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History of Valencia, Spain

Valencian history is not full of world-changing events. However, over 2000 years of history in this city make up for a fascinating story with its dramatic ups and downs, spectrum of cultures and, most importantly, plenty of marks on the streets for you to see

(138 BC - 304 AD) - The Roman Foundations

The Roman chapter of the history of Valencia, SpainFounded in 138 BC by retired Roman soldiers, Valencia grew into a large and lively centre of Roman culture in the Iberian peninsula, reaching its height in the 2nd century AD.

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(304 - 711 AD) - Political Christianity and the Visigoths

 History of Valencia: the VisigothsChristianity comes to Valencia with a dramatic martyrdom of San Vicente Martir and takes political control of the Roman Senate. After the collapse of the Roman Empire, Valencia becomes a Visigoth territory and goes itno decline.

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(711- 1238) - Islamic Conquest and Rule

The Muslim period in Valencian history<Valencia is consumed by the Muslim expansion and becomes a flourishing part of the Muslim Empire for 5 centuries, with an explosion in agriculture, sciences and arts.

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(1094 - 1238) - El Cid and Re-conquest by the Muslims

El Cid Campeador and the story of ValenciaIn 1094 the notorius El Cid conquered Valencia and created an emphemeral Crusader kingdom which lasted for 8 years until the arrival of the Almoravid Muslim army. Valencia once again became Muslim for another century.

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13th century - The Christian Reconquista

History of Valencia: the Christian Reconquista by King Jaime IAt the height of Spanish Re-conquista, King Jaime I of Aragon expels the Muslims from Valencia forever, creating an independent Valencia Kingdom. Christian history of Valencia commences once again.

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14th -15th centuries - The Golden Age of Valencia

The Golden Age: Medieval History of ValenciaValencia became a New World for the Spanish colonists and blossomed with the rise of the bourgeois class. By the end of the 15th century Valencia entered its Golden Age of prosperity when it was one of the most populous, dynamic, rich and cultural cities of Europe.

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16th - 17th centuries - The Dark Age of Valencia

 The Rennaisance and Baroque Periods of Valencian HistoryThe Rennaisance in Valencia came hand-in-hand with Counter-Reformation and the exaggerated Catholicism led to religious hysteria and expulsion of the Muslims. Valencia was crippled economically and ravaged by plagues.

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18th century - War of Succession and "Enlightened Despotism"

 The Age of Enlightenment - History of ValenciaWith the coming of the Bourbons in the War of Succession, Valencia was stripped of autonomy and subjected to despotic centralised rule. It was also the Age of Enlightenment and Valencia was on the forefront of new ideas, as well as a lively economic player due to silk trade.

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(1808 - 1868) - Napoleonic Invasion and Reactionary Absolutism

 History of Valencia: Napoleon and the 19th CenturyValencia held out against French troops almost until the end of Napoleon's Spanish Campaign. After the war, Fernando VII reversed to reactionary absolutism, repressing liberal movements. At the same time, Valencia's silk economy went into decline.

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(1868 - 1898) - Industrialisation, and the First Republic

 The First Republic and the Industrial Age - History of ValenciaFolloing the Gloria Revolution of 1868, Spanish First Republic was born, until the restoration of the monarchy in 1974. Valencia's move to declare itself an autonomous Canton was supressed with force. Over this half of the century Valencia successfully industrialised and expanded, springing a range of social movements.

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(1898 - 1975) - Turmoil, Civil War and the Franco Regime

Civil War and the Franco Regime in the History of ValenciaThroughout the political turmoil and benign dictatorship of the first third of XX century, Valencia remained on a moderate left as a cosmopolitan cauldron of social movements. Once the Civil War broke out Valencia became the capital of the Republic (left) until it ended the war with its capitulation to General Franco (right) in 1939. After a period of economic hardship, Franco turned Valencia into the agricultural powerhorse of Spain.

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(1975 - today) - Democracy, Autonomy and XXI Century

The Recent History of Valencia Since 1975Following the death of Franco and restoration of democracy, Valencia resisted annexation to Catalunia and received autonomous status as the capital of Comunidad Valenciana. In the last decade Valencia has undergone an explosive phase of rapid development and economic growth, as well as becoming a new tourist destination.

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