Founded in 138 BC by Romans, in the ancient times Valencia had periods of ups and downs, initially under the Visigoths dominance and after that under the dominance of Arabs, being of a great prosperity and historical importance until the years of decay.
In 1238 the king Aragon Jaime I, conquered the city and included it to the young kingdom of Valencia, which symbol is represented by a bat that still is a part of the city shield.
As a part of the Aragon kingdom, Valencia had the most splendid period in its history, turning into one of the most important trade centres in Europe thanks to its harbour at the Mediterranean Sea.
The economic development was a great benefit for the city that noted a significant demographical increase and a consequent culture and art flourishing, later called by the historians “Golden Age of Valencia”.
The funding of the Christopher Columbus expedition by the Valencian bankers and a consequent discovery of Americas determined a decentralization of the trade and maritime activity. These caused an impoverishment of the city from economic and cultural point of view.
From the beginning of the XVIII century, Valencia was a scene of the Spanish Succession War that was won in 1707 by Bourbons. Immediately after it suffered the Napoleon’s horde attacks, that have settled in the city in 1812 and was a witness of the return of Ferdinand VII Bourbon that has come back to establish the absolute monarchy.
In 1833 the death of Ferdinand VII ended the absolute monarchy and opened a long period of the restoration that brought Valencia a splendour of the past.
The beginning of the XX century was characterized by a strong property impulse and by development of agricultural and metallurgical industry that contributed to the economical flourishing of the city.
In 1936 during the Civil War, Valencia became a capital of the Republic for a short period and suffered lasting repercussions of the post-war period under the Francisco Franco dictatorship.
Since 1978, the year when the Spanish Democratic Constitution has been established, Valencia has been recognised as the capital of the Valencia Community province.