Bolbaite

A picturesque corner overlooking the river

In Bolbaite, the silhouette of the impressive castle-palace of the Cabanyelles family (12th-19th centuries) dominates the skyline. Of Almohad origin, an Islamic farmstead was established at the foot of the rocky hill to take advantage of its strategic position. Over time, the town, which was ruled over by different lineages of knights from Valencia, bid farewell to the Moors and was repopulated by settlers of Aragonese origin. The castle-palace, with its Almohad main tower and its Gothic-Renaissance extension (ashlar towers, pointed arches, monumental staircase, well, chapel, gates, spiral staircases, luxurious ceramic floors and Renaissance elements, etc.) is a gem. It represents a beautiful relic of the Valencian Golden Age, when the Cabanyelles family, lords of Bolbaite, ruled the kingdom of Valencia. They were succeeded in the lordship by the Pardo de la Casta-Manfredi family.

Next to the castle we find the St. Pancras wash house and fountain, as well as a series of steep streets and other flatter streets (Calle Marqués de la Casta), suitable for the homes of affluent farm workers. In the truly beautiful Plaza de la Iglesia, overlooked by a charming fountain and decorated by elegant stately buildings, stands the slim Town Hall (20th century) alongside the Church of San Francisco de Paula (18th century), with its door of baroque rocailles and its impressive bell tower. The church houses a relic of the patron saint, neoclassical side altars and a Communion Chapel, or Chapel of the Immaculate Conception, with a tiled base from the 18th century.

From the bridge over the river, beautiful vegetation can be seen, where ducks, geese and carp proliferate. The remains of an old mill, destroyed as a result of flooding, can also be seen. The modern expansion and the shopping area of the town spreads out on the other side of the river. At the start of Avenida del Catorce, where the festive bonfire is built in January, stands the monument to the Bonfire (Luminaria) of St. Anthony.

The town’s bakeries produce exquisite traditional baked goods including “mantecaos de almendra” (almond shortbread) and “pastissos de moniato” (sweet potato pastries).

Bolbaite celebrates the festivals of St. Anthony (January), Las Fallas (March) and patron saint festivals in spring devoted to San Francisco de Paula, along with a Moors and Christians procession, Cultural Summer and celebrations to honour San Roque (August) and the patron saint, Saint Barbara (December).

The most captivating landscape is located at the foot of the historic centre of Bolbaite, in the El Río recreational area, with an emblematic wooden bridge, the Gorgo de la Cadena pool and reflections from fresh, crystalline water, enlivened by waterfalls. The site has picnic areas, toilets and other leisure services. Another essential visit is the Chapel of Saint Barbara next to a recreational area with tables and a restaurant, in the upper part of the town. Its interior is decorated with beautiful paintings by José Antonio Espinar, recreating the landscapes seen from the hill on which the chapel stands. On the way down you can see the vegetable plots of La Hoya and a beautiful panoramic view of the town, on clear days you can even see the sea. Another beautiful view of the town and the castle is from the main access point to the river, the vantage point of Los Secaderos de Tabaco (the Tobacco Drying Sheds) that is located on the road.

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