The City of Valencia
Valencia is the third largest city in Spain, with almost 800,000 inhabitants. It is the capital of the autonomous community of Valencia and it is located directly on the Mediterranean coast, in the east of Spain. Valencia has a good transport and motorway system, as well as an international airport. The region Valencia includes the provinces of Valencia, Alicante and Castellón.
The city has one of the mildest climates in Europe. The typical Mediterranean climate provides an average temperature of 17 degrees. Warm summers and mild winters make Valencia a popular tourist destination.
Valencia is not only one of the biggest cities in Spain, but also one of the oldest, with a history which goes back more than 2,000 years. Valencia was founded as Valentia in the year 138 b.C. by the consul Decimus Junius Brutus Callaicus. Its good location on the Mediterranean coast made it a meeting point for different cultures already at that time.
After the Roman rule came the Visigoths, and later the Moorish conquerors, until 1238. During the Arab rule, the Valencian economy grew enormously.
In 1238, the king James I the Conqueror of Aragon reconquered the city for Christianity and made it the capital of the Kingdom of Valencia.
In the 14th century came the golden age. Sea trade and agriculture helped the city to grow rich and famous. The Kingdom of Valencia became a trade stronghold during the 15th century. One of the most beautiful buildings in Valencia was built at that time: the Llotja de la Seda (Silk Exchange).
Until the 16th century, Valencia grew to be the most important city in the Mediterranean era.
After some setbacks and the dissolution of the Kingdom of Valencia in 1707, the city regained a new impulse in the 18th century thanks to the silk industry.
During the Spanish Civil War, Valencia became the capital and government headquarters of Spain for a short time, between 1936 and 1937.
In 1981, the architect Ricardo Bofill was asked to transform the riverbed of the Turia river in a park.
In 1982, Valencia was granted autonomy. With the foundation of the autonomous community of Valencia, Valencia became the capital of the region.