Salem, which is located in the Valencia administrative region of Vall d’Albaida, has about 500 inhabitants and is set in a mountain-enclosed valley which opens onto the area known as “La Ombria” in the Sierra de Benicadell range. La Hoya de Salem stands between 350 and 300 meters above sea level.
Typical food from the area, including a wide variety of rice dishes.
Places of interest:
Parish Church of Saint Michael the Archangel
The church occupies the site of the former Islamic mosque, which was converted into a Christian church in 1521, vicarage in 1534 and parish seat in 1600. After the expulsion of the Moors (1609), the settlers dedicated it to Saint Mary of the Rose (1611), and in 1694 to Saint Michael the Archangel. The Moorish building was replaced in approximately 1720-1728 by a new presbytery, with a transept and the first two side chapels in the nave. The classicist completion was terminated with the composition of a high altar in the style of an imperial ‘triumphal arch’, and side altars.
Dating from 17th and 18th centuries, mention may be made of the painting of Saint Thomas of Villanueva and the rococo altarpiece of Saint Vincent Ferrer. Adjacent to the church is the 18th century bell tower, which is austerely decorated with plain Doric pilasters.
Parish churchyard chapel
Dating from 1901, it is a modernist work of brick, of great beauty, dominated by the red tones of the brick and the contrasts of light from multiple decorative elements (pilasters, portholes, rhomboids, pinnacles, etc.). Overall, it is difficult to obtain such a well-balanced and attractive aesthetic result with such poor materials. In this sense, it may well be said that the necropolis of Salem – restored in 2002-2003 – is a masterpiece of the architectural heritage of La Vall d’Albaida.
17th century “La Barcella” Castle
A raised plain in the area known as “La Barcella”. The Arabs called it “Almaraién”, that is, “hisn al-Marïyäyn”, “Castle the Two Bonfires”, “of the two signals of Fire”, according to the archaeologists of the Contestans Studies Centre, responsible for its reconstruction. Through the fragments of medieval ceramics collected from the ground around the castle they have created a Muslim chronology.
SL-CV 122: Els Nevaters de Salem to la Barcella trail (5.3km 2h 30min).
SL-CV140: L’reg muslim heritage of the Bassa d’Elca Fontila (3.6km 1h 30min)
El Portet Trail
“La Fuente de Elca” campground and recreational area.
“La Barcella” and “El Castellet” spring.
“Las Cuevas” ravine.
“El Frontó” and “La Sima” cave
“El Cantal” spring and Salem Mill.
More tourist information: SALEM
The village’s main festivities are held from 13th to 29th August, in honour of the patron saints: Saint Michael, Saint Roche, the Divine Aurora and the Christ of Peace. They include religious acts and civil celebrations.
Telf.: 962813328 (Ayto.)