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Monday, December 24, 2012 (read 1565 times)

La Alberca - village in the province of Salamanca

by Lauren

La Alberca is a village in the province of Salamanca. Itis so called due to the fact that the village used to be inhabited by “los Moros” and berca is a Moorish word meaning lake. It is possible to say that the majority of words in the Spanish language which start with the letters “A” and “L” are of Arabic origin. Some more common Spanish words of Arabic origin include: “alcalde” meaning mayor, “alcazar” meaning palace and “aljedrez” meaning chess.  More than a thousand Moorish words have totally integrated into the Spanish language.

Flag Day

Interestingly, in the 15th century, the female inhabitants of La Alberca single-handedly defeated the Portuguese army and seized their flag which has been kept in the village until this day! This achievement has been celebrated every year since on the Monday after Easter. The festival is known as “Flag Day” and it involves the Portuguese flag being carried through the streets by the towns-women to celebrate the success and bravery of their ancestors.

Church Bells

The village church is an ancient building which was completed the same year as the new cathedral in Salamanca. Fascinatingly, when the church was still under construction, the towns-people were asked to donate old bits of jewellery to be melted down to make the.

Black Ham

Black ham is typical of La Alberca. It is commonly eaten in tapas bars along with jamon, chorizo and salami. These eateries are ancient and still retain some of their medieval features such as dark interiors for example. There are some tapas bars situated in the plaza mayor where you can still see beautifully painted ceilings and magnificent fireplaces left over from the medieval times.

Fiestas & Traditions

There is a fiesta every year on the 15th August to celebrate The Assumption (according to Christian beliefs, the bodily taking up of the Virgin Mary into Heaven at the end of her earthly life).  This fiesta involves parties on the streets and people dressed in brightly-colored costumes. La Alberca is renowned for these parties and they are a point of particular interest for tourists. A non-religious tradition in the village of La Alberca is to set a pig free on the streets. The pig is nicknamed “San Anton” by the towns-people who feed him with scraps from their homes. The pig is allowed to roam around the village between the 13th July and the 17th January when he is given as a prize to the winner of the church raffle.

Keywords: la alberca,the moors in spain,spanish villages,arabic words in spanish

Posted In: Travel, Tourism


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