Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
Valencia, autonomous community, Spain
Valencia (välānˈthēä), autonomous community (2011 pop. 5,009,931), 8,980 sq mi (23,257 sq km), and former kingdom, E Spain, on the Mediterranean. It now comprises the provinces of Alicante/Alacant, Castellón/Castelló, and Valencia/València. The region was established as an autonomous community in 1982 by the statute of autonomy. The country is chiefly mountainous, with a fertile coastal plain, on which most of the population is concentrated. The Mediterranean climate has helped to make Valencia the “garden of Spain.” Irrigation and an intensive system of cultivation were started by the Moors. Citrus and other fruits, rice, vegetables, cereals, olive oil, and wine are now produced. Many of these products (especially Valencia oranges) are exported. The mulberry tree has been cultivated for silk since ancient times, but the silk industry has declined. Processed foods, ceramics, metal products, furniture, and textiles are the chief manufactures. Tourism, especially to coastal resorts, has become more important. In 1980 a nuclear power plant was built in Valencia prov.
Many prehistoric remains have been found in Valencia. Inhabited by the Iberians in early times, it was later colonized by Greek and Carthaginian traders. It was a battlefield between the Carthaginians and the Romans (see Sagunto). It passed to the Moors in the 8th cent. At the fall of the caliphate of Córdoba it became (1022) an independent emirate. The Cid briefly ruled the city and district of Valencia (1094–99). The rule of the Almoravids and Almohads was followed by a brief period of independence. Valencia was ruled (1238–52) by James I of Aragón. It preserved its political identity within the Aragonese confederation and later in the Spanish state, but its privileges were completely abolished (18th cent.) by Philip V. The 14th and 15th cent. were a period of economic prosperity and artistic flowering; decline came after the expulsion of the Moors (1609). The region had an economic revival in the 20th cent.
Valencia, city, Spain
Valencia, city (1990 pop. 758,738), capital of the autonomous community of Valencia and of Valencia prov., E Spain, on the Turia River. The third largest city in Spain, it lies in a fertile garden region a short distance from its busy Mediterranean port, El Grao, on the Gulf of Valencia. It is an active industrial and commercial center producing textiles, metal products, chemicals, automobiles, furniture, toys, and azulejos [colored tiles]. There also are important shipyards. The city hosted the America's Cup in 2007 and 2010.
First mentioned in the 2d cent. B.C., Valencia was a Roman colony. Under the Moors, from the 8th to the 13th cent., it was twice the seat of an independent state (see Valencia, region). From 1094 to 1099, it was ruled by the Cid. After its conquest (1238) by James I of Aragón, Valencia rose to great commercial and cultural importance and rivaled Barcelona. Its university was founded in 1501. In the 15th and 16th cent., through the work of Auzias March and others, Valencia achieved literary and intellectual eminence. It was the seat of the Valencia school of painting in the 16th and 17th cent. It experienced an economic revival in the 19th and 20th cent. During the civil war, Valencia served (1936–37) as the seat of the Loyalist government.
A popular resort, the city is very picturesque, with blue-tiled church domes and narrow streets in the old quarter and fine tree-lined avenues and promenades in the modern section. Among its chief landmarks are the cathedral (13th–15th cent.), called La Seo, with a Gothic belltower (the Miguelete); the Torres de Serranos, 14th-century fortified towers built on Roman foundations; the Gothic silk exchange, called La Lonja; and the 18th-century palace of justice. The city also has a fine-art gallery. The Tribunal de las Aguas, which settles disputes over the irrigation of the outlying garden region, has met regularly in the city since the 10th cent. The modern City of Arts and Sciences complex has striking buildings designed by Santiago Calatrava. There is also a large modern aquarium.
Valencia, city, Venezuela
a region on the Mediterranean coast of Spain. Area, 23,300 sq km. Population, 2,870,000 (1969).
Valencia includes the provinces of Alicante, Castellón de la Plana, and Valencia. The cities with more than 50,000 residents are Valencia (the main city), Alicante, Elche, Castellón de la Plana, and Alcoy. Along the seacoast there is a narrow strip of alluvial lowland, framed on the west by spurs of the Andalusian (Cordillera Bética) and Iberian Mountains, which have elevations up to 1,300-1,800 m. The region has a dry Mediterranean climate; precipitation reaches 500 mm per year. The largest rivers are the Júcar, Turia, and Segura. Vegetation of the maquis and garigue type predominates.
Valencia is an agrarian-industrial region. Commodity agriculture, primarily export-oriented, is the main agricultural branch; fruit-growing predominates. The huerta is a region of artificially irrigated orchards and gardens; it provides about six-sevenths of the national harvest of oranges, more than nine-tenths of the tangerines, nearly one-fourth of the lemons, and one-fifth of the total production of noncitrus fruits. Valencia is responsible for more than one-third of the rice produced in the country, more than one-third of the almonds, more than one-tenth of the grapes, and almost one-third of the raw silk. Fruit crops cover 60 percent of the cultivated land, and cereals (primarily wheat) cover 14 percent of all the land.
Among the branches of industry, which employed about 190,000 people in 1965, the textile industry is the most highly developed. (Its main centers are Alcoy and Valencia.) There are food industry plants (wine-making and fruit-canning) and ferrous metalworking. (The plant in the city of Sagunto provides about one-tenth of the country’s production of cast iron, steel, and rolled iron.) There is also machine-building, particularly ship-building (in the city of Valencia), motor-building (in the city of Manises), and the aviation industry (in Castellón de la Plana). There are aluminum (Alicante) and oil-refining plants. Electric power is produced mainly by hydroelectric power plants (over 1.1 billion kilowatt-hours in 1965).
E. S. ODESSER 4-748-1
a city in eastern Spain; the center of the historical region and the province of Valencia. Population, 499,000 (1968).
Valencia is the third most populous city in the country (after Madrid and Barcelona). It is a major port (the closest port to Madrid) on the Mediterranean Sea, in the estuary of the Turia, or Guadalaviar, River. (It had a freight turnover of more than 3.3 million tons in 1965.) It is also a railroad junction. The economy of Valencia is primarily tied to agriculture. Valencia is the center of the huerta— a region of irrigated commodity farming (citrus fruits, early vegetables, and rice); a substantial portion of the produce is exported in raw or processed form. Canned fruit and vegetable products, juices, tobacco articles, packaging, and wrapping paper are also produced. Valencia has shipyards and a car-repair plant. There is a motor-building industry in the satellite city of Manises, a textile industry (including jute), a chemical industry, and handicraft production.
Inside the boulevard circuit (along the line of the ancient walls) lies the old city, with gardens surrounding buildings covered with colored majolica (the Gothic cathedral of the 13th and 14th centuries; the silk exchange La Lonja de la Seda, 15th century; the Colegio del Patriarca, 16th century; and the Aguas palace, mid-18th century, now the Museum of Ceramics). Further south are the planned sections built in the 19th and 20th centuries and the working-class residential area (1952). The city has a Museum of Fine Arts (founded in 1753), with an archaeological division and a collection of paintings and applied arts.
Valencia was founded in the second century B.C. by the Romans. In the 11th century A.D. it was the center of one of the Arabic emirates. It was liberated briefly from the Arabs in 1094 by the troops of the Cid Campeador. In 1238 it was irrevocably won from the Arabs, and King James I of Aragon made it the capital of the vassal kingdom of Valencia. The city heroically repulsed the onslaught of French troops from 1808 to 1812. It was under French control from 1812 to the middle of 1813. During the civil war (1936-39), the republican government was located in Valencia (from November 1936 to March 1938).
REFERENCESOrtizde Taraneo. Valencia monumental. Madrid, 1959.
Moscardó Cervera, F. Breu compendi de la historia de Valéncia, per mossen. Valencia, 1953.