A place in California once known for its oranges. I was born right next door in Newhall

Sadly there are very few orange groves left there... if any.

Most of California's oranges are now grown in the northern part of southern California and in central and northern California

Valencia is just a few miles North of Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. It is probably most well known for being the home of Six Flags Magic Mountain. It is mainly a bedroom community and is probably one of the safest communities in the Los Angeles area. In the late 1980's Valencia, along with neighboring towns Newhall, Saugus, and Canyon Country were incorporated into the City of Santa Clarita.
Very nice facilities, lots of shopping, good schools, and lots to do, it is truly one of the nicest places to live in the Los Angeles area.
1 A region and ancient kingdom in east Spain between Andalusia and Catalonia.

2 Commune and port on the Mediterranean.
Population: 744,748

3 A city in north Venezuela westsouthwest of Caracas.
Population: 903,621

Valencia is one of the seventeen autonomous communities that as a whole form the country of Spain.
Extending from its southern borders with Murcia it travels up 2/3 of the East Coast line of the peninsula. It is home to a few important commercial and industrial seaports as well as two international airports. It is also one of the three communities (the Balearic Islands and Cataluyna being the other two) that share the Catalan language as their own.
They also produce great oranges.

A Brief History

The Beginnings

La city of Valencia was founded in 138 BC. by the roman consul Decimus Junius Brutus and settled by Italian citizens. The name Valencia is derived from the “valentia” meaning “strength and good courage”.
It was initially built upon a small island in the middle of the river Turia and followed the models of most other roman cities of the time, the two main streets ran perpendicular to each other - the via Cardo running from north to south, and the via Decumana that crossed the city from east to west with the main forum resting on the crossroads of the two.

Valencia lived in a calm fashion until 90 b.c. when the roman civil war between Marius and Sulla broke out, fresh from this disturbance Valencia was hit again 15 years later when due to Valencia’s support for enemy and rival Sertorius, Pompey tore through the settlement. The outcome was the final triumph of Pompey, the death of Herenius Sertorius and the destruction of his army and the city of Valencia. There is much evidence to show that the town remained abandoned for at least fifty years after the war.

During the first century A.D., Valencia re-emerged and became larger than it had been before its destruction. Pliny the Elder refers to the city as being a Roman colony situated 3,000 paces from the sea. The Roman city was 2.70 metres lower than the present-day level of the streets and was originally situated on the south bank of the river Turia, at the point where the river intersected with the Via Augusta, an important Roman road stretching from Italy to Andalucia.

Valencia and the Moors

When the moors marched into Valencia they found it in a state of decay, the population had decimated and the city’s borders had shrunk considerably.
During the reign of Abd al Allah vast amounts were invested in the Valencia and it was restored almost fully with virtually no changes from the roman planning, the only addition was a recreation palace, built on the outskirts of the city, called “Russafa” after the gardens of Persia old (russafas).
But despite the best efforts, the renovation and inversion, the city of Balamsiya, as it was then known, had little relevance to the Hispanic peninsula at this point in time.

The economy of Muslim Valencia, based on agriculture, started to grow in the 11th century under the Moors. This period coincided with the reign of Abd al Aziz, who was instrumental in building the surrounding walls. The walled enclosure more than covered the Roman site and occupied virtually the whole of the island in the river Turia, although the double river channel had disappeared by the time the walls were built. The Moorish site was three times the size of the Roman one; it occupied an area of 47 hectares and had some 15,000 inhabitants.

With the death of Abd al Aziz and the following civil unrest Valencia was hit hard by the invasion of El Cid in 1094. For eight years the city was maintained under an iron fist by Alfonso VI. The Christian monarch was forced to evacuate finally after the pressure from the surrounding Muslims became to great. Valencia was regained for the moors and became part of there now diminishing empire for another 200 years.
After five months of siege in 1238 the city was re-conquered for the final time by James I who immediately evacuated all of the remain Muslims and began to transform Valencia into the basis of the Christian rule of the east coast, brining in noblemen and families from far north.

The Renaissance

Under the Christian Rule Valencia as a city and a region flourished and slowly extended to form what would be the basis of community we now know.

Throughout the dark ages Valencia was one of the least affected. Part of this luck was due to the fact that since it was in origin a roman city it had had for centuries now an excellent plumbing and watering system that sustained it’s people through the toughest of times and help ward off plague and disease. Internally some changes were made, an attempt to expanded the Jewish ghetto (also know as the “Call”) resulted in a riot and the slaughtering of over a hundred Jews. Those who survived hid in the synagogue and terrified requested catholic baptism.
An interesting note is that during the 13th century Valencia became home to western worlds first know psychiatric hospital, built by a catholic priest to save the crazy from the torments of the street which usually resulted in stoning and death.

During the Renaissance the cities aristocrats and noblemen lived a time of splendour much at the cost of the rest of the population
Feudal law was still strong and the German aristocracy and monarchy was an integral part of Spain, so much so that Valencia was held under the rule of Germaana de Foix the widow of Ferdinand the Catholic. During her rule over a thousand people where hung. This terrorising period caused the mass exodus of the Valencian nobility to the capital of the kingdom under protection of the monarch.

After these brief but significant events and until now Valencia has remained an important part of the Spanish government but most significant events have been centred around the capital of Spain. Madrid.

Time Line for the last hundred years in Valencia
(date format: DD/MM)
  • 1931
    • 14/04 – The Second Republic of Spain is declared. Valencia garnered 32 seats and Agustin Trigo was elected mayor.
    • The first cinema in the city, Cine Capitol, was founded and the “Plaza de la Reina” (The Queen’s Square) was torn down to make way
  • 1933
    • The mortal remains of the famous and much loved writer Blasco Ibañez are brought back to Valencia and buried in the civil cemetery
  • 1936
    • 18/07 – The outbreak of the Civil War.
    • 06/12 – The Government of the Republic transfers its base to Valencia in fear that Madrid is doomed to fall in hands of the monarchists.
  • 1937
    • October – The government moves up to Barcelona, even further into retreat
  • 1939
    • 30/03 - The Nationalist troops march into Valencia and take control
    • 01/04 - Peace is declared and the war ends. Francisco Franco proclaims himself head of the state and takes the title of “Caudillo”.
  • 1957
    • 14/10 - Valencia suffers the worst downpour of its recorded history; this causes priceless damages and ruins 90% of the crops.
  • 1975
  • 1977
    • 15/06 – The first general elections are held and work upon the constitution is begun
  • 1978
    • 06/12 – The finished constitution is presented to the country. The sixth of December remains a national holiday still.
  • 1982
    • The Declaration of Autonomy of Valencia is approved and Valencia officially becomes part of the seventeen of Spain.
  • Provinces

    Alicante, capital Alicante (city)
    The southern most of the provinces it shares boundaries with Murcia on the south and south west, Castilla La Mancha on the west, the north is commanded by Valencia (province) and the east by the Mediterranean.
    Alicante City is home to an important industrial seaport and an international airport, a little further south lays Denia which is the port town which serves daily ferries to and from the Balearic Islands.

    Valencia, capital Valencia (city)
    The second province ascending northwards is hemmed on the south by Alicante; the West Side is headed off by Castilla La Mancha and the north side by both Aragon and Castellon. The east like it’s brother is the coast.
    Valencia is home to the other airport in the region and is the biggest city of the community, famous for it’s football team and it cinema festival

    Castellon, capital Castellon (city)
    The last and smallest province of Valencia, Castellon borders Valencia (province) on the south, Aragon on the West and Cataluyna on the north. East is coastline.

    Famous People and Places


    Vicente Blasco Ibañez (1867 – 1928) – Renowned writer whose works include “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” and “Mud and Reeds”.

    Joaquín Sorolla (1863 – 1923) - Impressionist painter who worked extensively in New York and Madrid, works can be seen at the Museum Sorolla, Madrid and in the Hispanic Society of America, New York

    Vicente Masip (1475 - 1545) - Leading renaissance painter his main work is the main altarpiece of Segorbe Cathedral, Valencia (completed 1535).

    Joan de Joanes (1523 - 1579) – Son of Vicente Masip, colleague and student to his father many of his works can be observed in the Museum ‘El Prado’

    Sánchez Coello (1531 - 1588) – Religious painter he created vast amounts of pieces for the ‘Escorial’ in Madrid.

    Luis Vives (1531 - 1588) – Famous humanist and favourite student of Erasmus, he lectured in Oxford for many years before retiring to the Netherlands to dedicate himself to writing.


    In Alicante you can see...
    Concatedral de San Nicolás de Bari – Semi-cathedral built in-between 1616 y 1662 it is one of the purest examples of the high baroque in Spain.
    Iglesia de Santa María - A gothic church which was built on the remains of the Muslim mesquite and was completed over 300 years giving it a unique mix of style and art.
    Castillo de Santa Bárbara – In terms of land this castle is the largest medieval castle in Europe still standing. It covers the north side of an entire mountain and towers over a rocky cliff. It is strategically perfect to watch over Alicante and the surrounding gulfs.

    Valencia can offer....
    Cathedral of Valencia – This cathedral towering in the centre of Valencia, city was built on the same site the original roman temple was built when Valencia was Valentia and no more than a small settlement. It now has been added to and restored over the years and has a fine mix of gothic, baroque and even Muslim.
    The Miguelete – The bell tower that stands next to the cathedral raises 508,5m. high and 508,5m it was built in pure gothic style and holds twelve bells, the name of the tower comes from the twelfth bell which was blessed on the 29th of September 1418, Saint Miguel (Michael) day.
    Old University – This building was home to the original university and is preserved as a civil monument. This was the study place and home to Luis Vives.

    Castellon holds…
    Basilica de la Mare de Déu del LLedó – Dating from the 14th century this church is being restored to its former state after years of neglect.
    La Concatedral de Santa María – built in the 13th century the only remains of the original construction are two side doors since it was destroyed in the Civil War. Restoration finished a few years ago under the hand of highly regarded architect Vicente Traver.

    Flag and community symbols


    The flag of the community of Valencia is also known as the Senyera and has the same basis as the Catalan and Aragonian flag.
    It is composed of a golden back ground with five red stripes of equal proportions running vertically across the 4/5ths of the length of the flag. These stripes are taken from the coat of arms of the kings of Aragon.
    The remaining strip is covered by a blue column with representations in gold of the royal crown to signify each of the so-called dukes of Valencia which where ordained under James I.


    The community holiday is celebrated on the 9th of October.

    From the 14 to the 19th of March the ‘Fallas’ take place. The Fallas are said to have originated when a few centuries back the carpenters of this area started to burn their candlesticks and lamps on the eve of Saint Joseph. It has evolved to become one of the largest spring festivals of Spain.

    Community Song

    (Italics are original song in Valencian (Catalan) the English text is my translation)

    Per a ofrenar noves glòries a Espanya,
    tots a una veu, germans, vingau.
    ¡Ja en el taller i en el camp remoregen
    càntics d'amor, himnes de pau!

    To offer new glories to Spain
    Our brothers knew how to fight
    Already in the stable and in the field
    The songs of love and hyms of peace are echoing

    ¡Pas a la Regió
    que avança en marxa triomfal!
    Per a Tu la vega envia
    la riquesa que atresora,
    i es la veu de l'aigua càntic d'alegria
    al compàs i al ritme de guitarra mora.…

    See the people
    As the advance in a triumphal march
    My field is coming
    To bestow the treasure it hides
    And the waters murmur in songs of happiness
    That were born with the rhythms of a Moorish guitar

    Paladins de l'art t'ofreren
    ses victòries gegantines;
    i als teus peus, sultana, tons jardins extenen
    un tapís de murta i de roses fines

    Jokers of the arts lay down
    And offer their victories
    At your feet, Sultan, tend my gardens
    A tapestry of roses and carnations

    Brinden fruites daurades
    els paradisos de les riberes;
    penjen les arracades
    baix les arcades de les palmeres.
    Sona la veu amada
    i en potentíssim, vibrant resso,
    notes de nostra albada
    canten les glòries de la Regió.

    Brimming with sour treasure
    The orange groves of the shores
    Hanging golden boughs
    Beneath the palm leaves.
    The loved voice speaks
    In a vibrant and victorious lilt,
    Tones of the campsite
    Sing the triumph of our land.

    Valencians: en peu alcem-se.
    Que nostra veu
    la llum salude d'un sol novell.

    Wake, Valencians
    Let our voice
    The light
    Of a new sun salute.

    Per a ofrenar noves glòries a Espanya,
    tots a una veu, germans, vingau.
    ¡Ja en el taller i en el camp remoregen
    càntics d'amor, himnes de pau!

    To offer new glories to Spain
    Our brothers knew how to fight
    Already in the stable and in the field
    The songs of love and hyms of peace are echoing!

    ¡Flamege en l'aire
    nostra Senyera!
    ¡Glòria a la Pàtria!
    ¡Vixca Valencia!
    ¡VIXCA! ¡¡VIXCA!! ¡¡¡VIXCA!!!

    Floating in the air
    Our flag!
    Glory to the country!
    Live Valencia!
    Live! Live Live!

    * Notes

    • Blasco Ibanez:
      - The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse Paperback (October 1983), Carroll & Graf; ISBN: 0881840165
    • - Mud and Reeds – Paperback (December 1966), Branden Publishing Co; ISBN: 0828314705
      (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/search-handle-url/index=books&field- keywords=blasco%20ibanez&bq=1/ref=aps_more_b_2/104-1393784-7311967)
    • For details on Joaquin Sorolla and his work - http://www.monadnock.net/essays/sorolla.html
    • For more information on Vicente Masip and Joan de los Juanes, take into account the castillian translation of their names (Vicente Macip and Juan de los Juanes) since depending on the text and authority they are interchangeably referred to one way or another

    And extensive use of google with such keyowrds as Valencia, comunidad valenciana, historia +de valencia, la senyera, and many many more.

    The Valencia was a 1600-ton steamship that ran aground off Vancouver Island, British Columbia on January 22, 1906, in one of the more well-known and tragic maritime disasters of the 20th century.

    The Valencia was travelling from San Francisco to Seattle when it encountered a heavy fog bank off Cape Mendocino. The ship crept through the fog for hours before being caught in strong winds and currents and swept against sharp rocks at the base of a steep cliff. The captain ordered the ship's lifeboats lowered to the rail for boarding; then, contrary to his orders, four were immediately lowered into the raging seas. One was immediately smashed to flinders against the Valencia's side; the other three disappeared into the darkness. Shortly thereafter, two of the remaining boats were launched, leaving almost a hundred people stranded on board the stricken liner.

    The Cape Beale lighthouse keeper, Thomas Paterson, saw the flares launched by the Valencia's crew and received the first few survivors to struggle ashore. He telegraphed word of the disaster to Victoria, and three ships responded - the Queen, City of Topeka, and the salvage tug Salvor. However, when the rescue ships arrived at the site of the disaster, it was immediately clear to them that they would be powerless to aid the stricken liner. The Valencia was aground in a very dangerous area, and the powerful swells would ensure that any vessel attempting a rescue would share her fate. Even the Salvor, with its powerful engines, was unable to approach any closer than a half mile, despite valiant efforts by her captain.

    The rescue fleet watched as women and children climbed into the Valencia's rigging to escape the disintegrating hull - many dressed in nightdresses, without gloves or shoes - only to slowly freeze or fall to their deaths in the boiling surf. When morning came, the Valencia's boatswain, Tim McCarthy, attempted to take the remaining lifeboat - No 5. - to shore with a lifeline. After a great effort, and losing all but two of their oars to the surf and rocks, McCarthy and his men reached the cliffs, and hiked to Cape Beale for help. When the rescue party returned, only 60 people remained alive in the Valencia's rigging. They began to cheer as the rescue party began to haul in the lifeline, only to see it snap and disappear into the waves. The steamship had long since run out of rockets, which might have been able to carry another line to shore; there was nothing left for the rescuers to do but wait for the inevitable. One by one the survivors were swept from the wreck, until all were gone - 40 hours after the Valencia struck ground. All in all, 117 people died in the shipwreck.

    In 1933, the No. 5 lifeboat was found drifting in Barkley Sound, its paint still in good condition.

    Source: T.W. Paterson's British Columbia Shipwrecks.

    Va*len"ci*a (?), n. [Perhaps fr. Valence in France.]

    A kind of woven fabric for waistcoats, having the weft of wool and the warp of silk or cotton.

    [Written also valentia.]


    © Webster 1913.

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