Geographical Location and Population
The name Algemesi derived from the Arabic word "Xeresí" meaning sunny place. Algemesí is a town of the Valencia Province, situated in the eastern part of Spain approximately 32 km. to the south of the capital city of the province. The population of the village is slightly over thirty thousand inhabitants as of 2012.
The foundation of Algemesi was from Moslem origin, It was in the year 1243 when the Christian Army of the King Jaime I conquered the town which was used to be a Moslem farmhouse.
Intangible Cultural Heritage
The Festivity of “ la Mare de Déu de la Salut ” of Algemesí was proclaimed as Intangible Heritage of Humanity of UNESCO in 2011. This celebration originated in Medieval times (1247) and has been held in Algemesí on the 7th and 8th September to great popular acclaim since then. The traditional ritual acts of the event have been passed from generation to generation such as oral expression [theatre], music (63 compositions), dance and performances reminiscent of the Roman, Christian, Moorish and Jewish cultures which have woven the very fabric of this land and which are manifest in the creation of the musical instruments, melodies and costumes that are an integral part of this Festivity.
The music of the traditional dolçaina and tabal, and the pieces for orchestra and timpani that provide musical accompaniment for the “Muixeranga” human towers and the dance performances of the “bastonets”, “pastoretes”, “carxofa”, “arquets”, “llauradores” and “tornejants”, recreate and stimulate a collective memory, transmitting universal messages of highly artistic visual and aural sentiments.
Throughout the celebration, Algemesí becomes a living museum, a testament to Valencian and Mediterranean traditions, interlaced with the faith, tradition and culture of the liturgical celebrations at the Basilica, the soundscapes created by the ringing of the bells and the 17th Century surroundings routes where over 1400 people takes part in the processions.