Throughout history the influence of La Albufera has become crucial for human communities living in their surroundings. The primary use of natural resources in natural park is especially intense. However, rice cultivation, hunting and fishing are activities that have been developing for centuries, forming part of the tradition, culture and landscape of the area.
The human presence has been so intense that it has left us a rich cultural heritage. One of the main objectives in the management of the natural park is achieve compatibility of these activities with conservation of ecological quality. With the declaration of this extensive territory as a natural park from 1986, it has been tried to protect, not only the rich biodiversity that hosts this humid area, but also the varied cultural heritage, material and cultural, which is still preserved today
The Valencian Barracas is a construction as traditional as Emblematic of the Valencian landscape. In the 21st century, there are only about 12 barracas in good conditions. Originating from the primitive hut, with elliptical shapes or slightly rounded, the hut evolved from the point of architectural to adapt to the needs of their population . We already find buildings similar to Barracas Among the Iberian Civilitation. Huts that were replacing his previous form circulate through a rectangular.. The use of the BARRACA was widespread until entered the twentieth century on the entire Mediterranean shore, especially in coastal areas of the center and north of Valencia.
The Valencian BARRACA is a construction of rectangular plan, walls low and, the cover of two waters.. They used environmental materials, wood, mud, reeds, reed, etc., offering protection to families though lacked electricity. Throughout Spain and the south of France there are constructions similar to the BARRACAS, with very covered pronounced roof made of reeds, which It allows an easy and fast drainage of the rain. In outer space are located circular wood ovens and small Hurdle huts used to store and dry onions.
The special flood conditions that existed in the surroundings of L’Albufera and its shallow depth allowed its agricultural transformation for rice cultivation.
Rice, pioneer of agricultural expansionism in wetlands, left extending at the expense of the gradual reduction of the area of L’Albufera. The cultivation of rice probably dates from the Arab era, and is the way of life for the inhabitants. At the end of the Middle Age, agricultural activities was, little by little, becoming important, and especially with the expansion of irrigation
Along the this period, and until the 18th century, an extensive area of the perimeter of the wetland began to be slowly transformed, since many of the agricultural systems have been introduced and of distribution of the water that are carried out at present, although the hunting, the fishing and the Extensive livestock continued to be the main uses for centuries. After the transformation of the perimeter of the wetland there was a second phase of expansion of rice paddies between the middle of the 18th century and the beginning of the 20th century. During this period many hectares were gained to L’Albufera to continue growing rice, until it was left, approximately, in the perimeter that currently presents, about 2,800 hectares.
In addition to other uses, such as hunting, or rice, it is very remarkable is Fishing , traditional use of the lagoon. Fishing activities are older than the agricultural use of its environment, an important source of incomings for the inhabitants of the area and, the most traditional way of life formerly. However, the decrease in water quality has caused a reduction important in the diversity of exploitable species. The fishing exploitation is currently carried out by three Fishing Communities legally constituted in 1857.
The first historical ownership of L'Albufera is that which comes from King Jaime I of Aragon, who, after conquering Valencia reserves the lake and its Devesa for its personal patrimony. From this moment L'Albufera and its Devesa will belong to the Royal Heritage. Now at day belongs to Valencia City Council.
The hunting tradition in L’Albufera comes from the period of the Arab occupation. The abundant vegetation and hunting (deer, wild boar, partridges, rabbits, otters, waterfowl, etc.) made this place in something exceptional, which is why King Jaime I reserved his property after conquering the Kingdom of Valencia, dictating a series of privileges and ordinances that guarantee the good use and conservation of the lagoon and the Devesa. When going to state property L'Albufera (year 1865) the hunting continued in the lagoon, with a regulation and organization of the runs and auction of positions.
Throughout the decade of the 80 'the hunting in the lagoon was prohibited. At present the hunting in l’Albufera is limited to waterfowl and its practice is carried out exclusively in a large part of rice field. The hunting season is It starts on October 12 and ends on the first weekend of February.
Latin Sail in
The Latin sail is one of the traditional forms of navigation common to the entire Mediterranean, with a considerable impact on the Valencian lands and, particularly, in L'Albufera, where since ancient times it has been used as a means of transport linked to the exploitation of natural resources, such as the fishing and agriculture. Sailing has been known in L'Albufera since time immemorial, although the use of Latin sailing it extended from Roman times and continued during the centuries of Muslim domination, continuing without interruption until today both in Lake L'Albufera and in the villages sea of El Cabanyal, El Canyamelar and El Grao.
Due to its characteristics, the Latin candle adapts perfectly to the changing winds of L'Albufera. In L'Albufera, the different traditional uses related to the use of the boat in general, and sailing Latin as a means for their particular propulsion, they have responded to various economic activities linked to the exploitation of the natural resources available in the lake. With the arrival of the motor engine, the Latin sail went from being a useful and necessary asset to work in a generally hostile environment, to a leisure activity, associated with the concern to recover a element of the Valencian ethnographic heritage that was being lost.