Pego History

 

Pego History
The History of Pego

The area around Pego was settled during the Bronze Age and later by Iberian and Roman civilizations, though the story of the town really begins during the times of the Moors in around 726, when Pego was an important Arab enclave which later formed part of the Taifa of Denia.
Subsequently conquered by forces under Jaime I of Aragon in 1244, Pego was later repopulated with peasants from Catalonia and the barony of Pego was created in 1262, and control of the town passed through the hands of various members of the Valencian nobility.

During the late 13th century the wetlands between Pego and Oliva were developed for the production of rice, fishing and grazing, rice in particular became an important source of income, though later rice production in the wetlands was banned by Martin I (1403) and attempts
were made to regulate the cultivation of the wetlands. The final expulsion of remaining moriscos (Moors converted to Christianity) occurred in 1609 and Pego became virtually deserted for some time.

In the late 18th century certain areas of the wetlands were further developed, beginning with the formation of drainage ditches in the outer sections, though rice production did not return until 1805 when a Royal Order allowed the crop to be grown once more, significant areas were transformed between 1820 and 1840 though much of the wetlands remained
untouched. The cultivation of rice continued to increase and by 1901 382 hectares were dedicated to rice production, this reached a high of 900 hectares in 1945.

During Moorish times Pego was of course a walled town, with the obligatory castle, after the reconquest these fortifications were extended and had in all 16 towers, most of this was destroyed during the War of Spanish Succession (1701-14). There are still some remains of the wall, these can be found in the Old Town where the medieval streets still retain much of their original charm.

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