Expulsion of the Moors

On 29th September 1609, King Felipe III sent out a Royal Decree which called for the expulsion of the Moors. The military forces of the Duke of Gandía were sent to the area of the Gallinera Valley in order to contain the Moors who were rebelling against the brutal actions of the government troops.

Many of the Moors (whose lineage in this country extended back 900 years), refused to abandon the land of their ancestors, and they rallied round a call to fight the deportation – their leader was a former baker of Beni-Campell – called Amed al Mellini. The commander of the Duke of Gandia’s forces tried to form a pact with the Moors but these overtures were refused and on 15th November 1609, the order to attack was given. After a bloody and fierce battle, the Moors were obliged to retreat to the head of the Val de Laguar to take refuge in their last outpost - the Castle of Pop - a fortress located on one of the two peaks which form the Cavall Verd ridge.

On 21st November, the Moors were forced to abandon the safety of the castle. Some 1500 people were killed and the rest deported via Denia to the North African Coast. The villages in the area were later repopulated with immigrants from Mallorca. (From alahuar - tierra de cuevas.

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