The intense history of Xátiva
One of the most historically important cities of the Region of Valencia is well worth a visit and probably even more than just one. This week we suggest you to learn more about Xátiva with a tour through its heritage and curiosities.
At Intereuropa Idiomas we offer a wide variety of activities to our students. They arrive to Valencia with a vague idea of what they are going to find, a lot of beaches and sunshine but, we give them the opportunity to discover the culture and the diversity of the Region of Valencia, as well as the pulse of the life in the city, with visits to the cinema, interesting exhibitions, concerts and any representative festival. One of the most typical Saturday’s excursion is to the city of Xàtiva, located in the southern and towards the interior of the Region of Valencia.
The monumental city of Xàtiva is the capital of the region of The “Comarca de la Costera” and from the historical point of view it was one of the key-points during the Reign of Valencia that established the king Jaime I with the recapture of the Arabians from 1238 to 1707, when the privileges of the Kingdom of Castilla were imposed. On this date the battle of Almansa put an end to the secession war and the king Felipe V of the Bourbon dynasty ordered his change of name to San Felipe V as well as the burning of the city as revenge for having supported the “Austria” who were his rivals for the throne.
A memory of such a cruel and striking episode remains in the nickname ‘socarrats’ (‘scorched’ in valencian language), given to the Xátiva citizens and in the portrait of Felipe V that still hangs upside down. The Almodí Museum, situated in the old gothic corn exchange market of the XVI century, houses vestiges of the early stages of Xátiva: prehistory, Iberians, Romans, Visigoths and Arabs. Its origin as population dates back to the Paleolithic (30.000 years BC), with a Neanderthal skull found in Cova Negra, natural setting in the valley of Albaida river and into the Sierra Grossa, which is also one of our interesting stops.
The whole city was declared historic-artistic, that’s why, our tour has a lot of points of interest. From the moment of splendour that was the Arabian period remain as the most important evidence the Pile of the XI century in pink marble, outstanding work of the Islamic art which can be seen in the Almodí and perched on the top of the Vernissa mountain its Castle, built on the Iberian and roman ruins and then renovated during the Crown of Aragon after the recapture. From the castle, with thirty towers and four fortified gates, you can go down along the walls of the X century.
The Colegiata, or ‘Seu’ in valencian language, is a three blocks cathedral that, due to its size , was built between the XVI and the XIX centuries and nowadays is still unfinished. It highlights the Renaissance Door of the Mercado whichs still has an important heritage in altarpieces and sculptures by Mariano Benlliure and Ventura Rodriguez. The “Hospital Real”, also called “Mayor de los Pobres”, is another stop of our trip, with an impressive Renaissance front, the Plateresque principal door and the Gothic interior. Finally in this first visit to Xátiva, we cab’t forget the Museum of Fine Arts, with paintings by Ribera, Goya, Vicente López and Antoni Miró.
And still there is much more to see, we will for sure repeat the visit to the “setabinas lands”.
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