Historia

Historia de Xàtiva

Xàtiva es una ciudad histórica situada en un área donde, desde antiguo ya había asentamientos, como lo atestigua el yacimiento conocido como la “Cova Negra“, con importantes restos arqueológicos del paleolítico medio.

En época ibérica ya era un municipio organizado, conocido con el nombre de Sait, perteneciente a la zona denominada Contestania, y que disponía de un comercio activo y emitía moneda propia.

La ciudad de Xàtiva, así como su área geográfica, fue pronto romanizada. Situada junto a la estratégica Vía Augusta, que iba de Roma a Cádiz, tenía la categoría de municipio de derecho latino y su nombre era Saetabis Augusta. Existía una importante industria de fabricación de tejidos de lino.

Xàtiva tuvo obispado en época visigótica, muestra de la importante población existente, lo bastante numerosa como para tener abierta una iglesia al culto. Hay conocimiento de que varios obispos setabenses firmaron las actas de los Concilios de Toledo, en el siglo VI d.C.

En época musulmana consolidó su importancia, constituyéndose en capital de Kora o distrito administrativo. En el siglo XI se estableció en Xàtiva la primera fábrica de papel de Europa.

Xàtiva se incorporó a la civilización occidental con el rey Jaime I, el 22 de mayo de 1244, domingo de Pentecostés. Dentro de la nueva organización política y administrativa, Xàtiva se constituye como “sotsgovernació dellà lo riu Xúquer fins el riu de Xixona”, con un territorio que comprendía unos 500 pueblos. Era la segunda ciudad del Reino, votando en Cortes después de Valencia. En 1347, el rey Pedro IV le concedió el título de Ciudad, por su fidelidad en la Guerra de la Unión.

La ciudad fue cuna de dos papas, que nacieron en la ciudad en los siglos XIV y XV: Calixto III y Alejandro VI, los papas Borja, personajes de reconocida importancia en la política internacional de su tiempo.

Los siglos XV y XVI representan la época de máximo esplendor de la ciudad. Durante las Germanías aparece el famoso personaje conocido como “l’Encobert“, figura principal en los convulsos movimientos sociales que fueron las Germanías, y en los que la ciudad de Xàtiva fue protagonista importante. En 1588 nace el pintor de fama universal José de Ribera “El Españoleto”.

Xàtiva participó activamente en el conflicto sucesorio a la Corona de España, apoyando mayoritariamente al pretendiente de la Casa de Austria, el Archiduque Carlos de Austria, frente a su rival borbón, Felipe V. En 1707, su fidelidad le costaría cara al resistir duramente a los Borbones. En represalia, Felipe V mandó incendiar y destruir la ciudad, y expulsar a sus habitantes, cambiando el nombre de Xàtiva por el de “Colonia Nueva de San Phelipe“. En señal de desaprobación, la ciudad mantiene en la actualidad el retrato de Felipe V cabeza abajo, en el Museo de Bellas Artes.

La ciudad es cuna de personajes famosos, aparte de los papas citados y del Españoleto, como el Diputado en las Cortes de Cádiz de 1812, Joaquin Lorenzo Villanueva y su hermano Jaime; de Francisco de Paula Martí, inventor de la taquigrafía y de la pluma estilográfica; de San Jacinto Castañeda, etc.

Xàtiva fue declarada Conjunto Histórico-Artístico en 1982, por la riqueza monumental de su casco antiguo en general, y a la significación particular de sus monumentos más emblemáticos, declarados igualmente Bienes de Interés Cultural.

Entre sus monumentos más representativos están:

  • El Castillo, con restos de distintas épocas
  • Colegiata de Santa María (S. XVI-XX)
  • Hospital Mayor de Pobres (S. XV-XVI)
  • Ermita de San Félix (S. XIII)
  • Ermita de San José (S. XVIII)
  • Santa Ana (S. XVI)
  • Iglesia de San Pedro (S. XVII)
  • Iglesia de San Francisco (S. XIV)
  • Puerta gótica de los Trinitarios (S. XV)
  • Casa natal del papa Alejandro VI (S. XVI)
  • Casa de Alarcón (S. XVIII)
  • Numerosos palacios urbanos de la nobleza setabense, de distintas épocas.

Hechos destacables en la historia de Xàtiva

PREHISTORIA:
Yacimiento del Paleolítico Medio. Restos humanos del hombre de Neandertal.

Edificio o Monumento: COVA NEGRA.

ANTIGÜEDAD Y EDAD MEDIA:
Época ibérica: ciudad que emite moneda.
Restos significativos: cabeza ibérica s. V a.C.; monedas; fortaleza.

Época romana: ciudad de derecho latino. Industria de tejidos de lino.
Restos significativos: columnas ermita Sant Feliu; lápidas funerarias; torre romana.

Época visigótica: Restos de una basílica paleocristiana. Elección de Obispado. Participación de obispos setabenses en los Concilios de Toledo.

EDAD MEDIA: EPOCA MUSULMANA:
Consolidación de la importancia de la ciudad.

Siglo XI: primera fábrica de papel en Europa.

Redacción de la obra “El collar de la paloma”, de Ibn Hazam de Córdoba.

Monumentos, edificios o restos significativos: pila árabe; arco palacio Pino Hermoso; conducción agua; castillo; plaza del Mercado; Torre del Sol.

EDAD MEDIA: EPOCA FORAL:
Conquista del rey Jaime I. Concesión de privilegios similares a los de Valencia.

1250: concesión del privilegio real para poder hacer Feria.

Capital de la Sots-Governació “dellà lo riu Xúquer fins el riu de Xixona”, con un territorio que comprendía más de 500 pueblos.

Xátiva, segunda ciudad del Reino en importancia y segunda en votar en Cortes.

1347: concesión del título de Ciudad, mediante privilegio real.

Siglos XIV-XV: Nacimiento de los futuros Papas Borja: Calixto III y Alejandro VI.

Conflicto social de Las Germanías: aparece el famoso personaje “El Encobert”.

Edificios, monumentos mas significativos:

Siglos XIII-XV: Colegiata, obras en la mezquita; Convento de Sant Doménec; Convento de Sant Francesc; Convento de la Trinitat; Convento de la Mercé; Convento de Santa Clara; Convento de Montsant; Aljub.

EDAD MODERNA:

Siglos XVI-XVII, Nacimiento del pintor José de Ribera “El Españoleto”.

Siglo XVIII, Guerra de Sucesión: sitio de Xátiva, saqueo e incendio y expulsión de sus habitantes por las tropas borbónicas del rey Felipe V.
Xátiva lleva el nombre de San Felipe.
Edificios y/o monumentos más significativos:
Siglos XVI-XVII:

  • Colegiata
  • Hospital
  • Ermita de Sant Josep
  • Convento de Sant Agustí
  • Almudín
  • Convento de la Consolació
  • Convento del Carme
  • Convento de Sant Onofre el Vell
  • Convento de Captuxins
  • Iglesia de Sant Joan del Raval
  • Calvario
  • Ermita de Sant Antoni

Siglo XVIII:

  • Mercado
  • Lonja
  • Casa de la Enseñanza
  • Palacio de Alarcón
  • Sant Onofre el Nou
  • Calvario Alto
  • Calvario Bajo

EDAD CONTEMPORÁNEA:
El diputado Joaquín Lorenzo Villanueva recupera el nombre de Xátiva en las Cortes de Cádiz, en 1811.

Xátiva, capital de provincia: 1820-1823. Francisco de Paula Martí: inventor de la taquigrafía española y de la pluma estilográfica.

Edificio y/o monumentos más significativos: Alameda; estaciones de FF.CC.; cementerio; teatro; plaza de toros; CCX, Castillo, centro histórico.

Fuentes:
Archivo Municipal de Xàtiva.
Museo Municipal de Bellas Artes de Xàtiva.


In English

Xàtiva is a city in the Valencia province (Spain), capital of the Costera region. Xàtiva was one of the most important towns in the history of the Valencia Kingdom, competing with Valencia and Orihuela, the other two most important cities at that Foral Time. During the 18th century, it became the capital of the Kingdom for a short period of time.
Nowadays 28.222 people live in Xàtiva ( INE 2005 ) and even though its demographic weight is smaller, it’s still one of the main cities of the culture and history in the Valencian Community.
Geography
Xàtiva is located among the basins of the Albaida River and its tributary, the Cañoles River. Its city limits are very irregular. Outside the city limits it counts with many important territories such as el Realengo.
The city is situated at the feet of the Castell Hill. We can find some houses there and the city continues to the flatest part of the meadow.
You can get to the city, from Valencia, using the dual carriageway (A-7) to link with the A-road (N-340). You can also get to Xàtiva train station from Valencia with the (C-2) commuter trains

Weather
Xàtiva has got a mediterran climate, but summers are hotter than in other parts of the Valencian Community because it is located among valleys and about 40 km far from the coast . We usually can find the highest temperatures of the region and Spain during the summer.
Traditions
Xàtiva has a great musical and pictorial tradition. It also has a great Arabian heritage and a few roman remains.
History
Xàtiva was founded by the Iberians, as Ibi, Tibi or Saiti. It grew during the Greek and Phoenician period. It was called Saetabis during the Roman Empire, and became Saetabis Augusta in honour of the Emperor. It had a great importance at that time as a traffic junction. The Bishops of Xàtiva attended The Councils of Toledo during the Visigothic period.
During the Muslim period it was called Medina Xateba. It belonged to Toledo and later to Córdoba. It was also part of Almería, the Taifa kingdom of Denia, Murcia and Valencia. In its last days as Muslim town, it was the capital of a Kora: province of about 50 towns and villages. In this period, it was also known as the cradle of paper in Europe by some authors thanks to Abú Masaifa.

After the conquest (the mosque wasn’t destroyed by Jaime I) and Xàtiva became the capital of the Júcar Governorate from 1244 to 1707. Júcar river was its frontier with Valencia Governorate and its territory continued to the South until Villena and Jijona. Gandia or Denia were two of the several important towns and villages in this territory.

In 1707, during the War of Spanigh Succession, Xàtiva was under siege and attacked by General Asfeld and his Bourbon troops on the orders of Felipe V. The town, the villages close to Xàtiva, the peasants and many other Hapsburgs supporters prepared for the worst with the help of a British Troop Regiment. General Purroy was in command of the defense and resisted the attack for a few days. The cannons brought from Almansa and a 12.000 French Soldiers Regiment won the battle, but many French Troops died at the hands of The Maulets because of their audacity and endevour.

They destroyed the wall near Portal dels Banys, close to que square we today know as Plaza la Bassa, and entered the town going to San Francesc Street through the south of San Agustín Street.

Many people died in the streets. A slaughter of women and children took place in San Agustín church. The town was burned, all the inhabitants killed and the name of the town changed to Nueva Colonia de San Felipe.
The city was left in ruins and almost uninhabited for a year. Then the city was repopulated and got part of its splendour back. Some great monuments survived to the massacre Felipe de Anjoy (Felipe V) created.
It was de capital of the province from 1822 to 1833 thanks to Joaquin Lorenzo Villanueva’s perseverante and effort. He was a “distinguished citizen“ of Xàtiva and helped to recover (28th september,1820) the name of Játiva for the town.
Monuments
Xátiva is a very important monumental town. You can admire its historical artistic heritage touring the town. The most remarkable is undoubtedly the Colegiata Basílica or Seu. The construction of this Cathedral started in 1596. It was built with three naves, a transept and an ambulatory. Many valuable works of art are exhibited in the Museum of the Colegiata.
The Castle Fortress has an Iberian and Romanic origin, but most of the walls and towers that we can find in the present are Islamic or Gothic. It was the State Prision for the Kings of the Aragonese Crown. From the top of the Castle you can see a great landscape. In the North, the town and the fertile plain of Júcar River; in the South, the non-irrigated lands and the mountains of Serra Grossa, Mariola and Benicadell; in the West, the border with Castilla; and in the East, you can see the Mediterranian Sea.

Gastronomy and festivities
Arroz al horno (roast rice), arnadí and monjàvena (Arabic origin) are very well known dishes. The last two dishes are cakes made of pumpkin.
La Fira de Xàtiva (Xativa’s Fair) took place since Jaime I allowed it in 1250. Easter is also celebrated in Xàtiva with a great intensity.
Distinguished citizens
Popes Calixto III and Alexander VI were born in Xàtiva. They were part of the Borgia (Borja) Family. This family had a palace in Xàtiva.
Other important citizens:
José de Ribera “El Españoleto”, painter;
San Francisco de Borja, Saint of the Catholic Church;
Francisco de Paula Martí, inventor of stenography and fountain pens


History of Xàtiva

Xàtiva is a historic town located in an area with ancient human settlements. We can find the site“La Cova Negra” (Black Cave), with archeological remains from the Mid Palaeolithic.
In the Iberian period, it was and organized town known as Sait. It belonged to the Contestania Area. It had its own currency and an active commerce.
Xàtiva, and all its area of influence, was soon Romanized. Xàtiva was located next to Vía Augusta (a very strategic spot). This Vía Augusta went from Rome to Cádiz. Xàtiva was a town governed by Latin law. Its name was Saetabis Augusta. There was an important industry of Woven fabrics of flax.
During the Visigothic Period there was a bishopric in Xàtiva. It shows the great number of citizens in the area and the reason of having an church functioning. Many Bishops from Xàtiva signed the Councils of Toledo in the VI century, after the Birth of Christ.
During the Muslim Period the importance of the town grew. A Kora (administrative district) was built. In the XI century, the first paper factory of Europe was opened in Xàtiva.
Xàtiva joined the Occidental Civilization with King Jaime I, 22nd May 1244, (Whit Sunday). Inside the new politic and administrative organization, Xàtiva was “sotsgovernació dellà lo riu Xúquer fins el riu de Xixona” , a territory of about 500 villages. It was the second town, in order of importance, in the Kingdom. Xàtiva voted in the Parliament after València. In 1347, King Pedro IV, offered Xàtiva the degree of City, in gratitude for its loyalty during the Union War.
Two Popes were born in Xàtiva in the XIV and XV centuries: Calixto III and Alejandro VI. These Popes were part of the Borja Family, who had a great influence in the internacional politics in the period.
The XV and XVI centuries were the most important period in the history of Xàtiva. During the “Germanias” a famous person known as “l’Encobert” appeared. He was the leading figure in the turbulent times of social movements during the “Germanias”. Xàtiva was a great protagonist during this social movements. In 1588, José de Ribera “El Españoleto”, a worldwide famous painter, was born in the city.
Xàtiva participated actively in the Inheritance Conflict to the Spanish Crown, supporting Archduke Charles of Austria. Phillip V (who was part of the Bourbon Family) won the conflict and decided to destroy and burn the city, expel the inhabitants and change its the name to “Colonia de San Felipe”. Nowadays you can find a portrait of Phillip V , which is upside down, in the Fine Arts Museum.
More important people were also born in Xàtiva: Joaquín Lorenzo Villanueva and his brother Jaime (Deputies in Court of Cádiz), Francisco de Paula Martí (inventor of stenography and fountain pens), Saint Jacinto Castañeda, …
Xàtiva was declared Historic-Artistic Set in 1982 thanks to its number of monuments we can fin in the old town and the big importante of some the monuments. Some of them were declared Property of Cultural Interest.
Among these monuments we can find:
The Castle, with remains from different periods
Colegiata de Santa María (St Mary’s Collegiate Church) ( XVI-XX)
Hospital Mayor de Pobres (Main Hospital for the Poor) (XV-XVI)
Ermita de San Félix (St Félix’ Hermitage) (XIII)
Ermita de San José (St José’s Hermitage) (XVIII)
Santa Ana (XVI)
Iglesia de San Pedro (St Pedro’s Church) (XVII)
Iglesia de San Francisco (St Francisco’s Church) (XIV)
Puerta gótica de los Trinitarios (Gothic Gate of the Trinitary)(XV)
Casa natal del papa Alejandro VI (House in wich Pope Alejandro VI was born) (XVI)
Casa de Alarcón (Alancón’s house)(XVIII)
Many palaces in the city belonged to the local nobility in different periods

Gastronomy
Xàtiva offers you a great and rich gastronomy. We recommend you to try our local cuisine. The inhabitants of the area eat a lot of rice in all its differents ways. Mainly paella, “arròs caldós” (soggy rice), “l’arròs amb bledes” (rice with chards), “arròs amb fesols i naps” (rice with beans and turnips), …
The Internacional Contest of Oven-Baked Rice” (“Concurs Internacional d’Arròs al forn” ) takes place in April. There are two groups: 1) amateur and 2) professional (with very important national cooks).Pastrymaking is also very popular in the villages of the area. In Xàtiva, Llanera and some other villages with Muslim origins we can find: the famous “Mona” (Easter cake), “les Almoixàvenes” (Pumpkin cakes) very popular during the Carnivals, prepared with flour, butter, eggs, sugar, oil and cinnamon, “l’Arnadí” (prepared with pumpkin pulp or sweet potato with sugar, almonds, cinnamon and pine nuts) typical in Easter time. Another popular cake is “Les Taronges de Xàtiva” prepared with cheese without salt, eggs, flour and baking powder.
During the winter, the most typical cakes or sweets are sweet potato cakes or nougat. “Torró de gat” is also important during Catalinetas Festivity in November. “Fogasses de carabassa” in the All Saints Festivity. “Coca de Llanda”, “El Marqués” made of sponge wares, “Pastel de Nevasa” prepared with eggs, sugar and coffee. There’s a big and rich gastronomic variety.

Festivities
Fallas (19th-20th March)
It’s the favourite celebration to all de citizens in The Community of Valencia.

Holly Week and Easter (April)
Corpus Christi (June)
It takes place every year, during the second Thursday after Pentecost. In the procession that accompanies the “Custodia” we find Giants and Big Heads, Dances, Performances and Simbols and Characters from the Bible.
Patron Saint Days’(1st-5th August)
Xàtiva Fair (14th-18th August)
The August Fair is celebrated since 1250 thanks to Jaume I. It’s a National Tourist Interest Festivity. Many different small shops “paraetes” appear in the main avenue. We can buy clothes, sweets, tools, cd’s, typical food from the region, …

During the Fair we can find:
– Cattle Fair.
– Cattle carrying heavy weights contests.
– Bullfights (with the best bullfighters).
– Concerts performed by national pop and rock bands.
– Motorbike Races in the city.
– Social and cultural activities (drawing, photography, chess…).
– Popular contests (Paellas, orchata and fartons eaters…).
– Theatre plays for children, traditional folk dances and chants…