Valencia is a vibrant, sunny, breezy city on the east coast of Spain. It is home to the famous, futuristic-looking City of Arts and Sciences as well as hosting a stunning cathedral and a highly successful football team.
Yet, there are some beautiful secrets Valencia possesses that you’ll surely want to discover when you come to visit. Here’s a look into some of the things you didn’t know about Valencia…
What does Valencia mean?
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 chosen in honor of the soldiers who fought for the city.
Where is ‘Valenciano’ really spoken?
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 a lot in the city!
Valenciano is the local language of the Valencian people. The city of Valencia actually hosts the most international residents in any place across the region and therefore, 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 Valencian community, you will find that Valenciano is much more prevalent in these areas. So, if you are thinking of taking a trip to Valencia, don’t worry about needing to understand the local language because if you stay in the city, you may not hear a lot of it!
What’s the meaning behind the Valencia bat?
Valencia’s symbol can be seen across the city, from the logo on its prestigious football team Valencia C.F. 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.
Narrowest Building in Europe
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 old Town of Valencia has so many interesting buildings and historic roots, it is definitely worth browsing the winding streets when you visit.
The narrowest 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.
The City of Arts and Sciences is well-known across Europe, but many do not realize that right next to it, Valencia hosts 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 dolphinarium, 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 tropical birds! It is very close to the coast so it makes use of the Mediterranean sea water for its animals.
Now you know more about Valencia, the only thing left to do is to visit this wonderful city! Find out more about Valencia and what you can do, here!