200 years Anniversary of French Attack

From Press Release

Xàbia. Friday, August 31, 2012.
Xàbia Council Chamber became the surprise stage for a short play which commemorated the 200th anniversary of an event in Xàbia in late August 1812 during the "War the French "or War of Independence against Napoleon's rule.

Just as the meeting ended, thunderous fireworks and screams made councilors and the public jump as amateur Xàbia actors, Bartholomew Bas, Francisco Pastor and Anabel Chulvi burst in.. All three wearing rustic clothes, began hastily to narrate the violent acts carried out by the Napoleonic military, according to accounts handed down from generation to generation. These meant death to 16 residents, the blowing up of the ancient castle of Fontana and looting of the village.

The script for this small, humorous play was written by historian Antoni Espinós based on the few written records that inspired legends such as the Groc de Sala guerrillas and the Campaner.

It is said that the bloody French raid killed Miguel Mata, Pedro Bisquert, Magdalena Codina, José Bisquert, Bernardo Vives, Ambrosio Benlloch, José Polvoreda, Bautista Guardiola, Miguel Torres, Fernando Sapena, José Blasco, Bartolomé Bou and José Catalá. Also the parish priest Vicente Catalá and the sacristan Francisco Blasco, jumped from the top of the Church tower. The nun, Luisa San Agustin threw herself into a well so that the soldiers could not rape her.

They say the looting lasted two days and as well as private houses it affected affected the parish church, the convents of the Augustinos and Minimos and even the cemetery graves. It also represents one of the repeated attacks suffered by the town archives and which have led to a lack of written records of Xàbia's most important historical events.

A book will soon be published which chronicles this looting and other events that occurred in Xàbia and the Marina Alta and consequences of the French War.

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