History and Geography

Placed in the Alcalatén mountain range at 568 metres height and 33 km from Castellón, Llucena / Lucena del Cid is strategically located over a narrow and long mountainous hill amid the foothills, as vast stairs coming down from the maximum height Valencian mountain Penyagolosa to the sea.

From its elevated position the deep valley, with its same name, overlooks since it has been the route of penetration into the inside highlands since ancient times. This high altitude qualifies the Mediterranean climate providing Lucena with cool summers and some rainfall in the lowlands of the coast.


Over the mountain the population is in the eye of the visitor like a trail of white hoseholds headed by a large house (The Castle) which in other times was a gothic and feudal castle built on an earlier Muslim building. Although history is uncertain as far as the foundation of Lucena is concerned the Latin root of its name gives us a hint of it without excluding the previous Iberian settlements or even the Bronze age ones from which we find traces in various places of the area.

 


After the thirteenth century Christian conquest Jaume I granted the Aragonese noble  Eixime d'Urrea in 1233 a feud all over the castle of Alcalaten including Llucena. In 1798 after the death of the last of the Urrea, the tenth Conde de Aranda, the manor passed to the Duke of Hijar house where he remained until the abolition of feudalism in the second third of the nineteenth century. It was in that troubled period when Llucena earned the title of Heroic Villa which abounds in its shield in recognition of its value against the attacks os Carlist absolutism.


Linguistically Llucena is at the western boundary of the Valencian region since the following villages have Castilian Aragonese speaking population. From the early twentieth century our population has been host to a large summer colony which has helped to provide Llucena with a well known resort category with a wide range of attractions such as the goodness of his mid mountain climate, the picturesqueness of its population adn the beauty of its landscape, let's see....

 

 

The village

The population has in its centre a square with medieval arcades from the fourteenth century which has overlooked the daily lives of Llucena inhabitants throughout the centuries. On one side of the square there is a fountain sorrounded by houses from the beginnings of the twentieth century and on the other there is the square belfry attached to the great Baroque church from the mid-eighteenth century,which is the archpriestal temple. In front of the church we find the white and narrow,"carrer Sant Roc", which ends in a steepstaircase that takes you to “the Castell”. From there the visitor will get a magnificent view of the people and landscape around it.

In the “carrer Metge Nebot” which comes out of the square placed opposite the church there is a nice lookout point over the river from where there is a view of la Badina, the meanders of the river and of the hanging houses built on the crags of the east part of the village.
The visitor mustn't be afraid and go on walking around the village, get lost in the laberynth of its narrow streets (climb beyond the steep streets of Sant Isidro until "Les Eres", or walk down the street from Santa Anna, next to the Town Hall, to explore the part of "La Solana" ) since without any doubt he'll find surprising and enchanting corners.

 

The surroundings

At the entrance to town, coming from Castello and with easy access for the population by a comfortable pedestrian access there is the recreational resort of "San Vicent" (children's playground, swimming pool, bar and fronton), next to the source and the hermitage of the same name, a construction of transitional gothic-renaissance style situated on a hilltop rocky. This is a good destination for a pleasant stroll. 

   


At the other end, the hermitage of Sant Antoni rises at its baroque blue dome on the deep "Barranc de la Pedrenyera".


 

Continuing on that path, there is the playground of the "fonteta of Godo", a charming surprise hidden between rocky walls.

 

Above, the "Font of the Prat", with a great pine forest with romantic flavor, is another must visit in Llucena.