The Vall d’Alcalà, in the interior of the Marina Alta Region, is also known as the Mountain of Al-Azraq. But who hides behind this evocative name?
The figure that inspires the Moorish Captain of the Moors and Christians Festivals was a rebel warrior, a leader who rose against King Jaume I in the midst of the Christian conquest of the Kingdom of Valencia, back in the 13th century.
It is known that Al-Azraq, nickname of Muhamad Abu Abdallah Ben Hudzail, was born in Alcalá between 1218 and 1220 and that he was called the Blau (the Blue) because of the color of his eyes.
It was in this valley where the vizier had his residence and from where he governed a vast territory between the Taifa kingdoms of Denia and Murcia. The mountain of Al-azraq extends over a territory that today is largely occupied by the central regions of Valencia, and which is also known as Diània.
A walk through the town of Alcalà de la Jovada will lead you to various sculptures of this historical figure, the most famous in the area, and to whom tribute is permanently paid. You will see his face carved in stone in the fountain of this town. From there, walking, you can easily reach the place where the Muslim leader and the firstborn of Jaume I, Alfonso de Aragón, signed the Treaty of Pouet, next to a beautiful aqueduct. That vassalage pact, however, was not respected and Al-Azraq rose up to three times against the conquering king. He died at the gates of Alcoi in April 1276.
Andalusí music has inspired many contemporary musicians such as the Valencian band Al Tall. In 1985 they published a record called Xarq-Al Andalus together with the musician Muluk el Hwa. Sarq al-Àndalus is defined as the eastern lands of al-Àndalus, territories that have lived under a political power of acceptance of Islam as a belief and as a political structure and that geographically would include the territories of Murcia, the Valencian Community, New Catalonia and the Balearic Islands.
Photos: Al Azraq Fountain (José Tomás Lozano), Al Azraq Castle (Guía Castillos Alicante)