Valencia is known as the third biggest city in Spain, behind Madrid and Barcelona. It’s known for its great location on the Mediterranean coastline, the glorious sandy beaches stretching down the whole region, and of course, the world renowned Spanish dish, La paella! Yet, there are some beautiful secrets Valencia possesses and much more to reveal than the obvious tourist attractions.
Here’s a look into 5 revelations you didn’t know about Valencia…
The name Valencia comes from the ancient roman era.
It comes from the word “Valentia”, meaning courage and power in Latin. It is believed that this name was probably chosen in honor of the soldiers who fought for the city.
If you visit the city, the Torres de Serrano and the Torres de Quart are two great towers, at either side of the Old Town of Valencia, which were once gateways into the city. You can feel the element of bravery and courage just by looking at them! So the name must be true.
Most people know that Valencia has its own language (very similar to Catalan which is spoken in Catalonia, home to Barcelona). Yet not many people realize that it is not spoken as often as you would expect in the city.
Valenciano is the local language of the Valencian people. The city of Valencia actually hosts the most international residents across the region and Spanish (Castellano) is spoken more in the city than the region’s own language! If you leave the city and visit the surrounding towns, smaller cities and communities in the interior of the region, you will find that Valenciano is much more prevalent in these areas.
Valencia’s symbol can be seen across the city, from the logo on its prestigious football team to the turrets of the Town hall building. But why does a bat (murciélago in Spanish) represent the city?
According to legend, it was a bat that woke King Jaume I and his soldiers at the exact moment the city was being attacked by Muslim troops. Ever since this day, the bat has become a sacred and important symbol for the people of Valencia, representing protection and acting as the city’s main symbol.
Valencia is home to the narrowest building in Europe! You can witness the narrow façade in the Old Town of Valencia from “La plaza Lope de Vega”. The building itself stands at 107cm! Nowadays, it is connected to a bar called ‘La Estrecha’, meaning the narrow one, and is a fun place to get something to eat, drink great cocktails and take a photo to remember the spot.
If you visit Valencia, you must see this spot and take in the beauty of the square itself. Exploring through the Old town is a true delight!
The City of Arts and Sciences is well-known across Europe, but many do not realize that right next to it, is the largest aquarium in Europe! L’Oceanogràfic is home to an array of sea-life and holds more than 42 million liters of water! It boasts a dolphinarum, a huge indoor shark tank, beluga whales and a penguin tank. It has a large outdoor space too where you can see more penguins, sea lions and birds! It is very close to the coast so it makes use of the Mediterranean sea water for its animals.
For more wonderful facts and interesting places to visit in Valencia, check out our Blog.