Cullera celebrates its patron saint festivities dedicated to the Mare de Déu del Castell, the Virgin of the Incarnation or the “Aurora of Cullera” as the Patroness in the town.
The festival of the Aurora of Cullera involves eight intense days full of religious acts, emotion, music, cultural celebrations and great admiration that always start on the Saturday after Easter until the Sunday of the following week. This year it will take place from April 7, the day on which the tradition “baixà” is made, the descent of the Mare de Déu in a nocturnal procession, from the castle to the church of the Santos Juanes and will culminate on April 15 with its subsequent celebration of the Aurora, the most representative act and that marks the end of the festivities.
In the “Night of the Aurora” is perhaps the commemoration that attracts the most visitors of all the festivities of Cullera. The essence of this can be seen throughout the processional journey in which the Virgin is transported through the neighborhood of San Antonio and there, at sunrise the image is paraded by fishermen and sailors to the seashore. It is a real spectacle the visual effect that arises while entering with the Virgin of the Castle, the boats anchor in front of San Antonio beach accompanying them in the background the fireworks, with the recitation of the rosary of musical thread and behind the sun coming out , the Aurora. The festivities culminate with the processional rise of the image of the Virgin of the Castle to its Shrine.
During the wait of this magnificent moment the neighbors of the town and all the visitors spend the evening lighting fires, eating, drinking and enjoying the musical concerts of the moment. This year, April 14 at 11pm. a new edition of the “Nit de la Aurora Medusa Festival” will be held in the “La Rada” parquin, in which 5 well-known DJs will participate, among them the king of the Valencian night Chimo Bayo, who will guarantee a show of the highest level.
If you have not experienced these celebrations in person, you cannot miss them.
The history of Cullera is a long, storied one with four distinct historical periods.
Cullera is an ancient settlement dating back as far as the prehistoric times (the period between the invention of stone tools and prior to the invention of writing systems). The first signs of human settlement can be found in caves around the Faro Volcano. On the opposite slope of the mountain the Abric Lambert cave painting – named after Lambert Oliver who discovered them – which depict several human and animal figures can be found. These paintings date back to the earliest human settlements in Cullera.
Ruins dating back from the Roman occupation of Spain can be found in the Barrio de La Rápita, the neigbhourhood near and surrounding our hotel. A fish salting factory dating back to the period can be found on Agustín Olivert street, and demonstrates the importance of Cullera’s port during Roman rule. An ongoing mystery in the history of the Roman occupation of Spain is the location of the Roman city of Sucro. Referred to several times in Roman texts as well as the site of a major Roman mutiny, the city and its port remain unknown. However, a growing body of evidence including recent archaeological discoveries are making a strong case that Cullera is the lost city of Sucro and Port of Sucro (Portum Sucrone).
Qulayra as it was renamed during the Islamic period developed into a proper urban settlement under Muslim rule. The Moors built the Castle of Cullera and shifted the center of gravity in Cullera from around the Faro Volcano to an area south of the castle, the area that comprises modern day Cullera. A wall was also erected during this period to protect the town. This turned Cullera from a small port into a strategic location from which to control all commercial traffic on the river Júcar.
After Cullera’s reconquest by Spanish forces the Barrio de la Vila was created. This neighbourhood grew rapidly during the 14th and 15th centuries. Cullera began suffering raids by Berber pirates during this period and as a response a chain of towers were erected, like the Torre de Marenyet, to protect the town.