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Welcome to Valencia Spain


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Thinking of buying a Spanish Property ?

Spain is a country of sunshine and welcoming people, full of different customs and images, with a modern and well proven economy and political stability. It sees over 50 million visitors a year, and around 1 million foreigners have homes here. It is estimated that over 500,000 British families own a home in Spain. Since membership to the Common Market in 1986, interest in a home in Spain has increased, sales have escalated, and likewise the property prices have risen. If you are interested in joining those already enjoying the benefits of a home in Spain, Spanish Full Monty Estate Agents (Inmobiliaria) offer their clients a full sales and aftercare service.

Welcome to Valencia on the glorious Costa Blanca.
According to the World Health Organisation one of the healthiest places in Europe. This is certainly endorsed by the thousands of British families who enjoy this unique Mediterranean lifestyle. Many live here permanently, others have holiday homes to escape the British winters or to take advantage of the excellent letting opportunities.

To see examples of the fantastic properties that are available simply click here

 

History

Founded by the Romans, Valencia has been the home of many cultures over its history: Romans, Visigoths, Moors and the Aragonese all made the city an important cultural and financial centre.

In the year 1094, Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, called El Cid Campeador, conquered Valencia on behalf of the Christians, but the city later fell to the Almoravids in 1102.

Following the Moorish domination, it was in 1238 that James I of Aragon finally reconquered the city, and founded the Kingdom of Valencia, with its characteristic legislative privileges (Furs).

During the 15th and 16th centuries, Valencia became one of the major economic powers on the Mediterranean seaboard. It was the time of the Valencian siglo de oro (Golden Age), which was characterized by splendour in the arts at the hands of Joanot Martorell (author of Tirant lo Blanc, the first modern European novel), Ausias March, Roig de Corella, Isabel de Villena, Jordi de Sant Jordi and Jaume Roig, among others. During the War of Spanish Succession, Valencia sided with archduke Charles of Austria, and after the victory of the Bourbons at the Battle of Almansa (April 1707), Phillip V abolished the local privileges, or fueros. In 1874, Alfonso XII was proclaimed constitutional king at Sagunto, north of Valencia. When democracy was restored, the Land of Valencia was given its present Autonomous Statutes in 1982.

 

Night Life

You may have heard of the Moonlit Valencian Nights...

Leisure and entertainment activities in Valencia constitute one of the most exciting and extensive ranges throughout the Mediterranean. The climate collaborates with night-farers, filling open terraces and street cafés in the Plaza de Cánovas del Castillo, or the romantic dance salon with live music on the Malvarrosa beach. Everywhere, discos, night clubs and pubs provide the right kind of scene for enjoying a night out.

 

Festivities

Valencians love fiestas and delight in sharing their joy with others. By far the most popular of festivities are the world famous Fallas (12-19 March), or festive bonfires, with their explosion of colours, fireworks and the smell of gunpowder. The creativity shown in the artistic monuments ushering in the spring, the music of marching bands and the colourlul display ol local costumes make a visit to Valencia in Fallas (pronounced: fai-yas) an unforgettable experience. Also of note are the festivities ol the Seafarers' Holy Week in the port district, the Corpus Christi Parade, the Carnival and the July Fair with concerts and live, open-air music, the festivity of San Vicente Ferrer, the feast day of Mare de Deu dels Desamparats, the fiesta of Sant Dionís, etc.

And only at a few kilometers from Valencia you can also have a look at many other colourful festivities that spread all around the Comunitat Valenciana at any season of the year.

The Moros y Cristianos (Moors and Christians) feasts are a penchant for pomp, splendor and the donning of garb evoking the days when the Chistian hosts battled against the men of Islam in the 13th century. The feast reaches its maximun climate at the city of Alcoi, but there are many other towns where this tradition is held with great spendor such as Biar, Ontinyent, Xativa, Bocairent, Villajoyosa, Alicante, Callosa d'Ensarrià, Jijona, Cocentaina, Villena, Elda, Petrer, Crevillente, Bañeres, Albaida, Sax y L'Olleria. Those festivities, with their

spectacular battlesand parades or entradas(entries) of the moor and cristian troops, with their rich and colourful festive garb, the unceasing music and kindling admostphere beetwhen the audience and the paraders are realy unforgetable.

There are many other festivities, such as Les Fogueres de Sant Joan, the rigilious mediaeval origin representation of El Misteri d'Elx, the festive pilgrimages of els Peregrins de Les Useres and la Mare de Déu del Lledó. ...

 

Gastronomy

The rich variety ol Valencian cuisine, reflecting the diversity of local products, is another of the pleasant surprises that await you. Among the region's well known dishes, Valencian paella is the true protagonist. Genuine paella is done over a wood fire, with the broth being prepared first before adding the rice. But there are many other valencian rice recipes, such as: arròs a banda (rice dish with seafood), arròs negre (rice with squid, hence "black"), arròs al forn (oven-baked rice), arròs amb bledes (rice

with chard), arròs amb fesols i naps (with haricot beans and turnip)...

You can also still try other treats such as fideuà (a kind of paella with noodles instead of rice), originally from Gandia; all i pebre (eels in garlic sauce), from the inland lagoon of Albufera; suquet de peix (fisherman's dish); esgarrat (salted cod with sweet peppers); figatell (meatballs made from liver).

All of these can be enjoyed together with Valencian wines - white from the Alto Turia and Serranía areas, or red from Requena, Utiel and Campo de Llíria. And in addition to the quality of Valencia's fruits, in which oranges ( 12Kb ) play a major role, you'll find an extensive array of confectionery, the star of which is the arnadí (a pie made from sweet potatoes) and a series of typical refreshments such as horchata de chufa (tiger nut milk), often accompanied by fartons (a kind of sweet breadstick), originating in Alboraya.

 

Museums

Museum visitors have a wide choice in Valencia, as shown by the following notes on opportunities for an interesting use of your free time.

Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno (IVAM) - Valencian Institute of Modern Art
Permanent exhibition of sculptures by Julio González and regular temporary exhibitions by some of today's leading avant-garde representatives of the arts.

Museo de Bellas Artes - Museum of Fine Arts
Outstanding works from the Valencian School: Joan de Joanes, Ribalta, Espillosa, Vicente López, Sorolla, Pinazo, etc. International works such as Velázquez's self-portrait, works by Pinturicchio, Andrea del Sarto, Van Dyck, Murillo, El Greco, Goya, etc. In the sculpture pavilion, you'll see interesting examples of contemporary art and an important archeological collection. Museo Nacional de Cerámica - National Ceramics Museum
Housed in the Palace of the Marqués de Dos Aguas, with a façade in the churrigueresque style, this museum offer an overview of outstanding works in ceramics from Manises, Paterna and Alcora.

Museo de la Catedral - Cathedral Museum
Of note are the works by Almedina, Joanes, Goya, Jacomart, Alonso Cano and Orrente.

Museo Paleontológico - Paeleontological Museum
Contains a collection ol insects and fossils.

The most important museum exhibited is the skeleton of a megatherium.

Museo del Patriarca - Patriarch's Museum
A collection worthy of mention, including works by El Greco and early Flemish painters.

Museo de la Prehistoria - Museum of Prehistory
A view of the Paleolithic including a range of curious remains and fossils.

Museo Taurino - Bullfighting Museum
One of the oldest and most impressive in Spain, with a variety of bullfighting memorabilia from the

18th, 19th and 20th centuries.

Museo Fallero - Fallas Museum, The Ninots are the cartoon-like figures or statuettes decorating the monumental Valencian falla. Each year, since 1934, the cream of the crop have been saved from the roaring flames and kept in this museum, together with posters, photographs and other objects connected with the fallas.

Museo Histórico Municipal - Municipal Historical Museum
Located in the Ayuntamiento(City Hall),

the museum has a collection of historical objects, including the Senyera (the regional flag), the pennant of James I the Conquerer ,the 15th century Flemish tablet of the Final Judgement and a series of antique books and guild memorabilia. Casa-MuseoJosé Benlliure - Museum-Homeof José Benlliure Contains the works of this wellknown Valencian artist, along with ceramics and objects from the epoch. Museo Marítimo Joaquín Saludes - Joaquín Saludes Maritime Museum. Located in the Torres de Serranos (the east gateway to the ancient city), this exposition presents a valuable collection of amphorae and other archeological objects brought up from the Mediterranean seabed, as well as an attractive shipmodel display. Museo de la Ciudad Palacio Marqués de Campo - City Museum Marquésde Campo Palace
Holds an archeological collection illustrating the pre-Roman age and the founding of the city, and a part of the municipal art gallery. It also contains a permanent exhibition of Christian Valencia in the XIII th and XIV th centuries.

 

Monuments

Palacio de la Generalitat
Seat of the Valencian Government, with Renaissance-style coffered and gold-beaten ceilings, and reminiscences of the Orient. The Salon de las Cortes (Parliament contains large paintings by Zariñena.

El "Micalet" or Miguelete
Constructed in the 14th century, El Miguelete is the belltower of the Cathedral.

La Lonja Silk Exchange
A splendid late-Gothic building known as the Silk Exchange constructed by Pere Compte. Its famous hall with helicoidal columns is now used for exhibitions. Of special interest is the ceiling of the Salon del Consulado, taken from the 15th century Casa de la Ciudad (Town Hall).

Torres de Serranos - Serranos Towers Constructed by Pere Balaguer in the 14th century, these impressive towers once formed part of the defensive walls of the city. They now contain the Maritime Museum.

Torres de Quart - Quart Towers
This gateway was built by Pere Bofill in the 1 5th century providing access to the city from the west.

Mercado Central - Central Market

The modernist style Central Market

is one of Europe's largest covered market places, with a total area of 8,000 square metres.

Catedral Metropolitana - Metropolitan Cathedral
The cathedral of the city is a compendium ol different styles: the Palau doorway is Romanesque; the Apostles doorway , the Chapel of lhe Holy Chalice, the dome and the Miguelete Towerare Gothic; the presbitery and main doorway are Baroque, with a few Renaissance chapels.

Real Basílica de Nuestra Señora de los Desamparados
This basilica, named aiter the city's patron saint, is a traditional refuge for prayer. Its elliptical interior features a vaulted ceiling with a fresco by Palomino; the image of the Virgin is Gothic.

 

Craftsman and Shopping

You're sure to be impressed by Valencia's variety of craft industries, providing products made with imagination, skill and artistry. Copper green and blue colorants in ceramics first arrived with the Reconquest in the 13th century; and the socarrats of Paterna - unique tiles with patterns or designs burnt onto the surface - were first made in the 15th century. Manises and Paterna contend as capitals of the ceramic trade, with Manises being well known for its large number of factories and expositions open to the public, and its attractive Ceramics Museum. Hand-painted lans with ribbing in carved ivory or exotic woods are another Valencian speciality. Woodworking has long been traditional in the area, and guitars, castanets and pipes are some ot the articles still made today. Leatherwork and silk have a long history behind them, and now find one of their major outlets in adornments for the fallas and in church vestments. Metalwork of yesteryear is now applied in the manufacture of jewellery, goldsmithing and lampmaking. Furniture is another of the outstanding representatives of Valencia's famed artisans numbering in the thousands. The creations of famous Valencian designers are easily within reach at excellent quality/price ratios.

Coinciding with the city center are the main shopping streets: La Paz, Colon and Plaza de Ayuntamiento. There are shops here specializing in the very latest design trends.

On Sunday mornings, the milling crows in Plaza Redondda (behind Plaza de la Reina) denote feverish commercial activity.

Anything can be found there, from parrots to leather bags or second-hand watches. Customers are warned, however, to check that the article they
are buying lives up to the promises of the expert salesman. Many of the central streets are named after the trades that were carried on there in former times, and there are still some vestiges of popular handicrafts today. For fine wickerwork, go to the well-known calle de las cestas (street of the baskets). There are also a lot of fan-makers and goldsmiths, but the region's main handicraft is without a doubt ceramics. The pottery and ceramic shops are all over Valencia, and sell their wares directly to the public.

 
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