Paterna de Rivera

Paterna de Rivera
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This village, one of the province"s smallest, is located in the heart of the countryside. Its land is therefore dedicated to agriculture and pasture, which explains the importance of the rearing of fighting bulls and horses of the Spanish-Arabic breed.

The village was founded in 1503 and acquired a certain prestige thanks to the medicinal waters at Gigonza and La Fuente Santa baths, which are no longer in existence. Gigonza Castle, of Arab origin, which stands a few kilometres away from the village, is its major place of interest.

One of the most characteristic forms of flamenco song, la Petenera, originated in Paterna de Rivera.


The area is known to have been inhabited by various different peoples since the Neolithic period, and these settlers probably took advantage of its medicinal waters -Gigonza and Fuente Santa springs-; however, it was not until Roman times that the village as we know it today began to take shape. It seems certain that the origin of its name dates back to this period, deriving from Paternus, meaning "paternal", probably becoming "villa Paterni" before reaching its present-day denomination.

The Romans were followed by the Byzantines and the Visigoths, though the Arab occupation of the village was the most significant. After the Christian conquest, Paterna"s lands came under the control of the Enriquez de Ribera family, the lords of Alcala de los Gazules. The official founding of the village, along with the establishment of its Town Hall, took place in 1503 thanks to the initiative of Don Francisco Enriquez de Ribera, and it was given the name Paterna de Ribera, its inhabitants paying taxes to the House of Ribera as well as to Alcala de los Gazules Village Council. The village did not receive its independence until 1825.

Eminent citizens

Dolores La Petenera, 19th century. Flamenco singer.
Antonio Pérez Jiménez "El Perro de Paterna". Flamenco singer.

Paterna de Rivera
Paterna de Rivera
Paterna de Rivera
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