Guide to Benferri, a small town on the Costa Blanca, Spain.

Benferri - Costa Blanca - Spain

The small village of Benferri is one of the many villages of the Vega Baja de Segura district of Alicante, it is situated to the north of the town of Orihuela and has a population of approximately 1,200 people. Benferri is also close to the bustling city of Murcia which is well worth a visit if you are staying in Benferri. The original village of Benferri grew around the Tower of Rocamora in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and was settled by twenty nine families with the help of the Rocamora family.

The history of the village however goes back much further. Although there were no buildings at the time, the location of the present day village was witness to many skirmishes during the time of the Punic wars between the Carthaginians and the Romans. In the times of the Muslim conquest “the field of Slaughter” (now the pedanía of Orihuela), close to where the village is now located, was the scene of a fierce battle in 713 AD between the Visigoth nobleman Teodomiro and the Muslim invaders. Teodomiro and his troops courageously halted the Muslim advance and maintained the autonomy of the territory in exchange for a tribute (this lasted until the 9th century).

In the year 768 AD the Muslims took possession of Orihuela and its district and with the invasion came technological advances in the form of canals and treadmills, resulting in the improvement of the surrounding land and crops. This brought wealth to the area and other towns appeared including Cox, Redóvan and Almoradi, though Benferri itself was still little more than a single tower surrounded by vineyards and olive groves. The name Benferri (or Beniferri), as with many other villages of the region, is derived from the Arabic language.

The re-conquest of the district of Orihuela began in 1242, driven by the Castillan king Fernando III “The Saint”, however the Orihuela lands, by treaty, became the property of the Aragon kings.

In later years a shepherdess allegedly witnessed a vision of an oak tree that burned down without flames followed by an appearance of the Virgin Mary.

From the 15th century onwards the name Rocamora became indelibly linked with that of Benferri. The Rocamora family, after giving service to Jaime I of Aragon in his Valencian re-conquest campaign, were given the land surrounding present day Benferri, for services rendered during the war.

In 1464 Juan Rocamora bought the estate and the tower (Tower of Rocamora) and so the village with its 29 houses and 29 families grew up - the work being continued by his son Jerónimo Rocamora.

Due to a great pestilence that razed the region in 1648 the population declined and in 1712 it comprised of only 22 people, however by the year 1769 it had grown again to 544. By 1828 there were 98 houses registered, mostly consisting of single storey structures except for 3 or 4 around the village square. The ecomony at this time revolved mainly around the production of wheat, barley, olive oil and figs.

In 1829 a huge earthquake destroyed the whole region including much of Orihuela but strangely did not affect Benferri.

The most historic feature of Benferri that can be seen today is the church of San Jeronimo (the patron saint of Benferri) built around 1622 in a late Renaissance style. The festival of San Jeronimo occurs on September 30th and is an important day for the village. The village also holds many other cultural events throughout the year many consisting of lyrical contests and music.

Modern Benferri life centres around the delightful village square with its town hall (Ayuntamiento) and its traditional fountain. There is ample seating where bypassers can relax amongst the pretty trees and plants. The villagers are charming and friendly and offer visitors a warm welcome. They will be happy to see you some time soon.

Benferri stands on the CV-870 and can be easily reached via the A-7 motorway, junction 81. It is approximately 58 km from Alicante and its airport.

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Nearby Places: Rafal - Catral - San Bartolome - Dolores - Callosa de Segura - Crevillente

Golf Courses: Villamartin - Lo Romera - Las Ramblas - Campoamor Golf - La Finca - La Marquesa - Spain Golf Courses

Related: Torrevieja - Valencia - Orihuela Costa - Ciudad Quesada - Alicante Airport Transfers - Builders