La Librea de Valle de Guerra

This festival is celebrated on the first Saturday of October in honour of the Virgen del Rosario; it commemorates the victory of the Holy League over the Turks in the Battle of Lepanto (1571), and the joyful return of the Canaries who fought in it under the command of Captain Francisco Díaz Pimienta.

La Librea de Valle Guerra

The tradition seems to go back more than 400 years according to historical documentary sources; although in 1720, with the erection of the chapel in Valle de Guerra, it was first celebrated with the feast of the Virgen del Rosario, patron saint of the village.

The main event of the festivities is an allegorical staging of the battle. The boats -Turkish and Christian- take part in the representation in a prominent way; several actors from the village embody the protagonists of the battle: Juan de Austria and Alí Bajá (recently the characters of Felipe II and Miguel de Cervantes have joined the cast). The ships fight a battle that will be decided by the side of D. Juan de Austria coinciding with the appearance of the Virgin. The act concludes with the death of Alí Bajá, who before dying recognizes the superiority of the Christian God, and with the conversion of the Turkish soldier.

The Librea, allusive in principle to the militiamen and the parade before the combat (referring to those who wear military uniform), has been assimilated to the totality of the battle “so that what is known as Librea is the symbolic and ritualized representation of the Battle of Lepanto”.

On May 24th 2007, “La Librea de Valle de Guerra” was declared an Asset of Cultural Interest, of local scope.

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