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History of Benijofar • Benijofar Life
Benijofar is one of the many Vega Baja villages. It is one of the smallest municipal villages being only 4.4km2.
Its existence can be dated back to the early 18th century through the so called ´privilegio alfonsino´ which allowed the construction of a feudal village with only 15 neighbours and possession of a tract of land sufficent for only them.
The origin of the name Benijofar is Arabic, with a composition very usual in the Murcia and Valencia regions - Bani (pronounced in Arabic as Beni) meaning son and Jofar from the castellano word alijofar meaning pearl.
Throughout the 18th Century Benijofar became established as an agricultural community and grew in wealth and prosperity.
Benijofar was seriously damaged in the devastating earthquake of 1829 and the 17th Century parochial church of Saint James was mostly destroyed. Benijofar along with many other towns and villages of the area was rebuilt by two engineers, José Larramendi and Eugene Fourdinier - 75 new houses were constructed in Benijofar alone.
Benijofar has continued to grow from this time, and its importance as an agricultural community has been helped by the proximity of the River Segura and the use of its water for the irrigation of the land. The River Segura, though, has not always been beneficial as it burst its banks in 1957 and almost destroyed the entire village, with several people losing their lives.
These days Benijofar has a good selection of shops, bars and restaurants (some English). Places of interest from times past are the parish church of Saint James, rebuilt after the 1829 earthquake, and the cave dwellings just outside the village.
The fiesta to honour Saint James is held in July and as with all Spanish villages there are lots of other fiestas held throughout the year.
Benijofar is easily accessible from Ciudad Quesada or Guardamar del Segura, lying on the CV 940 and sitting right on the banks of the Segura river, close to the town of Rojales. It can also be accessed via the AP-7 motorway junction 745.