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The Route Across the Maestrazgo. From the mountains to the sea


With the dawn we lift the camp. The breakfast is strong because a day of long walks is waiting us. The day it blunts fresh and sunny. We leave toward Benassal. Formerly, this town was famous for its factories of fabrics, tanning industry and for its Templar Castle. However, today they are the wickers and mainly the waters those that give prestige to the population. It is the geographical centre of the district of the Alto Maestrazgo and it has two differentiated urban centres: the village of Benasal itself and the Spa of the Font - d´en Segures. 

The predominant geologic characteristics in their municipal term give the maximum protagonism to the calcareous rock whose dissolution formed numerous caves and sources, highlighting among the last ones that of "d´en Segures" due to their suitable minig-medicinal properties for the affections of the kidney, has given fair fame to its spa, where, during the summer season, enjoys an excellent climate propitiated by the altitude to which is (1.000m).

The origins of Benasal go back to the Muslim time (their name means "the son of the mielero"). She was conquered by Jaime I who gives it to D. Blasco of Alagón, which grants a Privilege on 3th January of 1.239 passing later to be part of the Setena de Culla, under the domain of the Order de Montesa who would surround the village of walls. During the Civil War part of its patrimony was destroyed. 

To make an urban journey through Benasal is do a walk through the history. It is necessary to highlight the group of La Mola" ( XIII c.), the population's primitive centre, where it was the old City Council and where we can see a wall patch and an access portal to the precinct with an arch of Arab tradition (Arc of La Mola). This old capitular house is today the headquarters of the l´Alt Museu Arqueològic de L´Alt Maestrat." For the scholars, is of great interest to know that are exposed local elements that embrace from the Epipaleolítico (8.000 -5.000 B.C), until the Andalusí epoch (s. IX-XIII). Also next to one of the accesses to this primitive precinct we can find the building of the Forn of Dalt" (Oven of Up)

"La Mola leads us to the old urban centre, known as Els Carrerons", we get lost for an entire labyrinth of narrow back streets with some of the oldest houses in the village. Very close the is the Asunción's Church that was damaged during the Civil War but still preserve a beautiful Baroque front as well as an important goldsmith collection and the altarpiece of the altar and a "Last Dinner" that sculptor José Gonzalbo carried out in iron. 

Benasal is today a calm village and summer resort to which visitors come to get relax from the vortex of the city and to "take the waters" in the Font d´en Segures whose springs and the Spa have create the economic miracle of this area of obliged visit.

Font d'En Segures. Spa Benasal


The City council of Benasal commercializes the sale of the mineral water of the Font d´en Segures from 1918. These bicarbonated waters acquires fame in the XVIII century. Mainly after curing the kidney ailments of the duke of Vendôme who opened the road that leads to the healthy pipe located in the outskirts of the town. In Font d´en Segures the life rotates around its springs. Even the bottling plant it is in remodelling process to enlarge its commercial covering as table water. 

The visit to the Font d´en Segures, is not only interesting but necessary as our youths guides well know when they explain to us the urban evolution of this thermal village that begun in the decade of 1980 1990. According to the official Chronicler of Benasal, the main street was opened in 1913 by the initiative of the neighbors' of Benassal promoters of the Spa, leaded by the Dr. Enric Monferrer and for Baptista Vives, to unite the highway of Culla with the spring. From some years it is dedicated to the celebrated urólogo Dr. Puigvert. 

We walk on this same street and we find to the left, a square where the Chapels of San Liborio are located and of Nuestra Señora de la Font d'en Segures. It is an artistic romanesque imitation, work of Vicent Traver of 1953 and it was blessed in 1965. The street deflect to the left in the Placeta of Dalt, where there are the bus stop and the facilities of the bottling plant of water. From the Serrades one can see the alignment of the square with the two streets parallel to the spa . And in the left it ascends a soft slope up to the square of the spring. To the right, under the wide terrace of the hotel, there are the commercial sites (stalls for the sale of the press, butcher shop, herbalist´s shop, sweet, souvenirs, etc. )

At the end of the ascent it is the spring, els Xorros", a beautiful square enhanced by the ornamentation also designed by architect Vicent Traver, in calcareous stone of the place. A plantation of elm trees attenuates the stony severity of the group. In the centre of the placeta he/she is the graceful pinnacle that covers the birth of the spring. 

The tradition of the three jets, already documented in the XVIII century, he/she has stayed until the present time, although today the water with therapeutic properties comes out freely to be taken by the " agüista " to will. Before abandoning the spring we drink very slowly, a glass of this healthy water. There are palates that don't admit the flavor of the waters for ailments of the kidney.


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