Xativa is a town in the interior of the province of Valencia, fifty five kilometres southwest of the capital.Both beautiful and interesting,it sits at a geographical and historical crossroads just off the Valencia-Albacete road. Map of area
|View of Xativa Seo(Minster)|
It is the centre of the La Costera region of Valencia with countless small satellite villages dotted all around. It has always been the crossroads for a number of important roads and two railway lines which means the town has maintained a position of importance in times gone by and even now. It nestles under an impressive hilltop castle which boasts some of the best views in the province of Valencia; across a wide valley of orange groves surrounded by mountains. On a clear day you can see the sea!
|Xativa: narrow medieval streets|
Besides being at a physical crossroads Xativa has also figured in many crucial moments of history and has some curious historical ties to some important figures. From Iberian(Ibero) tribes to French Napoleonic troops almost every type of civilization has visited or settled at this “crossroads”.This is not to mention culture, traditions and local customs which abound!
|Fuente de los 25 chorros.(Fountain of the 25 spouts)|
I thought about telling you about all these historical and cultural facts in detail but I am going keep this simple and I am reverting to the fad of listing things .Here is a list of ten things that Xativa is famous for in Valencia ,whilst further afield not many people know this unique historical town.
|The Borgia Popes|
1) Saiti was its Ibero name, whilst the Romans called it Saetabi and it was an important stopover on the Via Agusta. The Moors called it Medina Xateba and made it an important administrative centre over the hundreds of years they occupied the town,which was duly liberated by Jaime I of Aragon in the 13th century. From then on the town was known as Jativa or Xativa(in Valenciano).
|13th Century Hospital|
4) Xativa was a famous and important production centre for silk during Roman, Moorish and Medieval times.
6) Hannibal is said to have camped at Xativa Castle with his elephants. Early day Glamping!
9) Xativa’s train station was bombed on 12th Feb.1939, during the Civil War, by Franco’s planes(normally flying out of Mallorca). A tragedy as there were well over 100 fatalities.
Without doubt Xativa is a unique Valencian town full of history and beautiful architecture thanks to its wealthy past.