Torrellano (Alicante) reenacts the story of a turncoat 18th century count

TURNCOAT STORY: Torrellano renacts part of its history Photo credit: Elche city hall

HUNDREDS of Torrellano residents turned out on December 10 to watch the second performance of Girajaquetes.

Timed to coincide with the Purisima fiestas, this recreates the town’s past when Juan Vaillo de Llanos was named Conde de Torrellano by the Archduke Carlos of Austria in Vienna in 1716.

Vaillo de Llanos was born in Alicante which, like most of the Valencian region, backed the Hapsburg losers in Spain’s War of Succession.

Vaillo de Llanos later succeeded in retaining his title, which explains how the December 10 enactment in Torrellano’s Plaza de San Crispin earned its name of Girajaquetes, the Valenciano version of Turncoat.

Although the story is centuries’ old, Girachaquetes is comparatively recent.  It was originally created five years ago by pupils at the Antonio Machado school and performed there in public for the first time in September 2021 in the open-air owing to Covid restrictions.

Elche city hall has now signed an €8,000 collaboration agreement with the La Cocina del Infierno cultural association which produced the reenactments that will now become a permanent feature of the Torrellano fiestas.


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Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]