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Comunitat Valenciana

Spain’s autonomous eastern region along the Mediterranean Sea, the Valencian Community is comprised of three provinces with provincial capital cities of the same name: centrally-located València whose city is also the regional capital, Castellón on the Costa del Azahar to the north whose capital city is formally named Castelló de la Plana, and Alicante to the south.

Valencian (Valenciano) is the widely used regional language of the Valencian Community, taught alongside the national language of Castilian Spanish. Important to Valencian heritage within the country of Spain, many consider Valenciano a separate language, while linguists call it a dialect of Catalan. Both are Occitano-Romance languages with French and Italian influences. They are 95% similar in the written form, but when spoken, some say the Valencian accent sounds more similar to Castilian Spanish.

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Regions and Cities

València

València (city)

Castellón

Castelló de la Plana (or Castellón) + Benicàssim + Peñíscola + Costa del Azahar

Alicante

Alicante (city)

Provinces / Cities of Comunidad Valenciana

Brief History

The Moors, who ruled for 500 years before being conquered by James I of Aragon in 1236, had a lasting impact on what became the Kingdom of Valencia for the next 500 years. Its connections with the House of Borgia (Borja) in Rome during the Renaissance in the 14th and 15th centuries influenced the region’s development, as did France’s House of Bourbon in the 18th century, which abolished the Kingdom of Valencia and assimilated the region into Castile.

It wasn’t until Franco’s 20th-century dictatorship ended upon his death in 1977 that the region began to fully regain its autonomy. Officially, in 1982, the Autonomous Community of Valencia was reborn. Today, centuries of rich history are blended with 21st-century achievements.

Highlights

Among Valencia’s treasured historical places are the Torres de Serranos, the towers from the medieval wall of 1392, and La Lonja de la Seda, the 15th-century Silk Exchange, a UNESCO World Heritage site. UNESCO intangible cultural heritage includes a 5-day commemoration of Saint Joseph called Las Fallas and the Water Tribunal, which takes place at La Seu between two squares, Plaça de la Verge and Plaça de la Reina, at the eastern transept doors of the Cathedral.

 

Valencian Flavors

desayuno (breakfast)

paella

carne asada (grilled meat)

pulpo (octopus) y patatas


Valenciana Explored

A Gothic Treasure: The Valencia Silk Exchange, La Lonja de la Seda

Light streams between a forest of spiral stone columns. Each support twists upward, branching into a delicate web of ribbed groin vaults overhead. This airy—seemingly weightless—volume exalts Valencia’s commercial hub, unique to its time. The History of This Temple of Trade When Pere Compte (renowned master builder from Girona) began construction of this trade center…

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