August is the month for many towns across Spain to celebrate their traditional festivals, making the most of the good weather and Mediterranean warmth that hangs over the peninsula.

The celebrations in Godella, a town situated in the province of Valencia, are particuarly impressive. These take place from 16 to 24 August, ending on the last day with an important religious festival.

Godella dates back to the beginning of the Bronze Age, and after Roman occupation, the Moors settled in the town, creating a Muslim hamlet. The most important day of the festival of Saint Bartholomew is the 24 August, the saint’s day of the Latin Church.

Saint Bartholomew, or ‘Sant Bartomeu’ in Valenciano, is the patron saint of those who work, make or use leather in the form of gloves, coats, belts and boots. The mass in honour of town’s patron saint takes places in the Iglesia Parroquial de San Bartolomé Apóstol, the town’s parish church which opened in 1754 and was built in a Renaissance style with only one nave and transept. In 1954, the old 14th-century church with lancet style, stone arches and coffered Mudéjar-style ceiling was incorporated to form the communion chapel, adding to the rich ornamental design of the building. Inside, the chapel features a statue of Jesus by Ignacio Pinazo Martínez.

Another historical building in the town, also host to the August celebrations, is the prestigious Iglesia Parroquial del Salvador, another of Godella’s parish churches in a Baroque style. This church dates back to 1730 and was built on the remains of an old hermitage. The area surrounding the church is particularly stunning, featuring the Stations of the Cross, the aediculae and pictoresque gardens covered in pine trees and steps.

Why not make the most of your stay in Godella and fill the time between the festivities with a cultural visit to other historical monuments in the town, such as the Casa-palacio de Serdañola, the Castillo-Masía de San Fernando (Campolivar) or the home and studio of painter Pinazo Camarlench, today converted into a museum.

Since 1977, these festivities serve to commemorate both the Moors and Christians in Godella, through a display of magnificent costumes, elaborate choreographies and musical performances by different groups in the parade, creating a truly magical atmosphere.

These are just some of the performances scheduled for this year’s festival:

Friday, 16 August:
‘Pregó’, the opening speech: 8.30pm to 9.30pm
Leave from Colegio Cervantes and ending in the Torreta de Misildo park.
‘Fiesta de la solidaridad´
Friday, 16 August, 9.30pm and Saturday, 17 August, 12am
In the Molino park (Parc del Molí)(see map)

Sunday, 18 August
During the day: Exhibition of miniature trains
2pm Pots of rice cooked with vegetables (‘Calderes populars d’arròs en fesols i naps’)

Friday, 23 August
12am An evening of music: the Morgana orchestra
6.30pm Pequexef: children’s festivities
10pm Magnificent parade of the Moors and Christians

Saturday 24 August
The ‘Motero Custom Godella’ Day
12am ‘Castillo de fuegos artificiales’ – traditional firework displays
2pm ‘Mascletà’ – smokey, noisy firework shows in broad daylight, similar to the famous Fallas in Valencia.
7pm Gathering and parade of the ‘Clavariesas del Rosario’
8pm Mass in honour of Saint Bartholomew (Sant Bartomeu), the patron saint of Godella.
9pm Procession in honour of Saint Bartholomew

These festivities provide a unique opportunity to really make the most of the last summer days of August. A visit to see the traditional festival of this historical town is highly recommended. Godella is nestled in the mountainous region just outside Valencia, a perfect day trip from the city and just a 20 minute drive away.

If you want to find out more about the different performances taking place during the festival period in Godella, click here.

The easiest way to get from Valencia to Godella is either by:
– the CV-3102 motorway
– the Metro line 1 from Valencia, which links directly to Burjassot, Bétera, Paterna and Rocafort,
– or from the A-7 (Autovía del Mediterráneo) and the CV-35 (Autovía del Turia).