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Tribunal de Las Aguas - Sight-seeing / Attraction in Valencia, Spain
The Water Court


Tribunal de las Aguas - Water Court - Valencia, Spain

The Water Court (Tribunal de las Aguas) is an event, rather than a sight. However, it is of a great interest to many - this is meant to be the oldest democratic institution in Europe that has survived to our days, spanning a whole millenium. Originally introduced by the Moorish farmers to regulate the irrigation infrastructure in the fields, it is a group of electied judges from the country who resolve all irrigation disputes once a week, in a swift and down-to-earth manner following common sense. It is an egalitarian, almost Arthuric idilly, with all members equal to each other, sitting in a circle. This court is purely oral - there is nothing done in writing and no records are kept. It is a fascinating thing to witness - a court that has gone unchanged for a thousdand years and takes place in full public view. However, the problem is it may not happen at all. If there are no disputes to take care of, the court will simply retire and you would have made your appearance just to see them sit down and then stand up again. Which happens quite often - in the XXI century Valencia there simply aren't many irrigation disputes taken to the Plaza de la Virgen. When it does happen, it also doesn't take long, since the court is quite no-nonsence - so make sure you are there on time. Five or ten minutes late it may be too late.

For more a good photo of the Puerta de Apostoles see "Traveling in Spain" (external link)



Tribunal de las Aguas - Water Court - Valencia, Spain

Paginas Amarillas
Pz de la Virgen
(Cathedral portal)
Thursdays, midday

midday on Thursdays, very short duration

public spectacle

Signs / Content:

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Map of Central Sights
Map of Central Walks


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