Heritage sites Southern Alicante water system

I am discovering the heritage sites southern Alicante and I like it. As you might have noticed I am all for upcycling when it comes to the old ancient sector of travelling.

I have been travelling quite a lot or rather I have lived in other countries, for months or years at a time. One thing that I quickly came to realize is that the locals really appreciate when you show interest for their culture, language, and history.  

Heritage sites Southern Alicante small scale farming

This is not easy to accomplish in a short period of time especially in a region such as La Vega Baja. It is a region where the history and culture is so connected to small scale farming, the river Segura, wetlands and lagoons. A part from Orihuela, which used to be the political and religious centre of la Vega Baja there are not that many monument and grand buildings. Elche is a city with interesting historical remains. Nevertheless the most prominent features are the old palm groves , great food and plantations with a long history.

As for myself,  I would usually go for the perhaps sometimes more “nerdy” experiences. It is a great way to connect to a region or a culture as you never know where it might lead.

Water systems and small scale farming culture

 For some time now I have been interest in the culture around water in La Vega Baja. It is a region where water has always been scarce. Since far far back , the hydraulic system of the region depends on the Rio Segura. In the “Museo de la Huerta” in Rojales you can see maps of the complex irrigation systems. In the below photo you can see the ditches ( acequias), channel where the excess water from irrigation ends up ( azarbes) and  water wheels.

Exhibition Museo de la Huerta Rojales

The River Segura pass through the provinces of Jaén, Albacete, Murcia and Alicante. It goes from Orihuela all the way down to the Mediterranean Sea.


Water systems names from the Arab times

 The different components of the irrigation system have Arabic names. For example the Los Aljibes . These are water cisterns that started to appear during Arab time and quickly became part of the water system. It is a way to collect and store rain water. 

Nevertheless you can find cisterns that go even further back. An ancient Roman cistern has been discovered in Santa Pola 

The town hall of Santa Pola planned to save a late 18th-early 19th century ‘aljibe’ cistern when the archaeologists noticed remains that was typically used in Roman hydraulic constructions.

In the town of Rojales you can find several Urban hydraulic monuments such as the Azud ( A thick wall, ,built into a river to divert water into a channel or ditch) the, Boqueras de Acequia( nozzle for irrigation ditches), Noria ( water wheels)  and the old Bridge from the 16th-18th century.

Great hiking along the River Segura

I have decided to walk along the River Segura every time I go to Villa Balea. Each time a new stretch. On my last stay in January I invited some Spanish friends to walk with me and my relative Lena. My Spanish friends were pleasantly surprised. It is truly nice to walk along the river side. There is a great tack for hiking and cycling. We met up with a lot of people hiking, cycling as well as a big herd of goats that roamed the river side.

Hundreds of goats roaming River Segura