History of Moros d’Alqueria
Much more than a ‘filà mora’
On March the 20, 1976, the first ‘filà mora’ composed of members of Moros d’Alquería took part for the first time in the Pregó parade of Castellón. This was the beginning of the history of one of the most active institutions in the fields of culture and festivity in the city. During those first years, Moors d’Alquería was legally constituted as an association in 1982, initiating a phase of permanent growth that has remained until our days.
Although the association was born with the aim of representing and dignifying the Arab past in the Pregó parade, it soon extended its activity to other areas. An example of this is the labeling of the streets of Castellón with artistic ceramic tiles, which began in 1984 and would start, of course, on calle Morería (the old arab suburb). Moros d’Alquería were also pioneers in recognizing the merits of outstanding members of the society of Castellon with the organization, from 1985, of the Moro de l’Any award. Likewise, in 1986 the Association promoted the Second Congress of Fiestas de la Magdalena, which would lay the foundations of the Magdalena festivities as they are known today.
On the road to internationalization
The year 1986 was decisive for the future of the Association Moros d’Alquería. The members of the ‘Moors’ would represent for the first time the ancient Arab culture outside our borders. It was in Stuttgart, in the heart of the Tourism Fair. Since then, the presence of Moros d’Alqueria in fairs and festivals around the world has been constant, becoming the group that has done more to export the culture of Castellón beyond our borders.
Another great milestone of the association in this second period was the creation, within the Festival of the Magdalena, of the International Music Festival in 1989. In 1997, the Association would take another step in its support for music with the creation of the Musical Group Moros d’Alqueria, which since then accompanies the ‘filaes’ not only in the cavalcade of the Prego, but in different parts of the world.
In 2001 the association celebrated its 25th anniversary, taking the activities to different points in Castelló. It is worth noting the organization of a great parade with the participation ‘filaes’ (moor squads) coming from the whole Valencian Community during the celebrations of the Magdalena. The association also published a book which collects memories from those 25 years of life and organized a sculpture contest won by local Mayte Saura with her work ‘Lo Árabe’.
The road of Moros d’Alquería to internationalization starts at the beginning of 2007 with the participation in different parades to commemorate the Chinese New Year in Hong Kong. If up to that day, international travel was limited to different European countries, 2007 set the start of transoceanic travels, now constant.
This historical stage also saw the creation of the Moros d’Alqueria Awards in 2010. Since then, the Moro de l’Any honor would evolve into a a more ambitious proposal thanks to the collaboration with the Fundación Balaguer Gonel Hermanos. Thus, three prizes would be awarded: the Adrián Segura Award of Gastronomy for a student of the Escuela de Hostelería (School of Hospitality) of Castellón, the Music Instrument Award for a student of the Conservatorio Superior Seguí (College of Music) of Castellón and the Culture and Festivities City of Castellón Award, for a world-renowned festival or festivity.
Moros d’Alqueria Foundation
In 2015 the Moros d’Alqueria Foundation of the Region of Valencia was formally established, putting an end to a process that had begun years before with a double objective. On the one hand, it aimed to strengthen even more the ties with the society of Castellon, especially in matters of culture and education. On the other hand, the Foundation aimed to promote the customs and traditions of Castellón through the different trips or cultural embassies of Moros d’Alqueria-
Undoubtedly, another great milestone of Moros d’Alquería in this recent stage is the inauguration of the new headquarters, new facilities that are more in line with its activity as a Foundation. Thee large premises of XXX square meters are located in the street Galicia of Castellón. The transfer to the new premises was, once again, thanks to the Fundación Balaguer Gonel Hermanos.