The Sweet canyon — known under this name since medieval times — drains a basin bounded by Miocene reliefs of the Coma and the Fountain of the Vase (Font del Gerro), in the municipality of Paterna. It is fed by the runoff Siscar dry lands and provides some water sources that account for a modest flow in winter. It is undoubtedly one of the main physical obstacles the trajectory of the Irrigation Canal of Montcada must overcome on its way between Paterna and Benimamet.

In times gone by, once the main channel of Montcada reached the area of Benimamet, it made a pronounced curve that skirted, with room to spare, the wide and deep bed of this paleocanal, which described a sharp turn towards the agricultural gardens of the “Campanar” (Belltower), flowing finally into the former Marxalenes district near the old Túria riverbed. Since a few decades ago, the old trajectory of the Sweet between the Paternal and Benimamet has been irreversible dismantled. The technical justification of this traumatic reform was the protection of this area and its new road infrastructures and urban areas against the recurring floods of the gorge.
This was a reform that has condemned the canal to become wedged inside an artificial concrete channel between the Paternal and the Carolines, diverting its original course to the new Túria riverbed, where it flows just upstream of the weir of the “Cassola” (pan). Centuries before, the question of damage caused by the intermittent flooding of the Sweet was an issue for its neighbors. However, in an investigation of historical sources of these periods, we can observe that the existence of this ravine was also a beneficial element for the community itself. While in the roles of some pastoral views of medieval times, the Sweet appeared as a destroyer and a physical obstacle because of its floods; in some other contemporary documents or documents from later centuries, it underscored the indispensable role it played in enriching the land of the agricultural fields, with fertilizing their harvests with nutrient laden silt deposits, or serving as an occasional transit route for livestock.

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P. CARMONA, La formació de la plana al·luvial de València. Geomorfologia, hidrologia i georaqueologia de l'espai litoral del Túria, Edicions Alfons el Magnànim. IVEI, 1990.


(Al-Andalus) [711-1238]

(Kingdom of València) [1239-1453]

MODERN PERIOD [1454-1789]


Fundació Assut

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© 2013 Fundació Assut