to know where do the Spanish roots come from, read on and we’ll take you on a virtual visit to the magic town of Lliber.
Romans, Muslims & Catholics
The strongest theory about Lliber is that it has Roman origins. Perhaps, the strongest evidence is its name, which might come from praedium Liberii, or in English, the estate of Liberius. That being said, remains found near the Pozo de Gata area reveal that before that it could have been an Iberian settlement.
After Iberians and Romans, a common thing to be found in the Vall del Pop. Documents describe the place as a Muslim settlement. Evidence of this is present not only in the found documents but also in the architecture and remains found in the city and the surrounding area.
By the year 1256, Jaume I conquered the lands defeating Muslims. Subsequently, it was given to Constanza of Sicilia who enjoyed the income from Lliber until the 1300s.
In the year 1408, the lord of the lands, Pedro de Castellví sold them to Jaime Verdeguer. To make this operation he decided to divide the territory into two manors, Alcalí-Mosquera and Xaló-Lliber.
Two centuries later, Felipe III, King of Spain ordered the expulsion of all Moorish people from Spanish territory. Thus, the land known as Lliber today had to be repopulated entirely after the 25 Moorish families were expelled.
Christian families, coming mainly from Llucmayor, Mallorca created the new catholic settlement that people can visit today. Although the region is mostly Christian today. Llíber was one of the very few places in Spain to rise in arms against Moorish expulsion.
Independence From Jalón
Llíber was part of the Jalón church until 1577. This year, it gained its independence as a standalone town with its own church and ruling. This was a great step forward for the town despite being vacant of its population less than fifty years later.
Nowadays, Jalón remains a beautiful town that is very close by and deserves a visit.
San Cosme & San Damián Church
Although this is not the oldest church in the region. The first one was built over a mosque in the 16th century, it is now the main religious spot in the city.
The construction began in 1859 and ended in 1875. It follows a neo-classical style with a rectangular ground floor and a single nave divided into three segments. On the sides, it is possible to find smaller chapels with strong buttresses.
Finally, the most visually appealing feature of the building is the hexagonal bell tower featuring a clock. Due to the position of the church and the importance for the local population, this clock and the toll of the bell are a big part of the everyday routine for the local population.
The vestiges of past civilizations meet with the breathtaking views to make one of the most magical little towns in the entire Costa Blanca. Indeed, you can easily see how the Roman, Moorish, and Christian legacies make way for a unique civilization made with every influence.
If you want to have a privileged look at the quintessential Spanish heritage and idiosyncrasy, visiting Llíber is a must when in the region.