It is the third largest city in Spain and capital of the Autonomous community of Valencia. The city is the monumental heritage with museum complex and listed in World Heritage Site since 1996. It is also known as City of Arts and Sciences. Most part of Valencia is Industrial area on the Costa del Azahar. The original name of the city was Valentia which means “Strength” and “Valour” it was honored to Roman Soldiers after a war. This city formed in the 2nd century when Roman soldiers use to stay here during war this was explained by Roman historian Titus Livius. This city was known as Edetania in ancient days, it was also said that Junius Brutus was transferred and use to stay here with his soldiers and for this reason this city became Roman military colony. This city was destroyed by Pompey and was rebuilt later. It was one of the principal sites of Tarraconensis province. Romans founded this city in 137 BC on the side of Iberian town followed by river Turia. In the initial stages it was occupied by Aragonese, Moors, and Visigoths. The Moors captured the city in 714 A.D. when the Islamic culture came into Valencia then Balansiya, at this time there was huge trade going of silk, leather, paper, glass, ceramics, and silver work. There was huge rich architectural inheritance in Valencia which is still famous today and can be seen on the old walls.
The Cid captured Valencia for a period from June 1094 to July 1099 after the death of Almanzor. The Cid turned nine mosques into churches and installed the French monk named Jerome as bishop. The wife Dona Ximena took power after his death in July 1099. She ruled for two years and Almoravids again took over the power in 1102. It happened that the Emperor of Spain flock them from the city. It resulted into the huge mass of fire set by the Christians. Almoravid Masdali took possession of the city on 5th May 1109. This event of history got framed like a poem by Ibn Khafaja the poem also gives thanks to Yusuf Ibn Tashfin for making this city free. The Almohad dynasty and the Almoravid ruled Valencia more than a century. James I of Aragon captured Valencia with the help of English, Germans, Italians, and French in the year 1238 and in the same year he was forced to surrender. About 50,000 Moors were also forced to leave. King James took over Valencia the main mosque was purified and the song “Te Deum” sung. King James took lots of efforts and this city and territory in new Kingdom of Valencia which also includes Crown of Aragon as a Kingdom. The population in the new kingdom was Catalan people on the coast side and Aragon people on the interior. Valencia was one of the big cities in the Mediterranean in the 15th and 16th centuries.
In the year 1957 city faced huge floods from the Turia River. One of the consequences of this a plan was made to drain and reroute the river, and now this river passes from western and southern suburbs of the city. Another plan was made to make the drain area into motorway was dropped and it was granted Autonomous Statutes in 1982. In the year 2003 Valencia got selected for the historic America’s Cup and it became the first European city. America’s Cup matches took place in summer 2007. It was declared that Valencia will host the 33rd America’s Cup in June 2009.
Getting to Valencia
By Air: Advance booking will help you to get cheap rates as compare to normal two days before booking. A chartered flight to Alicante the traveling in train up to the coast will be the best reasonable option. Airlines like Easyjet, Myair, Ryanair, Air Berlin, and Air Europe are connected with major European cities. The International Airport of Valencia is located in Manises. It is located at the distance of 14 kilometers on the west of town. There are very good facilities on this airport. Facilities include money exchange counters, cafes, gift offices, car rental offices etc.
By Rail: Train takes at least 36 hours from London to Valencia and is time consuming. If you are traveling in train from London then you have to change train in Paris and Barcelona or Montpellier. However there is less frequency of services but Bilbao, Granada, Seville, and Malaga are connected with good railway links but advance reservation is necessary.
By Road: Rental car will be the best option if you want to reach the far away beach areas of Llac Albufera. Busses are available from airport to reach the desired destination.
September and October are the most active months in Valencia. August is a slow month in many of the European cities. As at this time people go on vacations and climate here is hot and humid. To visit the Cafes and beaches, August to October is the best time. However the temperature in winter is humid and cold. Spring is the best and lovely time to visit at this time the cafes and restaurants are crowded at this time.
Accommodation in Valencia
Hotels are excellent and affordable in Valencia. You will get wide choice in hotels including and excluding breakfasts, comfy rooms, entertainment parks, shopping malls etc. Most of the luxury hotels are located in the port area with views of sea side. North West region called “Congesos” where many luxury hotels mainly for business people are located. Hotels are located on Ports, Central and North West regions of Valencia.
Places to Visit in Valencia
There are many historical monuments, buildings, and cultural places to visit in Valencia. It is the home of Spanish Arts and Sciences with huge art galleries and museums.
Cathedral de Valencia
It is a magnificent old building with architectural structure a must watch to know the Spanish history.
It is an island which is three miles away from the coastal beach. It is the most popular destination among tourists.
River Turia is the destination to see three major Valencia’s tower bridges which are of 15th century.
It is the home of several well known attractions like Palacio de la Generalidad, Palace of the Marquis and Santa Catalina bell-tower.
Tourists in Valencia enjoy the splendor of Valencia’s famous beaches. These beaches border Mediterranean Sea and face the Bay of Biscay. The beautiful nightlife can be enjoyed any time. Entertainment, museums, beaches, and walls will give you splendid experience of Spain.