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Valencia Originally Known as Valentina

Feb 25, 2008
During the period of the crusades beginning at the end of the eleventh century, Valencia went back and forth several times between the Muslims and the Christians, with it finally be destroyed and abandoned by the Christians under the rule of Alfonso Emperor of Spain leaving Almoravid Masdali to take possession of it in May 1109. The situation remained as such until 1238 when King James I of Aragon, assisted by German, English, French and Italian troops laid siege to the city leading to the final surrender of a reputed 50, 000 Moors in October of that year. King James I of Aragon included the city and its surrounding countryside into the newly created territory of the Kingdom of Valencia which with others made up the lands of the Crown of Aragon. At this point, the mosques were converted back to churches, and the remarkable growth of the city in terms of wealth, beauty and culture began, culminating in the fifteenth century when Valencia became the home of the first printing press in the Iberian Peninsula. It was this innovation that created the Valencian Bible the first bible printed in a Romance language.

Of course the history of this majestic city is not all a happy one; the Spanish inquisition and the expulsion, torture, and murder of non-Christians is by no means forgotten by the people. The last victim of the inquisition was Cayetano Ripoll a schoolteacher executed in 1826 for the charges of freemasonry and being a deist. Valencia itself however remained strong and autonomous, until the early 18th century when the War of the Spanish Succession saw Valencia supporting Charles of Austria and Charles Mordaunt 3rd Earl of Peterborough, 1st Earl of Monmouth march on the city and successfully holding it for 16 months only to be evacuated following the Spanish bourbon success at the battle of Almansa in April of 1707. It was only in 1811 that Valencia again fell into foreign hands when it was besieged by French Marshal Suchet on Christmas day of that year, and falling in January of the following year.

In the course of the civil war Valencia became the capital of the Republic and was blockaded by Franco's men; during the years of his dictatorial rule the learning of Valencian was prohibited. In the most recent of years Valencia was granted Autonomy again in 1982, and today the learning of Valencian is compulsory.

For the good and the bad in its history Valencia today stands strong and proud bearing scars and reminders on all of its streets of its rich past, a past that is tangible at every turn.
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