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.
One of the most characteristic forms of flamenco song, la Petenera, originated in Paterna de Rivera.
Dolores La Petenera, 19th century. Flamenco singer.