Valencia , a lot more than the Cid!

And after so many years was able to be back to Valencia. If read my blog when a boy used to come from Madrid to visit my aunt here at El Saler just south of Valencia. Of course, the tours always included a visit to the city. Wind up the clock and once living in France, the idea of Spain so close looms big and I took them there. They like it and we road warrior all over including a stop in Valencia. Let me tell you in my black and white series, no pictures , a bit more on this city updating an older post. Valencia is a lot more than El Cid!!

And coming back to Valencia, literally after so many years was a blast of remembering game with my mother. Until later come 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, I like to tell you about the history I like on this post.

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.

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. 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. 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.

Valencia has two urban beaches of golden sand, Las arenas and the beach of Malvarrosa, (see posts) 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.

The Mercado Central and the Colom market (see posts) are built, and in 1921 the work of the current València-Nord train 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,(see post)  Micalet steeple of the cathedral Church of Santa Catalina , the Borgia Palace, and St. Nicholas and St. Peter’s Church.(see posts)

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.

The Valencia tourist office in English:

The city of Valencia on its history/heritage in Spanish:

The Autonomus community of Valencia region on Valencia city in English:

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

The Valencia tourist office on the beach of El Saler

The Valencia tourist office on the National Park of Albufera:

The National Park of Albufera can be reach from Valencia on bus 25 taken at Plaza Puerta del Mar and takes you to El Perello or El Palmar . By road from Valencia take the CV 500 road from the Arts and Science complex it is the V15  cross the Turia river becomes the CV 500 to El Saler and the forest or bosque La Devesa. A better private webpage on the Albufera in English :

There you go folks, another dandy in my beloved Spain all dearly worth the detour. Hope you can enjoy this wonderful Valencia 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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