Book Size: 5.25" x 8"

Pages: 388

Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781623719319

Series: Interlink Cultural Histories

Imprint: Interlink Books

Edition: 1

Illustrations: b&w illus., maps

Release date: September 25, 2019



A Cultural History


$ 16

About this book

A thoughtful examination of this contradictory and divided land, pulled between the Spanish state and Catalonia.

The towns of Valencia's long coast and privileged climate, in particular Benidorm, southern EuropeÍs skyscraper capital, are famous beach tourism destinations. Country of fire, fireworks and long meals (often featuring the renowned paella), Valencia is a Mediterranean land where people know how to enjoy life. This book tells the story of today's Spanish provinces of Valencia, Castelló and Alacant (Alicante), with their profound Moorish legacy. The Moors designed the intricate system of irrigation that still nourishes Valencia's prosperous horta (market garden). They brought, too, the silk, paper, and orange industries.

The area is rich in monuments, many from its golden fifteenth century, when the capital became the wealthiest city on the Western Mediterranean. This book discusses Sagunt's Roman theater and castle; Gandia, home to the ill-reputed Borja (or Borgia) family of popes; Elx, embraced by 200,000 palms; and Alcoi, anarchist stronghold. Michael Eaude discusses ValenciaÍs art, literature and architecture: the painters Ribera and light-filled Sorolla; the great medieval poet of anguish Ausiös March. Santiago Calatrava's architecture, conjuring the sensation of soaring flight from steel, has given Valencia City its new trophy buildings.

Despite its continuing popularity as a tourist destination, there are still deserted beaches, sinister and beautiful marshland, orange groves and a depopulated mountainous interior. Valencia: A Cultural History seeks to explain this contradictory and divided land, its identity pulled between the Spanish state and Catalonia.


About the author

Michael Eaude has lived between Barcelona and the hills of Valencia for thirty years. He has written books on the modern reinvention of Barcelona, the writers Arturo Barea and Manuel Vázquez Montalbán, and Catalonia: A Cultural History.

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