ALPATRÓ was also known in the past as Petro, Patró, lo Patron, Potron, Aïpatron, Potro and, in an Arabic text written in 1578, /al-Batrun/. It appears in a written document for the first time in 1290, but the discovery in 1954 of an Islamic sepulchral stele (from 942) while constructing the offices of the board of the Cooperativa de Sant Marc —currently a bar located on the street called Carrer de la Puríssima— is clear evidence of the presence of a previous Arab settlement. Along with this find, various Islamic tombs were also discovered. Despite the lack of excavations, the orientation of the bodies allows us to assert that it must have been one of the two Muslim cemeteries that each village in La Vall de Gallinera had.

The etymology of the name is not Arabic, but comes from the Latin petro, nis, “rock”, according to researcher Roberto Faure.

Alpatró is a village that has 179 inhabitants (according to a 2019 census) and is located 435 metres above sea level on the right bank of the Gallinera River, an intermittent river also known as Rambla de Gallinera.
It is the oldest and largest village in La Vall de Gallinera, and apparently the only one that was created during the early days of Muslim rule.

It is located on one of the valley’s most extensive plains, which is T-shaped and faces north. The camino real (literally meaning “royal road”, a public road which was the King’s property) reached the village ascending from the ravine along the path known as Les Hortes, in front of the wayside cross, which is why it is called La Fillola de Baix, and continued until reaching the church and then it descended through Carrer Major in the direction of Benissili, passing next to the washing place.

The wayside cross, the only example in the entire valley, was an 18th century construction which was pulled down during the Spanish Civil War and broken into several pieces which were then hidden in separate places along the Les Hortes path. This cross was replaced by one made out of pumice stone, paid for by Maria Sastre i Seguí, which stood in place until some strong gusts of wind blew it down in 1994. With the idea of reconstructing it, Vicent Marí and Vicent Puig began to ask the elderly people of the village about the pieces of the original cross, and soon enough they found them. Vicent Marí designed its reconstruction, which was carried out by the Escuela Taller de Planes.

Continuing along La Fillola de Baix, a wonderful panoramic view can be admired from the Joan Pellicer Social Centre, located in the Era de Dalt (which means “upper threshing square”) or Plaça de la Creu. This is next to the common oil mill, which is most probably the old oil mill of the manor, which served the village; it was sold during the 1970s.

From there it is possible to go down Carrer del Raval which is a street along an edge from which it is possible to see the Islamic tower of the Castellot, on the other side of the ravine. The Castellot d’Alpatró is a small tower with a square plan measuring 5.7 by 5.8 meters, located at the top of a steep promontory between two ravines, on the northern slope of La Vall de Gallinera. The tower dominates over the course of the Gallinera River and, beyond, over the village of Alpatró. The highest part of the promontory, where the tower is located, is surrounded by a wall which is half a metre thick, built as a small enclosure with a more or less circular shape. The tower was built with brick walls in the upper part, while the base, made of opus incertum masonry, serves as a level for the structure that supports it. Therefore, it is very difficult to determine the age of this construction, although by comparing with other square towers, such as the Almudaina tower, we can assume that it was built during the Almohad period, just before the Christian conquest. This tower could communicate visually, with fire, with the castles of Gallinera and Alcalà.

Following along the street which runs next to the ravine, at the end it is possible to go down a few steps on the right to where the Almàssera dels Moltó stands, located between Carrer del Mig and Carrer Sant Marc. This oil mill is currently the Unió Cultural’s oil museum, a kind of ethnological museum. This oil mill was bought and restored by some thirty volunteers from Alpatró, to prevent its disappearance, and was later transferred to the Unió Cultural. This oil mill was part of a house, Forn dels Bella, which still preserves its structure.

The church of Alpatró is dedicated to the Virgin called Mare de Déu de l’Assumpció. This parish was created in 1535, after the dismemberment of the Gallinera parish. The church was built on top of the old mosque and has a central nave with chapels between the buttresses, with four sections. The transept section is the widest one and is covered by a sail vault, while the first three sections are barrel-vaulted with blind lunettes. It has a communion chapel, dedicated to Saint Joseph, which was paid for by Maria Sastre i Seguí. The church is made up of three sections covered with a barrel vault and transverse arches, and at the far end is the sacristy with an upper floor covered by a roof. The bell tower was built in 1825 by Ceferino Signes, from Teulada, being the priest Don Bernardo Llosà. It is square in shape and has two sections, topped by a small cupola with ailerons. The church was expanded during the period 1869-1870, from the transept to the main door, with Don Vicente Soriano being priest. For its expansion, a piece of land was bought from Vicente Cervera i Alemany, which cost 844 reales.

Next to the church is the village fountain, built in 1928, whose excess water goes to Alpatró’s washing place. The drinking fountain with the arch of the Casa Abadia creates a certain atmosphere in this corner of the village that transports us to the past.

In front of the church there is a large house, now the Sastre-Seguí rural guesthouse. This building belongs to a family originally from Vilallonga, the Viudos family, who settled there in the 19th century. According to Manel Arcos, at that time they fell victim to a kidnapping at the hands of bandits and had to pay a large ransom.

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