The two official languages spoken in the city are Valencian and Spanish. Due to political and demographic pressures in the past, the predominant language is Spanish, but Valencian is taught and spoken in most of the surrounding metropolitan area and province of Valencia. Sony PCG-71313M battery The government emphasizes the usage of the local language by posting signs and announcements of the metro area in Valencian with Spanish translations. Valencian is also used when naming streets. Street signs generally give the Valencian name for the street. However, older streets and those which span longer distances are also labelled in SpanishSony PCG-71212M battery.
Valencia is famous for its gastronomic culture; typical features of its cuisine include paella, a simmered rice dish with seafood or meat (chicken or rabbit), fartons, buñuelos, the Spanish omelette, rosquilletas and squid (calamares).
Valencia is one of the oldest cities in Spain, founded in the Roman period under the name "Valentia Edetanorum" on the site of a former Iberian town, by the river Turia in the province of Roman Cornucopia, symbol of ValentiaSony PCG-71311M battery, found on the floor of a Roman building excavated in the Plaza de la Virgen.
About two thousand Roman colonists were settled there in 138 BC during the rule of consul Decimus Junius Brutus Galaico. The Roman historian Florus says that Brutus transferred the soldiers who had fought under him to that province. This was a typically Roman city in its conceptionSony PCG-71213M battery, as it was located in a strategic location near the sea on a river island crossed by the Via Augusta, the imperial road which connected the province to Rome, the capital of the empire. The centre of the city was located in the present-day neighbourhood of the Plaza de la Virgen; here was the forum and the crossing of the Cardo Maximus and the Decumanus MaximusSony PCG-61211M battery, streets which are still the two main axes of the city. The Cardo corresponds to the existing Calle de Salvador- Almoina and the Decumanus to Calle de los Caballeros.
Pompey razed Valentia to the ground in 75 BC as punishment for its adherence to Sertorius, but it was rebuilt around fifty years later, including large infrastructure projects, and by the mid-first century was experiencing rapid urban growth. Pomponius Mela says it was one of the principal cities of Tarraconensis provinceSony VAIO VPCF24Q1E battery. Valencia suffered a new period of decline in the third century, but an early Christian community arose there during the latter years of the Roman Empire in the fourth century.
A few centuries later, coinciding with the first waves of the invading Germanic peoples (Suevi, Vandals and Alans, and later the Visigoths) and the power vacuum left by the demise of the Roman imperial administration, the church assumed the reins of power in the city and replaced the old Roman temples with religious buildingsSony VAIO VPCF13M1E/H battery. With the Byzantine invasion of the southwestern Iberian peninsula in 554 the city acquired strategic importance. After the expulsion of the Byzantines in 625, Visigothic military contingents were posted there and the ancient Roman amphitheatre was fortified. Little is known of its history for nearly a hundred years; although this period is only scarcely documented by archeologySony VAIO VPCF12Z1E/BI battery, excavations suggest that there was little development of the city. During Visigothic times Valencia was an episcopal See of the Catholic Church, albeit a suffragan diocese subordinate to the archdiocese of Toledo, comprising the ancient Roman province of Carthaginensis in Hispania.
Towers of Serranos
The city surrendered without a fight to the invading Moors (Berbers and Arabs) in 714 AD, and the cathedral of Saint Vincent was turned into a mosque. Abd al-Rahman I, the first emir of Cordoba, ordered the city destroyedSony VAIO PCG-31112M battery, but several years later his son, Abd al-Balansi Allah, had a form of autonomous rule over the province of Valencia. Among his administrative acts he ordered the building of a luxurious palace, the Russafa, on the outskirts of the city in the neighbourhood of the same name. So far no remains have been found. Also at this time Valencia received the name Medina al-Turab (City of Sand) Sony VAIO PCG-31111M battery. When Islamic culture settled in, Valencia, then called Balansiyya, prospered from the 10th century, due to a booming trade in paper, silk, leather, ceramics, glass and silver-work. The architectural legacy of this period is abundant in Valencia and can still be appreciated today in the remnants of the old walls, the Baños del Almirante bath house, Portal de Valldigna street and even the Cathedral and the towerSony VAIO PCG-41112M battery, El Micalet (El Miguelete), which was the minaret of the old mosque.
After the death of Almanzor and the unrest that followed, Muslim Al-Andalus disintergrated into numerous small states known as taifas, one of which was the Taifa of Valencia which would exist for four distinct periods: 1010–1065, 1075–1099, 1145–1147 and the last from 1229–1238Sony VAIO PCG-41111M battery.
El Micalet or El Miguelete
The city had a rebirth of sorts with the beginning of the Taifa of Valencia kingdom in the 11th century. The town grew, and during the reign of Abd al-Aziz a new city wall was built, remains of which are preserved throughout the Old City (Ciutat Vella) today. The Castilian nobleman Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar, known as "El Cid"SONY VAIO PCG-21212M battery, who was intent on possessing his own principality on the Mediterranean, entered the province in command of a combined Christian and Moorish army and besieged the city beginning in 1092. By the time the siege ended in May 1094, he had carved out his own fiefdom which he ruled from 15 June 1094 to July 1099; this victory was immortalised in the Lay of the CidSONY VAIO PCG-21211M battery. During his rule he converted nine mosques into churches and installed the French monk Jérôme as bishop of the See of Valencia. He was killed defending the city from an Almoravid siege in July 1099, whereupon his wife Ximena Díaz ruled in his place for two years.
The city remained in the hands of Christian troops until 1102, when the Almoravids retook the city and restored the Muslim religionSONY VAIO PCG-51212M battery. Although the self-styled 'Emperor of All Spain', Alfonso VI of León and Castile, drove them from the city, he was not strong enough to hold it. The Christians set it afire before abandoning it, and the Almoravid Masdali took possession on 5 May 1109. The event was commemorated in a poem by Ibn Khafaja in which he thanked Yusuf ibn Tashfin for the city's liberationSONY VAIO PCG-51211M battery.The declining power of the Almoravids coincided with the rise of a new dynasty in North Africa, the Almohads, who seized control of the peninsula from the year 1145, although their entry into Valencia was deterred by Ibn Mardanis, King of Valencia and Murcia until 1171, at which time the city finally fell to the North Africans. The two Muslim dynasties would rule Valencia for more than a centurySONY VAIO PCG-51112M battery.
James I the Conqueror, King of Aragon
In 1238, King James I of Aragon, with an army composed of Aragonese, Catalans, Navarrese and crusaders from the Order of Calatrava, laid siege to Valencia and on 28 September obtained a surrender. Fifty thousand Moors were forced to leave. Poets such as Ibn al-Abbar and Ibn Amira mourned this exile from their beloved ValenciaSONY VAIO PCG-51111M battery. After the Christian victory and the expulsion of the Muslim population the city was divided between those who had participated in the conquest, according to the testimony in the Llibre del Repartiment (Book of Distribution). James I granted the city new charters of law, the Furs of Valencia, which later were extended to the whole kingdom of ValenciaSONY VAIO PCG-81212M battery. Thenceforth the city entered a new historical stage in which a new society and a new language developed, forming the basis of the character of the Valencian people as they are known today.
On 9 October, King James, followed by his retinue and army, took possession of the city. The principal mosque was purified and the Mass was celebrated. James incorporated city and territory into the newly formed Kingdom of ValenciaSony VAIO PCG-81112M battery, one of the kingdoms forming the Crown of Aragon, and permitted all people that lived in the city, Jews, Muslims and Christians, to stay there and live as citizens of the kingdom.
According to historical data on the capitulation of the city, the kingdom of Valencia had a population of 120,000 Muslims, 65,000 Christians and 2,000 Jews, who by the terms of the capitulation and its covenants were mostly allowed to remain on their landSONY VAIO PCG-71111M battery. According to the Arab historian Hussein Mones of the University of Cairo, these were the words which King Zayan spoke to James I when he surrendered the keys to the city:
"In the city of Valencia live Muslims, the nobles of my people, along with Christians and Jews. I hope you continue to govern in the same harmony, all working and living together in this noble land. Here, during my reign, Easter processions went out and Christians professed their religion freely, as our Quran recognizes Christ and the VirginSONY VAIO PCG-7196M battery. I hope you bestow the same treatment to the Muslims of Valencia."
A narrow street in the Old Quarter
The city went through serious troubles in the mid-fourteenth century. On the one hand were the decimation of the population by the Black Death of 1348 and subsequent years of epidemics, and on the other, the series of wars and riots which followed. Among these were the War of the Union, a citizen revolt against the excesses of the monarchySONY VAIO PCG-7195M battery, led by Valencia as the capital of the kingdom, and the war with Castile, which forced the hurried raising of a new wall to resist Castilian attacks in 1363 and 1364. In these years the coexistence of the three communities that occupied the city—Christian, Jewish and Muslim—was quite contentiousSONY VAIO PCG-7194M battery. The Jews occupying the area around the waterfront had progressed economically and socially, and their quarter was gradually expanding its boundaries at the expense of neighboring parishes. Meanwhile, the Muslims who remained in the city after the conquest were entrenched in a Moorish neighbourhood next to the present-day market Mosen Sorel. In 1391 an uncontrolled mob attacked the Jewish quarterSONY VAIO PCG-7192M battery, causing its virtual disappearance and leading to the forced conversion of its surviving members to Christianity. The Muslim quarter was attacked during a similar tumult among the populace in 1456, but the consequences were of minor importance.
Golden Age of Valencia
Hall of Columns in the Silk Exchange (Lonja de la Seda) of Valencia
The 15th century was a time of economic expansion, known as the Valencian Golden Age, in which culture and the arts flourishedSONY PCG-8113M battery. Concurrent population growth made Valencia the most populous city in the Kingdom of Aragon. Local industry, led by textile production, reached a great development, and a financial institution, the Canvi de Taula, was created to support municipal banking operations; Valencian bankers lent funds to Queen Isabella I of Castile for Columbus' voyage in 1492. At the end of the century the Silk Exchange SONY PCG-8112M battery (Llotja de la Seda) building was erected as the city became a commercial emporium that attracted merchants from all over Europe.
This boom was reflected in the growth of artistic and cultural pursuits. Some of the most emblematic buildings of the city were built during this period, including the Serranos Towers (1392), the Lonja (1482), the Miguelete and the Chapel of the Kings of the Convent of Santo DomingoSONY PCG-7134M battery . In painting and sculpture, Flemish and Italian trends had an influence on artists such as Lluís Dalmau, Peris Gonçal and Forment Damian. Literature flourished with the patronage of the court of Alfonso the Magnanimous, supporting authors like Ausias March, Roiç de Corella, and Isabel de Villena. By 1460 Joanot Martorell wrote Tirant lo Blanch, an innovative novel of chivalry that influenced many later writersSONY PCG-7131M battery, from Cervantes to Shakespeare. Ausiàs March was one of the first poets to use the everyday language Catalan, instead of the troubadour language, Occitan. Also around this time, between 1499 and 1502, the University of Valencia was founded under the parsimonious name of Estudio General (General Studies).
Valencia was one of the most influential cities on the Mediterranean in the 15th and 16th centuriesSONY PCG-7122M battery. The first printing press in the Iberian Peninsula was located in Valencia. The first printed Bible in a Romance language, the Valencian Bible attributed to Bonifaci Ferrer, was printed in Valencia circa 1478.
The Meeting of the Brotherhoods (La paz de las Germanías), by Marcelino de Unceta
Following the discovery of the Americas, the European economy was oriented towards the Atlantic to the detriment of the Mediterranean tradeSONY PCG-7121M battery. Despite the dynastic union of Aragon with Castile, the conquest and exploitation of America was the exclusive domain of Castile. The Valencians, like the Catalans, Aragonese and Majorcans, were prohibited participation in the cross-Atlantic commerce. Faced with this loss of business, Valencia suffered a severe economic crisisSONY PCG-7113M battery, which manifested itself early in 1519–1523 when the artisan guilds known as the Germanies revolted against the government of the Habsburg king Charles I in Valencia, now part of the Crown of Aragon, with most of the fighting done in 1521. The revolt was an anti-monarchist, anti-feudal autonomist movement inspired by the Italian republics, and a social revolt against the nobility who had fled the city before an epidemic of plague in 1519SONY PCG-7112M battery. It also bore a strong anti-Islamic aspect, as rebels rioted against Aragon's population of mudéjars and imposed forced conversions to Christianity. The uprising and its leaders were brutally repressed by the vicereine Germaine of Foix, an action which accelerated the authoritarian centralization of the government of Charles I. Queen Germaine favored harsh treatment of the agermanatsSONY PCG-8Z3M battery; she is thought to have signed the death warrants of 100 former rebels personally, and sources indicate that as many as 800 executions may have occurred in total. The agermanats are comparable to the comuneros of neighboring Castile, who fought a similar revolt against Charles from 1520–1522SONY PCG-8Z2M battery.
The crisis deepened during the 17th century with the expulsion in 1609 of the Jews and the Moriscos, descendants of the Muslim population that converted to Christianity under threat of exile from Ferdinand and Isabella in 1502. From 1609 through 1614, the Spanish government systematically forced Moriscos to leave the kingdom for Muslim North AfricaSONY PCG-8Z1M battery. They were concentrated in the former Kingdom of Aragon, where they constituted a fifth of the population, and the Valencia area specifically, where they were roughly a third of the total population. The expulsion caused the financial ruin of some of the nobility and the bankruptcy of the Taula de Canvi in 1613. The Crown endeavoured to compensate the nobles, who had lost much of their agricultural labour forceSONY PCG-8Y3M battery; this harmed the economy of the city for generations to come. Later, during the so-called Catalan Revolt (1640–1652), Valencia contributed to the cause of Philip IV with militias and money, resulting in a period of further economic hardship exacerbated by the arrival of troops from other parts of SpainSONY PCG-8Y2M battery.
Expulsion of the Moriscos from Valencia Grau by Pere Oromig
Valencia under the Bourbons
The decline of the city reached its nadir with the War of Spanish Succession (1702–1709) that marked the end of the political and legal independence of the Kingdom of Valencia. During the War of the Spanish Succession, Valencia sided with Charles of Austria. On 24 January 1706, Charles Mordaunt, 3rd Earl of Peterborough, 1st Earl of MonmouthSONY PCG-7Z1M battery, led a handful of English cavalrymen into the city after riding south from Barcelona, capturing the nearby fortress at Sagunt, and bluffing the Spanish Bourbon army into withdrawal.
The English held the city for 16 months and defeated several attempts to expel them. English soldiers advanced as far as Requena on the road to Madrid. After the victory of the Bourbons at the Battle of Almansa on 25 April 1707SONY PCG-6W2M battery, the English army evacuated Valencia and Philip V ordered the repeal of the privileges of Valencia as punishment for the kingdom's support of Charles of Austria. By the Nueva Planta decrees (Decretos de Nueva Planta) the ancient Charters of Valencia were abolished and the city was governed by the Castilian Charter. The Bourbon forces burned important cities like XativaSONY PCG-5J5M battery, where pictures of the Spanish Bourbons in public places are hung upside down as a protest to this day. The capital of the Kingdom of Valencia was moved to Orihuela, an outrage to the citizens of Valencia. Philip ordered the Cortes to meet with the Viceroy of Valencia, Cardinal Luis de Belluga, who opposed the change of capital because of the proximity of OrihuelaSONY PCG-5K2M battery, a religious, cultural and now political centre, to Murcia (capital of another viceroyalty and his diocese). Because of his hatred of the city of Orihuela which had bombarded and looted Valencia during the War of Succession, the cardinal resigned the viceroyalty as a protest against the actions of Philip, who finally relented and returned the capital to ValenciaSONY PCG-5K1M battery.
With the abolition of the charters of Valencia and most of its institutions, and the conformation of the kingdom and its capital to the laws and customs of Castile, top civil officials were no longer elected, but instead were appointed directly from Madrid, the king's court city, the offices often filled by foreign aristocrats. Valencia had to become accustomed to being an occupied citySONY PCG-5J4M battery , living with the presence of troops quartered in the Citadel near the convent of Santo Domingo and in other buildings such as the Lonja, which served as a barracks until 1762.
Palau de Justicia
The Valencian economy recovered during the 18th century with the rising manufacture of woven silk and ceramic tiles. The Palau de Justicia is an example of the affluence manifested in the most prosperous times of Bourbon rule (1758–1802) during the rule of Charles IIISONY PCG-5J1M battery . The 18th century was the age of the Enlightenment in Europe, and its humanistic ideals influenced such men as Gregory Maians and Perez Bayer in Valencia, who maintained correspondence with the leading French and German thinkers of the time. In this atmosphere of the exaltation of ideas the Economic Society of Friends of the Country (Societat Econòmica d'Amics del País) SONY PCG-5G2M battery was founded in 1776; it introduced numerous improvements in agriculture and industry and promoted various cultural, civic, and economic institutions in Valencia.
Late modern and contemporary
Triumphal welcome of Ferdinand at Valencia, 1814 by Miquel Parra
The 19th century began with Spain embroiled in wars with France, Portugal or England, but it was the War of Independence which most affected the Valencian territories and the capital city. The repercussions of the French Revolution were still being felt when Napoleon's armies invaded the Iberian PeninsulaSony VAIO PCG-8131M battery, against which the Valencian people rose in arms on 23 May 1808, aroused by such characters as Vicent Doménech el Palleter. The mutineers seized the Citadel, a Supreme Junta government took over, and on 26–28 June the First Battle of Valencia occurred when Napolean's Marshal Moncey attacked the city with a column of 9,000 French imperial troops; he failed to take the city in two assaults and retreated to MadridSony VAIO PCG-8152M battery. Marshal Suchet began a long siege of the city in October 1811, and after an intense bombardment forced its surrender on 8 January 1812. After the capitulation, the French instituted some reforms in Valencia, which became the capital of Spain when the Bonapartist pretender to the throne, José I (Joseph Bonaparte, Napolean's elder brother), moved the Court there in the summer of 1812Sony VAIO PCG-31311M battery. The disaster of the Battle of Vitoria on 21 June 1813 obliged Suchet to quit Valencia and the French troops withdrew in July.
During the Napoleonic invasion, the Valencians had sent their representatives to the Cortes of Cadiz, where a liberal, anti-seigneurial national constitution was drafted. Ferdinand VII became king after the victorious end of the Peninsular War, by which Spain was freed from the Napoleonic dominationSony VAIO PCG-31111M battery. When he returned on 24 March 1814 from exile in France, he was requested by the Cortes to respect the liberal Constitution of 1812, which seriously limited the royal powers. Ferdinand refused and went to Valencia instead of Madrid. Here, on April 17, General Elio invited the King to reclaim his absolute rights and put his troops at the King's dispositionSony VAIO PCG-8112M battery. The king abolished the Constitution of 1812; this act was followed by the dissolution of the two chambers of the Spanish Parliament on 10 May. Thus began the six years (1814–1820) of absolutist rule, but the constitution was reinstated during the Trienio Liberal, a period of three years of liberal government in Spain from 1820–1823. A fervent follower of the absolutist causeSony VAIO PCG-7186M battery, Elío had played an important role in the repression of the supporters of the Constitution of 1812. For this, he was arrested in 1820 and executed in 1822 by garroting. Conflict between the absolutists and the liberals continued, and in the period of conservative rule called the Ominous Decade (1823–1833) which followed the Trienio Liberal there was ruthless repression by government forces and the Catholic InquisitionSony VAIO PCG-7171M battery. The last victim of the Inquisition was Gaietà Ripoli, a teacher accused of being a deist and a Mason who was hanged in Valencia in 1824.
Baldomero Espartero became, on the death of King Ferdinand VII in 1833, one of the most ardent defenders of the hereditary rights of his daughter, Isabella II. On the outbreak of the First Carlist War, the government sent him to the front, where he severely defeated the Carlists in many encountersSony VAIO PCG-9Z1M battery. He was associated with the radical, or progressive, wing of Spanish liberalism and would become its symbol and champion after taking credit for the victory over the Carlists in 1839. During the regency of Maria Cristina, Espartero ruled Spain for two years as its 18th Prime Minister from 16 September 1840 to 21 May 1841. Under his progressive government the old regime was tenuously reconciled to his liberal policiesSony VAIO PCG-5S1M battery. During this period of upheaval in the provinces he declared all the estates of the Church, its congregations and its religious orders to be national property, although in Valencia most of it was subsequently acquired by the local bourgeoisie. City life in Valencia carried on in a revolutionary climate, with frequent clashes between liberals and republicans and the constant threat of reprisals by the Carlist troops of General CabreraSony VAIO PCG-5P1M battery.
The reign of Isabella II as an adult (1843–1868) proved to be a period of relative stability and growth for Valencia in which services and the infrastructure, including municipal water supply, paved roads, and gas distribution were substantially improved, and a large-scale construction project was initiated at the portSony VAIO PCG-5N2M battery. Gas lighting was introduced in 1840 and soon after a public works project began to pave the streets with cobblestones, a task that took several years because of the lack of council funds. The public water supply network was completed in 1850, and in 1858 the architects Sebastián Monleón Estellés, Antonino Sancho and Timoteo Calvo drafted a general expansion project for the city which included the demolition of its ancient walls (a second version was printed in 1868) Sony VAIO PCG-3C2M battery. Neither proposed project received final approval, but they did serve as a guide, although not necessarily closely followed, for future growth. By 1860 the municipality had 140,416 inhabitants, and beginning in 1866 the ancient city walls were almost entirely demolished to facilitate urban expansion. Electricity was introduced to Valencia in 1882Sony VAIO PCG-8161M battery.
During the Cantonal Revolution of 1873, a cantonalist uprising that took place during the First Spanish Republic, the city was consolidated with most of the nearby cities in the Federal Canton of Valencia (proclaimed on July 19 and dissolved on August 7). It did not have the revolutionary fervor of the movement in cities like Alcoy, as it was initiated by the bourgeoisieSony VAIO PCG-8141M battery, but the Madrid government sent General Martinez-Campos to stifle the rebellion by force of arms and subjected Valencia to an intense bombardment. The city surrendered on August 7; Alfonso XII was proclaimed king on 29 December 1874, and arrived in Valencia on 11 January 1875 on his way to Madrid, marking the end of the first republic. Despite the Bourbon restorationSony VAIO PCG-3J1M battery, the roughly even balance between conservatives and liberals in the government was sustained in Valencia until the granting of universal male suffrage in 1890, after which the Republicans, led by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez, gained considerably more of the popular vote.
During the second half of the 19th century the bourgeoisie encouraged the development of the city and its environs; land-owners were enriched by the introduction of the orange crop and the expansion of vineyards and other crops, Sony VAIO PCG-3H1M battery. This economic boom corresponded with a revival of local traditions and of the Valencian (Catalan) language, which had been ruthlessly suppressed from the time of Philip V. Around 1870, the Valencian Renaissance, a movement committed to the revival of the Valencian language and traditions, began to gain ascendancySony VAIO PCG-3F1M battery. In its early stages the movement inclined to the romanticism of the poet Teodor Llorente, and resisted the more assertive remonstrances of Constantine Llombart, founder of the still extant cultural society, Rat Penat Lo, which is dedicated to the promotion and dissemination of the Valencian language and culture.
In 1894 the Círculo de Bellas Artes de Valencia (Circle of Fine Arts in Valencia) was foundedSony VAIO PCG-3C1M battery.
Palau de l'Exposició (Palacio de la Exposición), site of Regional Exhibition of 1909
During the 20th century Valencia remained the third most populous city of Spain as its population tripled, rising from 213,550 inhabitants in 1900 to 739,014 in 2000. Valencia was also third in industrial and economic development; notable milestones include urban expansion of the city in the latter 1800s, the creation of the Banco de Valencia in 1900Sony VAIO PCG-9Z2L battery, construction of the Central and Columbus markets, and the construction of the Gare du Nord railway station, completed in 1921. The new century was marked in Valencia with a major event, the Valencian regional exhibition of 1909 (La Exposición Regional Valenciana de 1909), which emulated the national and universal expositions held in other cities. This production was promoted by the Ateneo Mercantil de Valencia (Mercantile Athenaeum of Valencia) Sony VAIO PCG-9Z1L battery, especially by its chairman, Tomás Trénor y Palavicino, and had the support of the Government and the Crown; it was officially inaugurated by King Alfonso XIII himself.
Interior of the Columbus Market (Mercat de Colom)
In the early 20th century Valencia was an industrialized city. The silk industry had disappeared, but there was a large production of hides and skins, wood, metals and foodstuffs, this last with substantial exports, particularly of wine and citrusSony VAIO PCG-9131L battery. Small businesses predominated, but with the rapid mechanization of industry larger companies were being formed. The best expression of this dynamic was in the regional exhibitions, including that of 1909 held next to the pedestrian avenue L'Albereda (Paseo de la Alameda), which depicted the progress of agriculture and industrySony VAIO PCG-8161L battery. Among the most architecturally successful buildings of the era were those designed in the Art Nouveau style, such as the North Station (Gare du Nord) and the Central and Columbus markets.
Industrial workers began to organize in increasing numbers to demand better living conditions. The Republican party of Blasco Ibáñez responded to these demands and gained enormous popular support, dominating the ruling council between 1901 and 1923Sony VAIO PCG-8152L battery.
World War I (1914–1918) greatly affected the Valencian economy, causing the collapse of its citrus exports. The establishment of the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera in 1923 tempered social unrest for some years, but not the growing political radicalization of the working classes. The labor movement gradually consolidated its union organization, while the conservative factions rallied around the Valencian Regional RightSony VAIO PCG-8141L battery.
The Republic (1931–1939) opened the way for democratic participation and the increased politicization of citizens, especially in response to the rise of Conservative Front power in 1933. This climate marked the elections of 1936, won by the Popular Front political coalition which promoted the fervor of the masses. The military uprising of July 18 failed to triumph in ValenciaSony VAIO PCG-8131L battery. For some months there was a revolutionary atmosphere, gradually neutralised by the government.
The inevitable march to civil war and the combat in Madrid resulted in the removal of the capital of the Republic to Valencia. On 6 November 1936 the city became the capital of Republican Spain under the control of the prime minister Manuel Azana; the government moved to the Palau de Benicarló, its ministries occupying various other buildingsSony VAIO PCG-81312L battery. The city was heavily bombarded by air and sea, necessitating the construction of over two hundred bomb shelters to protect the population. On 13 January 1937 the city was first shelled by a vessel of the Fascist Italian Navy, which was blockading the port by the order of Benito Mussolini. The bombardment intensified and inflicted massive destruction on several occasionsSony VAIO PCG-81214L battery; by the end of the war the city had survived 442 bombardments, leaving 2,831 dead and 847 wounded, although it is estimated that the death toll was higher, as the data given are those recognized by Francisco Franco's government. The Republican government passed to Juan Negrín on 17 May 1937 and on 31 October of that year moved to Barcelona. On 30 March 1939 Valencia surrendered and the Nationalist troops entered the citySony VAIO PCG-81115L battery. The postwar years were a time of hardship for Valencians. During Franco's regime speaking or teaching Valencian was prohibited; in a significant reversal it is now compulsory for every schoolchild in Valencia.
Palau de la Generalitat, symbol of the recovery of self-government in Valencia, and seat of the Government of Valencia since 1978Sony VAIO PCG-81114L battery
The dictatorship of Franco forbade political parties and began a harsh ideological and cultural repression led by the Church. The financial markets were destabilised, causing a severe economic crisis during which rationing was imposed; a black market in rationed goods existed for over a decade. The Francoist administrations of Valencia silenced publicity of the catastrophic consequences of the floods of 1949 with the attendant dozens of deathsSony VAIO PCG-81113L battery, but could not do the same after the even more tragic flood of 1957 when the river Turia overflowed its banks again, killing many Valencians (officially, eighty-one died; the actual figure is not known). To prevent further disasters, the river was eventually diverted to a new course. The old river bed was abandoned for years, and successive Francoist mayors proposed making it a motorwaySony VAIO PCG-7142L battery, but that option was finally rejected with the advent of democracy and fervent neighborhood protests. The river was divided in two at the western city limits (Plan Sur de Valencia), and diverted southwards along a new course that skirts the city, before meeting the Mediterranean. The old course of the river continues, dry, through the city centre, almost to the seaSony VAIO PCG-7141L battery. The old riverbed is now a verdant sunken park called the 'Garden of the Turia' (Jardí del Túria or Jardín del Turia) that allows cyclists and pedestrians to traverse much of the city without the use of roads; overhead bridges carry motor traffic across the park.
The economy began to recover in the early 1960s, and the city experienced explosive population growth through immigration spurred by the jobs created with the implementation of major urban projects and infrastructure improvementsSony VAIO PCG-71111L battery. With the advent of democracy in Spain, the ancient kingdom of Valencia was established as a new autonomous entity, the Valencian Community, the Statute of Autonomy of 1982 designating Valencia as its capital. On the night of 23 February 1981, shortly after Antonio Tejero had stormed Congress, the Captain General of the Third Military Region, Jaime Milans del BoschSony VAIO PCG-61411L battery, rose up in Valencia, put tanks on the streets, declared a state of emergency and tried to convince other senior military figures to support the coup. After the televised message of King Juan Carlos I, those in the military who had not yet aligned themselves decided to remain loyal to the government, and the coup failed. Despite this lack of support, Milans del Bosch only surrendered at 5 a.m. on the next day, 24 FebruarySony VAIO PCG-61112L battery.
City Hall (Ayuntamiento or l'Ajuntament).
Democracy has led to the recovery of the Valencian language and culture, but could not resolve the social tensions concerning these symbols; this identity conflict, known facetiously as the Battle of Valencia, has been characterised by considerable conflict and violence, dividing Valencia socially and politicallySony VAIO PCG-61111L battery.
Valencia has experienced a surge in its cultural development during the last thirty years, exemplified by exhibitions and performances at such iconic institutions as the Palau de la Música, the Palacio de Congresos, the Metro, the City of Arts and Sciences (Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències), the Valencian Museum of Enlightenment and Modernity Sony VAIO PCG-5T4L battery (Museo Valenciano de la Ilustracion y la Modernidad), and the Institute of Modern Art (Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno). The various productions of Santiago Calatrava, a renowned structural engineer, architect, and sculptor and of the architect Félix Candela have contributed to Valencia's international reputation. Sony VAIO PCG-5T3L battery These public works and the ongoing rehabilitation of the Old City (Ciutat Vella) have helped improve the city's livability and tourism is continually increasing.
On 9 July 2006, during Mass at Valencia's Cathedral, Our Lady of the Forsaken Basilica, Pope Benedict XVI used, at the World Day of Families, the Santo Caliz, a 1st-century Middle-Eastern artifact believed by many to be the Holy GrailSony VAIO PCG-5T2L battery. It was supposedly brought to that church by Emperor Valerian in the 3rd century, after having been brought by St. Peter to Rome from Jerusalem. The Santo Caliz (Holy Chalice) is a simple, small stone cup. Its base was added in medieval times and consists of fine gold, alabaster and gem stones.
Valencia was selected in 2003 to host the historic America's Cup yacht raceSony VAIO PCG-5S3L battery, the first European city ever to do so. The America's Cup matches took place in summer 2007. On 3 July 2007, Alinghi defeated Team New Zealand and successfully defended the America's Cup. Twenty-two days later, on 25 July 2007, the leaders of the Alinghi syndicate, holder of the America's Cup, officially announced that Valencia would be the host city for the 33rd America's Cup, held in June 2009. Sony VAIO PCG-5S2L battery
Since 1991 the City Council has been governed by the People's Party of Spain (Partido Popular) (PP) and Mayor Rita Barberá Nolla who became mayor by a pact made with the Valencian Union. She is a member of the National Council of the People's Party and a Representative in the Valencian regional Parliament (Corts Valencianes). She turned down an offer to become a national deputy at the 2008 Spanish General Election. Sony VAIO PCG-5S1L battery
Historic Central Market (Mercado Central) of Valencia
The ancient winding streets of the Barrio del Carmen contain buildings dating to Roman and Arabic times. The Cathedral, built between the 13th and 15th centuries, is primarily of Gothic style but contains elements of Baroque and Romanesque architecture. Beside the Cathedral is the Gothic Basilica of the Virgin (Basílica De La Virgen De Los Desamparados) Sony VAIO PCG-5R2L battery. The 15th century Serrano and Quart towers are part of what was once the wall surrounding the city.
UNESCO has recognised the Silk Exchange market (La Llotja de la Seda), erected in early Valencian Gothic style, as a World Heritage Site. The modernist Central Market (Mercado Central) is one of the largest in Europe. The main railway station Estación Del Norte is built in modernisme (the Spanish version of Art Nouveau) styleSony VAIO PCG-5R1L battery.
World-renowned (and city-born) architect Santiago Calatrava produced the futuristic City of Arts and Sciences (Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències), which contains an opera house/performing arts centre, a science museum, an IMAX cinema/planetarium, an oceanographic park and other structures such as a long covered walkway and restaurants. Calatrava is also responsible for the bridge named after him in the centre of the citySony VAIO PCG-5P4L battery. The Music Palace (Palau De La Música) is another noteworthy example of modern architecture in Valencia.
Northern view of the cathedral: dome, apse, Micalet (belfry) and the Basilica of Our Lady
The Valencia Cathedral was called Iglesia Mayor in the early days of the Reconquista, then Iglesia de la Seo (Seo is from the Latin sedes, i.e., (archiepiscopal) See), and by virtue of the papal concession of 16 October 1866, it was called the Basilica MetropolitanaSony VAIO PCG-5P2L battery. It is situated in the centre of the ancient Roman city where some believe the temple of Diana stood. In Gothic times, it seems to have been dedicated to the Holy Saviour; the Cid dedicated it to the Blessed Virgin; King James I of Aragon did likewise, leaving in the main chapel the image of the Blessed Virgin which he carried with him and is reputed to be the one now preserved in the sacristySony VAIO PCG-5N4L battery. The Moorish mosque, which had been converted into a Christian church by the conqueror, was deemed unworthy of the title of the cathedral of Valencia, and in 1262 Bishop Andrés de Albalat laid the cornerstone of the new Gothic building, with three naves; these reach only to the choir of the present building. Bishop Vidal de Blanes built the chapter hallSony VAIO PCG-5N2L battery, and James I added the tower, called El Miguelete because it was blessed on St. Michael's day in 1418. The tower is about 58 m high and topped with a belfry (1660–1736).
In the 15th century the dome was added and the naves extended back of the choir, uniting the building to the tower and forming a main entrance. Archbishop Luis Alfonso de los Cameros began the building of the main chapel in 1674Sony VAIO PCG-51513L battery; the walls were decorated with marbles and bronzes in the Baroque style of that period. At the beginning of the 18th century the German Conrad Rudolphus built the façade of the main entrance. The other two doors lead into the transept; one, that of the Apostles in pure pointed Gothic, dates from the 14th century, the other is that of the PaláuSony VAIO PCG-51511L battery. The additions made to the back of the cathedral detract from its height. The 18th century-restoration rounded the pointed arches, covered the Gothic columns with Corinthian pillars, and redecorated the walls. The dome has no lantern, its plain ceiling being pierced by two large side windows. There are four chapels on either side, besides that at the end and those that open into the choir, the transept, and the sanctuary. It contains many paintings by eminent artistsSony VAIO PCG-51412L battery. A silver reredos, which was behind the altar, was carried away in the war of 1808, and converted into coin to meet the expenses of the campaign. There are two paintings by Francisco Goya in the San Francesco chapel. Behind the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament is a small Renaissance chapel built by Calixtus III. Beside the cathedral is the chapel dedicated to the Our Lady of the Forsaken (Virgen de los desamparados or Mare de Déu dels Desamparats) Sony VAIO PCG-51411L battery.
Sitting of the Tribunal de las Aguas outside the Portal of the Apostles of the Valencia Cathedral
The Tribunal de las Aguas (Water Court), a court dating from Moorish times that hears and mediates in matters relating to irrigation water, sits at noon every Thursday outside the Puerta de Apostoles (Portal of the Apostles). Sony VAIO PCG-51312L battery
In 1409, a hospital was founded and placed under the patronage of Santa María de los Inocentes; to this was attached a confraternity devoted to recovering the bodies of the unfriended dead in the city and within a radius of three miles (5 km) around it. At the end of the 15th century this confraternity separated from the hospital, and continued its work under the name of "Cofradia para el ámparo de los desamparados"Sony VAIO PCG-51311L battery. King Philip IV of Spain and the Duke of Arcos suggested the building of the new chapel, and in 1647 the Viceroy, Conde de Oropesa, who had been preserved from the bubonic plague, insisted on carrying out their project. The Blessed Virgin was proclaimed patroness of the city under the title of Virgen de los desamparados (Virgin of the Forsaken), and Archbishop Pedro de UrbinaSony VAIO PCG-51211L battery, on 31 June 1652, laid the cornerstone of the new chapel of this name. The archiepiscopal palace, a grain market in the time of the Moors, is simple in design, with an inside cloister and a handsome chapel. In 1357 the arch which connects it with the cathedral was built. In the council chamber are preserved the portraits of all the prelates of ValenciaSony VAIO PCG-41112L battery.
Façade of Real Colegio del Corpus Christi
Among the parish churches are Saints John (Baptist and Evangelist), rebuilt in 1368, whose dome, decorated by Palonino, contains some of the best frescoes in Spain; El Templo (the Temple), the ancient church of the Knights Templar, which passed into the hands of the Order of Montesa and was rebuilt in the reigns of Ferdinand VI and Charles III; the former convent of the DominicansSony VAIO PCG-3A4L battery, at one time the headquarters of the Capital General, the cloister of which has a beautiful Gothic wing and the chapter room, large columns imitating palm trees; the Colegio del Corpus Christi, which is devoted to the Blessed Sacrament, and in which perpetual adoration is carried on; the Jesuit college, which was destroyed in 1868 by the revolutionary Committee of the Popular FrontSony VAIO PCG-3A3L battery, but later rebuilt; and the Colegio de San Juan (also of the Society), the former college of the nobles, now a provincial institute for secondary instruction.
Squares and gardens
The largest plaza in Valencia is the Plaça de l'Ajuntament or Plaza del Ayuntamiento; it is home to the City Hall (Ayuntamiento) on its western side and the central post office (Edificio de Correos) on its eastern side, a cinema which shows classic moviesSony VAIO PCG-3A2L battery, and many restaurants and bars. The plaza is triangular in shape, with a large cement lot at the southern end, normally surrounded by flower vendors. It serves as ground zero during the Les Falles when the fireworks of the Mascletà can be heard every afternoon. There is a large fountain at the northern endSony VAIO PCG-3A1L battery.
The Plaça de la Verge contains the Basilica of the Virgin and the Turia fountain, and is a popular spot for locals and tourists. Around the corner is the Plaça de la Reina, with the Cathedral, orange trees, and many bars and restaurants.
The Turia River was diverted in the 1960s, after severe flooding, and the old river bed is now the Turia gardens, which contain a children’s playground, a fountain, and sports fieldsSony VAIO PCG-394L battery. The Palau de la Música is adjacent to the Turia gardens and the City of Arts and Sciences lies at one end.
Other gardens in Valencia include the Jardines de Monforte (Montforte Gardens), the Jardin Botanico (Botanical Gardens) and the Jardines de Real (Royal Gardens).
L'Hemisfèric, a IMAX 3D-cinema, planetarium and laserium
Ciudad de los Artes y las Ciencias (City of Arts and Sciences). Designed by the Valencian architect Santiago CalatravaSony VAIO PCG-393L battery, it is situated in the former Túria river-bed and comprises the following monuments:
Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía, a flamboyant opera and music palace with four halls and a total area of 37,000 m2 (398,000 sq ft).
L'Oceanogràfic, the largest aquarium in Europe, with a variety of ocean beings from different environments: from the MediterraneanSony VAIO PCG-391L battery, fishes from the ocean and reef inhabitants, sharks, mackerel swarms, dolphinarium, inhabitants of the polar regions (belugas, walruses, penguins), coast inhabitants (sea lions), etc. L'Oceanogràfic exhibits also smaller animals as coral, jellyfish, sea anemones, etc.
El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe, an interactive museum of science but resembling the skeleton of a whale. It occupies around 40,000 m² on three flatsSony VAIO PCG-384L battery.
Museu de Prehistòria de València (Prehistory Museum of Valencia)
Museu Valencià d'Etnologia (Valencian Museum of Ethnology)
House Museum Blasco Ibáñez
IVAM – Institut Valencià d'Art Modern – Centre Julio González Julio González Centre – Valencian Institute of Modern Art
Museu de Belles Arts San Pío V (Museum of Fine Arts)
Museu Faller (Falles Museum)
Museu d'Història de València (Museum of History of Valencia)
Museu Taurí de València (Bullfighting Museum)
MuVIM – Museu Valencià de la Il·lustració i la Modernitat (Valencian Museum of Enlightenment and Modernity) Sony VAIO PCG-383L battery
Museo Nacional de Cerámica y de las Artes Suntuarias / Museu Nacional de Ceràmica i Arts Sumptuàries González Martí (National Museum of Pottery and Sumptuary Arts González Martí)
Valencia is also internationally famous for its football club, Valencia C.F., which won the Spanish league in 2002 and 2004 (the year it also won the UEFA Cup), for a total of six timesSony VAIO PCG-382L battery, and was a UEFA Champions League runner-up in 2000 and 2001. The team's stadium is the Mestalla; its city rival Levante UD also plays in the highest division after gaining promotion two years ago, their stadium is Estadi Ciutat de València. From the year 2011 there has been a third team in the city, Huracán Valencia, who play their games in Municipal de Manises, in the Segunda División BSony VAIO PCG-381L battery.
Since 1993 Valencia has been the home of the Valencia Firebats team, who play American football in the national first division; they have been national champions three times and have represented Valencia and Spain in the European playoffs since 2005. Their colors are black and yellow and their games are held at the "Estadio Jardín del Turia." Sony VAIO PCG-7185L battery
Motor sportsOnce a year the European Formula One Grand Prix takes place in the Valencia Street Circuit; the Valencian Community motorcycle Grand Prix (Gran Premi de la Comunitat Valenciana de motociclisme) is part of the Grand Prix motorcycle racing season at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo (also known as Circuit de Valencia). Periodically the Spanish round of the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters touring car racing Championship (DTM) is held in ValenciaSony VAIO PCG-7184L battery.