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VALENCIA

Valencia is a charming old city and the capital of the Valencian Community. With just over 800,000 inhabitants in 2020, it is Spain’s third-largest city and, after Barcelona, the most significant cultural centre along the Spanish Mediterranean coast. It is the capital of the autonomous Valencian Community, and is known for tourism and cuisine. In March visitors flock to the city for the annual UNESCO-listed Falles celebration, but the city is worth visiting at other times of year for its paella, ultramodern architecture, and good beaches.


Valentia Edetanorum was established as a Roman colony in the second century BCE. In the early 8th century CE the Moors invaded, and Balansiyya became the capital of the Muslim Taifa of Valencia, thriving as a trading centre for paper, silk, ceramics, glass, and silver. With a brief interlude of Christian control in the 11th century under El Cid, the city remained in Muslim hands until the Christian Reconquista led by King Jaime I of Aragon in 1238, and was incorporated as a kingdom under the Crown of Aragon.


Valencia experienced its golden age in the 15th century, with a growing population and flowering of Valencian culture and the arts. Significant monuments from this period include the cathedral’s Micalet, the UNESCO-listed Llotja de la Seda, and the Torres de Serrano (Serrano Tower).


- Wikivoyage

Image by Mesut Kaya

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