Valencia , a lot more than the Cid!

And coming back to Valencia, a city visited a lot while a young teen as had family living in El Saler just south; a lot less afterward ,until coming back with my dear late wife Martine and sons. It is always another sweet spot for me in my beloved Spain.

It is a nice city to visit by the Mediterranean Sea and the neighborhood of Carmen is glorious indeed. We really enjoyed the market or Mercado Central. However, plenty of that in the posts above.  I like to tell you about the history I like below

Valencia is a city located in the eastern part of the country on the Mediterranean coast of Spain. Founded in 138 B.C. by the Roman consul Decimus Junius Brutus Callaicus under the name of Valentia Edetanorum, Valencia became, in the Middle Ages, the capital of the Kingdom of Valencia. The city is crossed by the  Túria river , which was redirected in the  1960’s  as a result of the great Flood of Valencia of 1957. Its old bed is now converted into green spaces, the gardens of the Turia.

Valencia has two urban beaches of golden sand, Las arenas and the beach of Malvarrosa, which are bounded in the  south by the Port of Valencia and on the north by  the Patacona Alboraya beach. These are urban beaches, which have a large promenade where there are many large premises, which occupy old public baths, and offer a wide choice of accommodations and local cuisine.

In 711, the city was taken by the Moors of Northern Africa , Abd al-Allah, the son of Abd al-Rahman I, (first Emir of Cordoba), settled in Balansiya (name of the city in Arabic) and exercised his authority over the region of Valencia. In October 1092, a handful of Almoravids scouts arrived at the walls of Valencia. Ibn Djehaf, a member of the Yemeni High Line, carried by the partisan crowd, took the power of the city after having assassinated al-Qadir.  Rodrigo (El Cid), who was then staying in Zaragoza, besieges Valencia and takes over the city in July 1093. A skilful politician or an inveterate warrior, Rodrigo does not seem to have aspired to exercise power directly. Rodrigo  allied with king Peter I of Aragon and Count Raimond-Berenguer III of Barcelona with the aim of curbing the constant progression of the Almoravid. In 1096, the Great Mosque was transformed into a Church. Then, in 1097, Jérôme de Périgord,  was named Bishop of the city. Rodrigo El Cid  continued to consolidate his power on the Levant, notably with the capture of Murviedro (Sagunto), in 1098.  The Cid dies in Valencia on July 10, 1099. Chimena succeeded in defending the city with the help of his son-in-law Raimond-Berenguer III Count of  Barcelona, until 1101 where King Alfonso VI of Castilla ordered the evacuation of the city. From 1102, the family of the Cid and his companions abandoned the city to the Almoravids. Valencia will only be recaptured definitively from the Moors in 1238, by king James I of Aragon.

The 15C was that of the expansion and growth of the Valencian culture, it is known as the Valencian gold century. Since 18 March 1437, the holy Chalice has been preserved in the Cathedral of Valencia. The construction of large palaces and Churches such as the towers of Serrans or the Micalet (steeple of the Cathedral of Valencia). The Llotja silk Stock exchange of the Seda I dels Mercaders (1482), which becomes one of the most important markets in the Mediterranean, where merchants from all over Europe, specialising in the silk trade, was erected.  It is in Valencia that is printed Obres o trobes en la verge Maria, 45 poems of which 40 in Valencian, 4 in Castilian and 1 in Italian, the first printed book of Spain.

During the war of the Spanish Succession (18C), the city joined the camp of Archduke Charles of Austria, resistant to the rout of the Battle of Almansa on April 25, 1707, abandoned the English army took refuge in Valencia to its fate. In retaliation, the Bourbons put the kingdom to the sack and withdrew its privileges.

The Mercado Central and the Colom market are built, and in 1921 the work of the current València-Nord railway station is completed. In 1936, during the Spanish Civil War, Valencia became the capital of Republican Spain until 1939. The City of Arts and Sciences carried out by Santiago Calatrava, sports facilities  such as Gulliver Park. The city also has several museums, including the Valencian Institute of Modern Art (IVAM).  The City of Arts and Sciences revolves around six buildings, including a shady garden, the l’umbracle, and the Oceanogràfic, a oceanarium. A zoological park of 8 hectares, the Biopark Valencia, takes place in the west of the city.


Other nice buildings are the St Mary’s Cathedral, Micalet steeple of the cathedral Church of Santa Catalina , hte Borgia Palace, and St. Nicholas and St. Peter’s Church.



From the 15th to the 19th of March, the days and nights in Valencia become a continuous feast. The Fallas  with very humble origins because they come from the night of San Jose (St Joeph) when we burned the waste of the carpentry workshops. However, the inventiveness of the Valencian people has added all the features peculiar to its culture and history. In Valencia, there is also a bullfighting museum, founded in 1929 with funds from the gift of Luis Moróder Peiró and the bullfighter José Bayard Babu, who for years gathered a large number of materials and objects from the 19C  to early 20C of  Valencia.


Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

tourist office of Valencia

history in Spanish from the city hall of Valencia :

Comunidad Valenciana on tourism:

To give you a bit on the area where I spent my late  youth and early teen years at El Saler , and the beautiful  Albufera Natural Park , the real home of the Paella Valenciana.

the Beaches of El Saler

Albufera National Park

Official Parque de la Albufera

Hope it help visit and enjoy this wonderful region of my beloved Spain.  Or as we said in the 80’s, Spain ,everything under the Sun!

And remember, happy travels , good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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5 Comments to “Valencia , a lot more than the Cid!”

  1. I can’t believe I still haven’t seen Las Fallas! The time of year is just wrong for us. The bucket list keeps getting longer and longer…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very interesting to read. Valencia is a city steeped in history and attractions. One of the most beautiful cities in the world and in Spain, and one of my favorites. Whenever I am in Valencia, I rent an e-bike from the “Brisa” company and ride the streets of the city.

    Liked by 1 person

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