About Valencia

Valencia is the capital and most populous city of the Autonomous Community of Valencia and the third largest city in Spain.

The Latin name for the city, Valentia, means "strength" or "valour;" the city having been named for the Roman soldiers for whom the city was founded in the 2nd Century BCE.

In the 15th and 16th centuries, Valencia was one of the major cities in the Mediterranean. The first printing press in the Iberian Peninsula was located in Valencia and the first Bible to be printed in a Romance language, Valencian, was printed in the city in 1478. Valencian bankers lent funds to Queen Isabella for Columbus' trip in 1492.

Today, Valencia's port is the biggest on the Mediterranean Western coast and the second in Spain in total traffic, handling 20% of Spain's exports. The Valencian region is famous for its oranges.

The city contains a dense monumental heritage and has been a World Heritage Site since 1996. Siteseeing in the city begins in the old Carmen Quarter. Other notable landmarks include the Towers of the medieval city, the San Miguel de los Reyes monastery containing a specialized library, the whole Malvarrosa beach and undoubtedly the City of Arts and Sciences complex.

The historic old quarter of Barrio Carmen is also a good place to head to in the evenings. It is packed with street cafes, music bars and small tascas where you can try some of the local tapas and a carafe of the famous Agua de Valencia.

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