Cultural heritage


The origin of our town is found in the kingdom of Al-Andalus (8th-15th centuries) deriving the term RAFAL from the Arabic RÁH (AL) which means “house on the outskirts of a city” and that in the area of ​​the Levant acquires The connotation of “country house, farm or particular rustic property with some building and considerable extension of arable land, so it usually has an aristocratic character” (GUICHARD 1989: 11-24). Repopulated by Catalans and Aragonese, the language spoken for centuries was Catalan until a new repopulation with people coming from Castile, gave way with the passing of the years to Castilian as the predominant language. The place of Rafal belonged to different families of the nobility, being finally for Jerónimo Rocamora and Tomás, named Marquess of Rafal, that initiated in 1636 the passage of Rafal like independent municipality of Orihuela under the wake of the Marquesado. It is the first Marquis of Rafal who initiates the construction of the Rafal Church, dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary, which will expand with the passage of the years, to form the current layout that consolidates in recent dates. In 1830, according to the census of the governorate of Orihuela, Rafal had 111 neighbors, many of them inhabitants of barracks, the humble and typical construction that will last until half of century XX. At that time the predominant crops were wheat, barley, maize, alfalfa, olive, orange, mulberry, flax and hemp. During the twentieth century the population will experience a strong growth to 4,135 inhabitants in 2009 and the predominantly agricultural economy will expand the range of labor supply to other sectors such as industry (food, footwear, textiles), construction And others related to services.
Today, the town of Rafal has a considerable architectural heritage. All its official buildings are of modern construction.


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