THE CRADLE OF THE MARINA BAIXA

The highest castle in Alicante province is well worth a visit - see our walking pages. You can see it from the roof terraces of our rental houses

The name Confrides comes from the Visigoth proper noun Gundfred. Together with Aljofra, l'Abdet and Florent, it was one of the four Moorish farmstead in a region defended by the Aljofra or Confrides Castle in medieval times.

confrides (aljofra) castle

The Guadalest valley was conquered by Jaume I 's Christian troops in the mid 13th century, who named Vidal de Sarrià as governor of Confrides castle in 1264. On his death his daughter inherited the Aljofra farmstead, which became property of her brother Bernat de Sarrià, Admiral of Aragon, who founded the Barony of Confrides with the four farmsteads in the late 13th century.

From that moment, the Sarrià family formed a great feudal state in these mountains, which became known as The Sarrià Mountains, the origins of what is known today as the Marina Baixa region.

Once conquered by Christians, the predominant Moorish population of the region managed to stay in the region under the protection of a special charter: The Sarraïna Charter. But the 1609 Moorish expulsion order meant the total depopulation of both the Marquisate of Guadalest and the Barony of Confrides. Felip de Cardona granted a new Town Charter to the whole valley, but of the four Barony farmsteads, only Confrides and l'Abdet were repopulated. Confrides' strategic position has permitted the crossing of seasonal migrating livestock and commercial routes since ancient times. One of its most commercial products was snow, which was conserved under the shade of the Aitana mountain and supplied to coastal towns as ice until the early 20th century. The Confrides mountain pass was also an operations field for both high- waymen and smugglers up to the late 19th century.


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