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Valencia, Spain, travel to Europe, vacation
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Valencia is the capital of the autonomous community of Valencia and its province. It is the third la...
Valencia is the capital of the autonomous community of Valencia and its province. It is the third largest city in Spain and the 21st largest in the European Union. It forms part of an industrial area on the Costa del Azahar. The estimated population of the city of Valencia proper was 810,064 as of 2008 official statistics. The population of the metropolitan area was 1,583,331 (865 km²). Including the satellite urban area of Sagunto, the total population of the extended region was 1,705,742 (1,161 km²). As of 2007, the mayor of Valencia is Rita Barberá Nolla. Its main festival, the Fallas (Falles in Valencian), has a reputation throughout Spain, while the world famous Spanish dish paella originated around Valencia. The city contains a dense monumental heritage (including the Lonja de la Seda (World Heritage Site since 1996), but its landmark is undoubtedly the City of Arts and Sciences an avant-garde and futuristic museum complex. The original Latin name of the city was Valentia, meaning strength, valour, the city being named for the roman practice of recognizing the valour of former Roman soldiers after a war. The Roman historian Titus Livius (Livy) explains that the foundation of Valentia in the 2nd century BC was due to the settling of the Roman soldiers who fought against Iberian local rebel Viriatus. During the rule of the Muslim Empires in Spain, it was known as بلنسية Balansiya) in Arabic. By regular sound changes this has become Valencia in Spanish and València in Valencian/Catalan. The Valencian pronunciation in the local dialect (in Valencian) is /ba'ɫensia/. Formerly an industrial city, Valencia saw rapid development that started in the mid-1990s, expanding its cultural and touristic possibilities, which turned it into a vibrant city, restoring old landmarks like the old Towers of the medieval city (Serrano Towers and Quart Towers), monasteries like the San Miguel de los Reyes monastery, which now holds a specialized library, the whole Malvarrosa beach, with the construction of a 4 km (2 mi) long paseo or complete quarters, like the old Carmen Quarter, which has seen extensive renovation. Another appealing feature of the city is its numerous convention centres, like the Valencia Fair (Feria de Valencia), the Conference Palace (Palau de Congressos) and several 5 star hotels. The city of Valencia and the surrounding area are expected to attract millions of visitors from around the world given that the city of Valencia has been chosen to host the 32nd America's Cup. The first America's Cup competitions took place in June and July 2005 and were key attractions during the summer of 2005. According to official data from the organizing committee, as many as 150,000 visitors flocked to Valencia's port each day during the two-week events. Also, on 10 May 2007, Bernie Ecclestone announced that Valencia will be the host of an urban circuit of F1, beginning in 2008, and on 1 June 2007 the contract was signed in the F1 headquarters.

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