The Water Tribunal in Valencia

If you happen to be in Valencia on a Thursday be sure to pass by Valencia Cathedral at 12:00 to witness one of Europe’s oldest law courts in action.

Dating back to 960 a time when the Iberian Peninsula was at peace under Moorish rule the Water Tribunal is a judicial institution used to settle disputes arising from the use of irrigation water by farmers.

Declared an intangible cultural heritage asset in 2009 by UNESCO the court consists of eight democratically elected farmers who still wear the traditional black over shirts favoured by Valencian fruit and vegetable growers.

Sitting in a circle on 17th-century chairs outside the Door of the Apostles the farmers impart justice while a curious audience watches on.

The scene is quite a spectacle and another story to add your list of things you have seen and done while visiting Valencia.

Tribunal de las Aguas by Bernardo Ferrándiz, 1865

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