Historical city, place of birth of two Popes of the Borjas’ dynasty.
GUIDED VISIT TO XÀTIVA
Birthplace of El Españoleto and two Popes of the Borja dynasty: Alexander VI and Callixtus III
It was the head of the bishopric during the Gothic domination, but the moment of greatest splendour was with the arrival of the Muslims to the Peninsula. After the Reconquest, it became one of the most important cities in the Royal Valencian Territory.
During the war that Spain suffered after the death of Carlos II, the city became a bastion during the war. After the victory of the Borbones and with Felipe v on the Spanish throne, he ordered the burning of the city as a punishment for the support offered to the opposing side, a fact that the natives do not forget.
The Castle of Xàtiva
Ascent to the colossal Castle, of Roman origin, which in its time became famous as an enclosure where noble prisoners of the Crown of Aragon were hidden. Almost all the towers and walls are of Islamic and Gothic origin, although their origins are Iberian and Roman. We find on one side the Castell Menor, which is the oldest part of the fortress, and on the other side the later Castell Major, which is larger and better preserved.
The Castell Menor
It is the longest surviving sector of the whole complex, with Iberian and Roman remains. It is erected in the Red Penya, on rugged terrain which means that you can enjoy a beautiful landscape. Inside we find constructions such as the Hannibal Gate, the Walls and the Square Tower, and the Second Gate.
At the top of the Castell Menor, on a hill, is the Himilce Balcony. It stands out for its tower called the queen, since it refers to the maiden who married the Carthaginian general Hannibal for convenience, because this way the Iberian people and the Carthaginian were united. Only the arcade, which offers a fantastic panoramic view of the Castell Major, remains from this period.
The castell Major
At the top of the Vernissa mountain range is the best preserved Castell Major, the best preserved. It was built in feudal times, being the most diaphanous space and that better has been maintained throughout the time, it has views to the west and monumental walls for its defense. Jaume I the Conqueror used it as an essential enclave on the route between the kingdom of Castile and Valencia.
The construction inside makes it possible to recall the life that the Castell housed at that time. Elements such as cisterns, control towers, dungeons, etc. that saw inside them as renowned characters were serving time. Some of these monuments inside are: the Puerta del Socorro, the Cuatro Aljibes, the Puerta de Santa María, the Celda del Conde d’Urgell and the Capilla de la Reina María.
The collegiate church
This great Christian temple is nicknamed La Seu (The Cathedral) among its neighbours and acquaintances, since Xàtiva tried to transform the city into an Episcopal see.
Construction began at the end of the 16th century on the site of the city’s Muslim mosque, and construction continued for four hundred years and is still in progress today.
The Royal Hospital
As we have already said, with the arrival of Felipe V in Valencia, the city of Xàtiva suffered a serious fire, and the hospital was badly damaged. Thus, in the first half of the 18th century it was rebuilt with the addition of tiles from the Royal Factory in Valencia.
Other interesting monuments in Xàtiva are: the Church of San Feliu, the Church of San Domènec, the Church of San Francisco, the Trinity Square, etc.
To end our guided tour in Xàtiva we will have the opportunity to taste traditional local dishes such as arroz al horno and desserts of Arab origin such as arnadí or almoixàvena. All this accompanied by the best wines with Denomination of Origin from the Moixent area, Fontanar dels Alforins and Font de la Figuera.