Polop, the village of the 221 jets of pure water

Polop-Ponoig-Leon-Dormido

St. Peter’s Church and ‘Sleeping Lion’ (Ponoig Mountain) behind. Photo by Dave Rowland.

Polop de la Marina is a small mainland town of Alicante, located slightly over 10km away from Benidorm.

It is a quiet village next to the town of La Nucía, and which 2,500 years ago was occupied by Iberian populations settled in what nowadays is the old cemetery.  It was a perfect location to view the valley of Guadalest, the sea and the adjacent mountains. Its surroundings are irrigated by 4 rivers: the Gulapdar, Chirles, Guadalest and Algar.

polop-de-la-marina

Photo by Dave Rowland.

Its fertile lands were cultivated during centuries by the Arabs, who canalized the water and organized the irrigation system to increase the productivity of the harvests.

The irrigation system of Polop, built in the XVII century, currently remains in use. Due to its history, its conservation status and peculiar form of organization, this network of canals, ditches and mills is one of the most important hydraulic systems of the province of Alicante.

Along history, its population and economy grew thanks to its water resources, which gave recognition country-wise to the town due to its pureness, and leaded to the emerging of job positions related to them (inspectors of the irrigation ditches, well-diggers, farmers, farmhands of work, master builders, engineers…).

Fountain-of-the-jets-Polop

Photo by Dave Rowland.

The Garrofer and Terrer fountains have been well known since ancient days and even today these are visited by tourists who refill their containers with the water that runs from the 221 pipes of the Fuente de los Chorros (Fountain of the Jets), situated in the Plaza de los Chorros (Jets’ Square).

This culture of water has been rewarded with the statement by UNESCO of ‘jets of Polop’ as intangible heritage of humanity.

Other tourist attractions in the municipality are the Tower of St. Peter’s Church, the ruins of the medieval castle and the mount Ponoig which, with its 1.181 meters of altitude, is one of the highest peaks in the province, and a claim for walkers and climbers.

Some iconic characters who resided or holidayed in Polop are the writer Gabriel Miró, the musician Oscar Esplá, the baritone Emilio Sagi Barba, the painter Benjamín Palencia or the neuroscientist Joaquín Fuster.

Jets-Polop

Fountain of Jets. Polop. Lyrics by Gabriel Miró

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