El Palleter – Vincente Doménech
Sorolla’s Cry of the Palleter
“Jo, Vicent Doménech, un pobre palleter, li declare la guerra a Napoleó. ¡Vixca Ferran sèptim! ¡Muiguen els traïdors!”.
With this cry declaring war on Napoleon, Vicent Doménech wrote his name into the pages of Valencian history and culture. Nicknamed El Palleter, Doménech was a simple man who took the lead in resisting the French army and has since become a powerful icon to the Valencian people, symbolizing their struggle to maintain a cultural identity.
A “palleter” in the early 19th century was a seller of sulfur-soaked cloth used to start fires.
Answering the legendary cry of the Palleter, Valencia raised arms against the French army on May 23rd, 1808. The city held out until finally being conquered in January 1812 — one of the final Spanish cities to fall to the Napoleonic forces.
Today, there’s a statue of El Palleter right next to the Torres de Quart — an ancient city gate which still bears the scars of the war against the French.
More Information at Spanish Wikipedia
July 10, 2009 at 4:41 pm