The town of Chelva is of great historical and cultural interest, as it preserves the traces of all the towns that inhabited it. Declared an Asset of Cultural Interest, with the category of Historic Site, it is formed by a series of neighborhoods of great complexity, with a meandering and mysterious layout.
“Benacacira” Andalusian Quarter
The Andalusian neighborhood of Benacacira is the old Muslim medina of the XI – XII centuries, still preserving intact the layout of its urban fabric: Dead ends, whitewashed houses, arcades that obscure its narrow and winding streets… The medina sat on a promontory from which the orchards near the river Chelva were monitored, surrounded by a perimeter wall that linked it to the fortress; at present, remains of the walls are hidden by the houses that have been attached to it.
“Ollerías” Christian Quarter
The Christian neighborhood of the Ollerías was formed throughout the 14th century and gets its name from the ceramic production kilns that were built in its streets.
Its urban configuration is much more spacious and orderly, compared to the pre-existing neighborhoods of Benacacira and the Azoque Jewish quarter.
“Azoque” Jewish Quarter
The Azoque Jewish quarter preserves the structure of the medieval aljama intact: the secluded and mysterious air of its alleys, with its entrance portals, which turned it into an island between the Christian and Mudejar neighborhoods.
“Arrabal” Mudejar-Moorish Quarter
The Mudejar-Moorish quarter was created in the 14th century in the “suburbs” of the walled city. With a meandering layout, it currently retains the original layout and historical elements that make it a unique tourist attraction.
Enter the Mudejar Rabal neighborhood through the Azoque gate and walk through its streets, laid out in the 14th century, to discover the dramatic story of the Viscount of Chelva, murdered for his love affair with a Moorish woman, which led to the origin of the Ermita de los Desamparados (Chapel of the Forsaken).
This is the quarter where Chelva’s dagger was forged, which was the privilege of the Chelvanos to carry and forbidden by the king; it is a place full of memories and monuments where you can enjoy the sound of the water of the irrigation ditches, the coolness of the gates and alleys, the fountains, the carved stones in the wall, and the Mosque of Benaeça, converted into the Hermitage of the Holy Cross.
El Rabal is the last memory of the Moors who were expelled from the Kingdom of Valencia, and the end of their dreams. Cosmopolitan today, it maintains its medieval essence intact.