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What Became of La Bastida?

What Became of La Bastida?

If you like conspiracy theories, or you just like speculating about unsolved mysteries, then La Bastida, just above Moixent, is the place for you. With its spectacular views over two…

What’s the ‘Huerta’?

What’s the ‘Huerta’?

The English word ‘orchard’ was once spelt “hortyard”, and derives from the Latin “hortus”, meaning ‘garden’ and the old English “geard”, meaning ‘yard’. In Valencia the “huerta”, although it can…

Gregorio Mayans: an Enlightened Man of his Time

Gregorio Mayans: an Enlightened Man of his Time

Gregorio Mayans y Siscar (1699–1781) was a historian, linguist and writer from Oliva during the Enlightenment. Born on 9 May 1699 his father fought on the wrong side during the…

Is Paris Burning, or Cooking Paella?

Is Paris Burning, or Cooking Paella?

The French ambassador of Spain, Jérôme Bonnafon, was in Valencia on 12th November 2014 to pay homage to the Valencian who liberated Paris from the Nazis. Amado Granell Mesado, who…

Ignacio Pinazo: Valencia’s Mad Hatter

Ignacio Pinazo: Valencia’s Mad Hatter

Pinazo, who was born in Valencia in January 1849, and who died in nearby Godella in October 1916, worked largely in the impressionist style. Born into a poor family, Pinazo…

Great Valencian Ghosts

Great Valencian Ghosts

Today it is haunted by civil servants who wander the corridors carrying mysterious pieces of paper with blank looks on their faces, seemingly wandering aimlessly, as if searching for some…

The Floods of Valencia

The Floods of Valencia

When I first arrived in Valencia, I thought this monument might be a homage to the Valencian coat hanger industry in imitation of Excalibur stuck into the ground by some…

La Puerta del Mar

La Puerta del Mar

La Puerta del Mar (or Gateway to the Sea) was built in 1946 in imitation of the city gate that stood on the same site. The original was built in…

Guillen de Castro: the Streets Have a Name

Guillen de Castro: the Streets Have a Name

Napoleon’s troops must have marched along Guillén de Castro when besieging Valencia on two occasions (one home win and one away win) at the beginning of the 19th century. It’s…

The Burning of Xátiva

The Burning of Xátiva

The War of Spanish Succession was part of a wider European conflict between Catholic France under King Louis XIV and a largely protestant coalition of Britain, Holland, Portugal and Austria,…