Xàtiva - City of Thousand Sources
The city of Xàtiva is located in the south of the province of Valencia and is the capital of the region of La Costera. The city is located on the slopes of the Sierra del Castillo in an important strategic position that allowed for the control of commercial and military routes in ancient times. This city has always had a notable productive and commercial activity, with the production of paper and the manufacture of linen fabrics having been of extreme and decisive importance in the past.
Most likely in the 5th century BC there was already an urban center called Sait, which later became the capital of Contestania. By then, its trade had been consolidated, it had its own currency and linen fabrics were considered objects of luxury and distinction in Rome. In Roman times, it had the status of a municipality under Latin law and its name was Saetabis Augusta.
After the Muslim conquest in 711, the city was renamed Medina Xátiba. Muslims made important improvements to the city, from fortifying castles to building canals that supplied the medina and suburbs with running drinking water, as well as installing irrigation systems to increase the area under cultivation. As a result of these improvements the city grew in urban terms, affecting commerce, administration, justice, economy, religion and health.
Xativa had the first paper mill in Europe, it was then in the 11th century.
In 1244 James I conquered the city from the Muslims, driving them to the suburbs and allowing the Catalan and Aragonese resettlement to occupy the walled city. After the death of Charles II, the simple people opted for the Austrian side, while the nobles and religious orders were more in favor of Felipe d'Anjou.
In 1250 he was granted the royal privilege to be able to do the Fair.
In 1347, King Pedro IV granted it the title of City, for its loyalty in the War of the Union.
The city was the birthplace of two popes, one in the 14th century and the other in the 15th century – Callisto III and Alexander VI – Popes Borgia, characters of recognized importance in international politics of their time, as well as Francisco de Paula Martí, inventor of shorthand and fountain pen, among others.
In 1707, the Bourbon army arrived in the city and its inhabitants took refuge within the city walls. For resisting the entry of troops into the city, Felipe V ordered that Xàtiva be burned and fired, its inhabitants expelled, and its name changed to "Colonia Nueva de San Phelipe", as punishment and to serve as an example. For this reason, and as a sign of disapproval, the city kept the portrait of Philip V upside down in the Museu de l'Almodí (Museum of Fine Arts).
Xàtiva's relationship with water is extraordinary, being known as the City of Thousand Sources. The number may seem exorbitant, but in the 17th century there were more than 900 fountains, something unusual and which made the city famous. The "Water Route" is an interesting way to learn about the city's history through its close relationship with the essential element of life.
Xàtiva was declared a Historic-Artistic Site in 1982, due to the monumental wealth of its ancient city in general, and the particular significance of its most emblematic monuments, also declared Goods of Cultural Interest.
In the present, Xàtiva is not just history, it is also present and future.
In this city there is a deep respect for its past and history, but it remains a cosmopolitan community with a rich cultural, commercial and entertainment offer throughout the year.
Visiting Xàtiva is a constant challenge full of emotions and experiences.