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El Ràfol d’Almúnia

El Ràfol d'Almúnia is the central municipality of the subregion known as La Rectoria (of which it forms part together with Tormos, Sagra, Benimeli and Sanet i Els Negrals), nestled within the middle course area of the River Girona, at the foot of Segària. The village is situated at 88 metres above sea level, with an area of 4.9 km2 and 670 inhabitants, known as Rafolencs and Rafolenques.

El Ràfol d'Almúnia's municipal district. Surface area: 4.9 km². Population: 670 (INE data 2021).


El Ràfol d'Almúnia is a small settlement that was traditionally the capital of La Rectoria due to the fact that it was the largest municipality. This agricultural village surrounded by citrus crops has a very extensive history of its inhabitants toiling the land and making the most of the water available, by way of an extensive hydraulic system.

El Ràfol d'Almúnia emerged as a settlement under Muslim rule. It should be remembered that the “Ràfol” part of the name derives from the Arabic and that, according to J. Coromines, it comes from rafl, which could be interpreted as “a country house that has a piece of land for cultivation and a corral for the herd”. Therefore, as several authors have pointed out, the various “ráfol”, “rafal” or “rahal” place names commonly found throughout the Valencian territory must have originally been groups of houses in the countryside or isolated individual farmhouses where some families lived together, cultivating the land and taking their herds to graze. At the same time they were places where travellers passing through the district could stop to rest or stay the night. According to López Elum, the ràfols were lands that functioned as agricultural estates of wealthy families that lived in large mediaeval cities such as Balansiya (València) or Daniya (Dènia), with the workers and their families living on these estates.

In 1535, El Ràfol d'Almúnia became one of the Moorish rectories, with a church dedicated to Saint Francisco de Paula, who is still the patron saint of the parish.

In the 16th century, Jerónimo Almúnia was the local Lord, hence the full name of El Ràfol. After the Christian repopulation with people from the Balearic Islands, in 1687 Juan d'Almúnia i Esparza was granted the title of Marquis of El Ràfol d'Almúnia.

Another of the historical moments during which El Ràfol d’Almúnia was a protagonist was the so-called Segona Germania. Continuous oppression by the Lords and the lower aristocracy, which abused the collection of taxes from the farmers and thereby aggravated the situation after bad harvests, led to the revolt of the agermanats during the reign of Carlos II, in 1693. The people of La Rectoria played an important role in this new Germania movement and it was from El Ràfol that one of the undisputed leaders emerged, Francesc Garcia, who was appointed general representative and became a political and ideological leader. When the revolt was crushed, he was sentenced to death for rebellion. A taste of these revolts is still preserved in the stone coat of arms of the Lord of El Ràfol, which was vandalised during the popular uprising.


  • El Sagrat Cor de Jesús is celebrated on the 15th of June.
  • The main festivities take place from the 11th to the 17th of August, in honour of La Immaculada Concepció and the patron saint Francesc de Paula.


  • The paella is often cooked in this municipality, usually with meat due to the fact that it is what is easily available locally.
  • The olla is also typically prepared in the area, spoon dishes being somewhat of a tradition.

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