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The earliest image of the Cabanyal appears in a 16th century painting by Anthony VanWijngaerden, next to the port of Valencia. Its origins go back several centuries, the first written reference dating back to 1422. The present street design was consolidated at the end of the 19th century.
The Cabanyal forms a part of the whole maritime area situated parallel to the coast, alongside the mouth of the river Turia, four kilometres from the original centre of the city. Its inhabitants were sailors, fishermen, port workers and farmers.
Originally it consisted of ‘barracas’ – typical Valencian steep-roofed thatched cottages- and shacks lined up parallel to the sea, in unending streets which matched the need to lay out the fishing nets. The rebuilding of the district after the fire of 1796 involved a new planning and standardization of the land plots and the road layouts , and the gradual substitution of the old barracas for more solidly constructed buildings.
Between 1837 and 1897 the grouping of maritime districts becomes an independent municipality known as Poble Nou del Mar. During this time the limits were established for its growth. This was a time of expansion, in which the construction of single family homes was consolidated, taking on the prevailing eclectic and colourful popular modernist style, expressed through the decorative use of glazed ceramic tiles.
There is a special symbiosis between the social fabric of its residents, small industries, craft workshops, specialist shops, offices, artists and other professional studios. Its inhabitants demand to preserve their district’s form of life, with their close-knit neighbourliness. The possibility of using the street as an extension of the home, weather permitting, to get together and to participate in their deep-rooted festivals such as the ‘Semana Santa Marinera’, ‘Nit de San Joan’, etc…
The chief festival of the Cabanyal is the ‘Semana Santa Marinera’ (Mariners’ Holy Week) which is Valencia’s most important religious celebration. Between the ‘Cofradias’ (fraternities) and the corporations more than 5000 people take part. There are some fraternities which date back over 100 years – such as the Santo Cristo del Salvador, Santisimo Cristo del Buen Acierto, Granaderos de la Virgen de los Dolores, and Real Hermandad de la Santa Faz, amongst others. The festival goes back as far as the 15th century.