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La Alberca

La Alberca is a municipality in the province of Salamanca in the autonomous community of Castilla y León, Spain. It is the capital of Sierra de Francia Comarca.In 2003, the population of La Alberca was 1105, and the area 60.73 km². Its altitude is 1048 metres above sea level.The Carmelite convent of Batuecas Desert, established by Thomas á Jesu is located five kilometres away, but the route there from the town is 12 km.EtymologyDue to the relatively long presence of the Arab civilization in the region, the name, La Alberca may have come from the Arabic word "berka" meaning a lake, combined with the Arabic article "al".HistoryPeople have been living in the area of La Alberca since before the arrival of the Romans, as evinced by the pre-Roman castro which sits beneath a part of town. Few remnents from the era remain, however it is thought that materials were reused to build the present Majadas Old Chapel.In the 13th century the town of La Alberca was a clerk of the crown, being one of the few places in the Sierra de France that belonged to Miranda County.According to legend, in 1465 the women of the town defeated Portuguese troops, and, in this victory, claimed the Portuguese flag, which is still preserved today in the village. The victory is celebrated on the second day of Easter.In the 15th century, John II of Castile brought the town under the domain of the House of Alba who later gained control of part of the Sierra de France with the help of Ferdinand. These demains were grouped under one jurisdiction based in the town of Granadilla Caceres.
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