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Valencia History, Spain

The third biggest city in Spain, Valencia, is also the capital and most densely inhabited city in the Autonomous Community of Valencia. Its population, according to the 2008 census, is 810,064. The city of Valencia is renowned throughout Spain and the world because of its chief celebration called Fallas and its paella dish.

Valencia History – Roman Beginnings

Roman legionnaires, who came from Campania, Italy, arrived and founded Valencia in 138 BC thus marking the start of Valencia History. The newly established town became a retirement industry for the legionnaires and because of this, Valencia developed into a vigorous economic competitor. Unfortunately, in 75 BC, the city was almost entirely destroyed because of the civil wars brought about by the Roman Republic. For half a century after that, Valencia became a ghost town. It was re-inhabited by Romans during the early years of the new millennium. Again the city flourished shortly after and by the 3rd century, it declined.

Valencia History – Moorish Occupation

The Moors arrived in Valencia during the early 8th century. They brought with them a period of transformation and an interruption to the typical path of social development in the city. Although different from the Spanish, the Muslims, who occupied the city, were very lenient towards the residents. Freedom and understanding prevailed in the city and with this, Valencia flourished. Complex irrigation systems were installed making the city’s lands fertile and ideal for agricultural endeavors. However, the peaceful reign of the Moors was disrupted by the growing force of the Castilian Christian kingdom.

Valencia History – The Golden Age

Following the Reconquista, Valencia thrived as a city. Many people from the elite and noble classes moved to the city as development continued. All the members of the Council were from the noble families, parishes, and guild legislature. At first, this setup seemed to work, but later matters turned for the worse as the ones in power were blinded by their position. For a time, rebellions were done but quickly suppressed. Because of this, a reformation was underway to solve the problems in governance. Thus, the Golden Age of the city began – indeed a notable fact in Valencia History. Valencia became one of the chief European centers and prosperity was felt all through the city in the 15th century. It experienced wealth and prosperity.

Valencia History – 16th and 17th Century

During the 16th century, Valencia experienced an incessant decline in economy. Civil wars broke between the guilds and the nobles. During the Protestant Reformation, Valencia became a battleground for religion. In the 17th century, the Moors were driven out and this greatly affected the agricultural industry of the city. Add to this, the Black Death spread all over the city and religious unrest continued. All these brought about the Dark Age of Valencia.

Valencia History – 19th and 20th Century

During the second half of the 19th century, Valencia became an influential city to an agreement after a political turmoil. The result of this was the selection of Amadeus I as the new Spanish king. The city also regained economic vigor because of the growth of industrialization. Many industries were put up in Valencia such as chemical, furniture, metal, and tile production.

The seat of the Republican government was transferred to Valencia in 1936 until 1939. During the reign of the dictator General Franco, the city was shaped into an orange plantation which worked to Valencia’s advantage.

Politically, residents of Valencia were generally leftists and supported leftist movements. However, during the 1980s, the government swayed to the right favoring the conservative government. Since then, Valencia was recognized as one of the acclaimed cities in Spain like its neighboring cities Alicante and Murcia.

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  • WazlingBull fighting and old buildings in Valencia
    review by Wazling posted more then 30 days ago
    Interesting city, with an medieval fort at the harbour, a bull fighting arena and several other old buildings within the city. The streets an buildings in the city center look nice, small streets and old houses let you breath a piece of history. You can choose under within several restaurants and...
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