Xàbia returns to Christian control after reconquest of the castle

After just 24 hours under Muslim control, the castle in the heart of the port zone was returned to Christian controls after the forces of the cross forced a surrender.

Monday 25th July 2022 – Mike Smith
Source: Junta de Festes de Moros i Cristians de Xàbia

It took the combined forces of the Christian Iberian kingdoms of the north more than 780 years to drive the Muslim caliphates out of the Iberian peninsula. It took Xàbia’s Christian filaes just 24 hours.

As the festivities of the Moros i Cristians de Xàbia moved steadily towards its colourful gala parades, there was just one official act to conclude and that was the reconquest of the castle by the Christian forces after it had been taken by the Moorish filaes the night before. Once again, the relative peace of a balmy summer evening was shattered by the deafening retort of the blunderbuss as the two sides engaged in a noisy gun battle along the beach of La Grava.

The Christian troops advanced slowly along the pebbles, pushing the Moors back up the steps and onto the square in Avenida Jaime I. A final gun battle ensured, most of the participants in the performance wisely wearing earplugs whilst those who gathered to watch on the other side of the barriers used their fingers to block the noise.

And then the negotiations started. Befitting the hot summer night, they featured fire with a marvellous dancer spinning the flames in the growing darkness before knights from each side clashed flaming swords, the Christian side eventually gaining the upper hand and forcing the surrender of the castle.

The keys to the castle were handed over to the Filà Captains Rosa Catala and Florencia Mata from the Filà Ballesters, accompanied by the Christian standard bearers Carla Llidó from Filà Piratas de Xàbia. As they took their place at the top of the ramparts, flinging the Moorish flags to the ground and replacing them with the Christian cross, it was declared that – Xàbia es cristiana!

Fireworks filled the air as the celebrations began. The two sides lined up alongside the castle and paraded informally around the square in Avenida Jaume I, the Moors with their characteristic sway whilst the Christians bounced confidentially.

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