Valencia (Castilian Spanish: Valencia; Valencian: València
is the capital of the Spanish autonomous community of
Valencia and its province. It is the third largest city in
Spain and an industrial area on the Costa del Azahar in
The estimated population of the city of Valencia proper
was 807,396 as of 2006 estimates. Population of the urban
area was 1,012,000 as of 2000 estimates. Population of the
metropolitan area (urban area plus satellite towns) was
1,807,396 as of 2006 estimates. As of 2005, the mayor of
Valencia is Rita Barberá Nolla.
Valencia has a Mediterranean climate, with warm dry
summers and mild winters.
The original Latin name of the city was Valentia, meaning
"Strength", "Vigour". During the rule of the Muslim
Empires in Spain, it was known as Balansiya in Arabic.
By regular sound changes this has become Valencia in
Castilian Spanish and Valencia in Valencian.
It is famous for the Las Fallas festival in March, for
paella valenciana and the new City of Arts and Sciences.
La Tomatina, an annual tomato fight, draws crowds to the
nearby town of Buñol in August. Valencia has a metro
system, run by FGV. Valencia has a successful football
club, Valencia C.F., which won the Spanish league in 2002
and 2004 (in which year it also won the UEFA Cup), and was
a UEFA Champions League Finalist in 2000 and 2001.
The two official languages spoken in the city are Spanish
and Valencian. Due to political and demographic pressure
in the past, the predominant language is Spanish, as
opposed to areas surrounding the metropolitan area in the
province of Valencia. The local government makes sure it
emphasizes the use of the local language.
For instance, all signs and announcements in the Metro are
in Valencian, with Spanish translations underneath in
smaller type. In relation to street naming policy, new
street signs when erected are always given the Valencian
name for street (Carrer) however the older street names
bearing the Spanish names are only replaced when necessary.
This results in a situation where in longer streets both
languages can often be seen on street signs.
Valencia is famous for its vibrant nightlife. In the 1980s
and 1990s clubbers would follow the "ruta del bacalao"
from Madrid to Valencia. Today, bars and nightclubs are
concentrated in the Carmen, but no longer around the
university, due to measures taken in 2007 to prevent noise
in populated areas. As is normal for Spain, nightlife does
not take off until well after midnight.