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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 Spain.

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.


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