Biar is a town in the comarca of Alt Vinalopó, province of Alicante, Spain. Biar is located 39 km from the city of Alicante; the economy in Biar is based on manufacture dolls, pottery. On the origin of the name of this town there are two versions, one says that it comes from the Latin word apiarium meaning "place of bees", justifying this giving the importance that Biar had as a producer and exporter of honey, the other says it is derived from the Arabic word «well» o بِئَار «wells» The Moros i Cristians festival of Biar is celebrated each year from May 10 to 13. Castle of Biar Route of the Castles of Vinalopó Ayuntamiento de Biar, Town Hall of Biar, in Spanish
The Baix Vinalopó is a comarca in the province of Alicante. It is bordered by the comarques of Vinalopó Mitjà and Alacantí on the north and Vega Baja del Segura on the south, its capital is the city of Elx/Elche. The other major towns in the comarca are Santa Pola. Vinalopó river flows through this comarca giving its name to it though nowadays is just a tiny stream more than a proper river; the territory is flat except for some of the last ranges belonging to the Baetic System which appear here near the border with the neighbouring comarcas Vinalopó Mitjà, following a general southwest-northeast trend. The highest peaks are found in the Serra de Crevillent, a mountain range close to Crevillent, being its highest the Sant Gaietà with its 816 metres, a local hiking attraction, its climate is dry, with scarce rainfalls—below the Mediterranean climate threshold—which happen in Autumn and Spring amounting an average of 250–300 mm per year and showing warm mean temperatures. Among the herbaceous species and shrub deserve to be mentioned due to their industrial value in the past.
Some important natural places are the swamps in the lower part of the comarca known as El Fondo Natural Park and the Salines de Santa Pola Natural Park, both Ramsar sites. The comarca is industrial in its capital, Elx/Elche, in the town of Crevillent. Agriculture is an important activity in the area. In the coastline around Santa Pola the main activity is tourism and sea salt
Villena is a city in Spain, in the Valencian Community. It is located at the northwest part of Alicante, borders to the west with Castilla-La Mancha and Murcia, to the north with the province of Valencia and to the east and south with the province of Alicante, it is the capital of the comarca of the Alto Vinalopó. The municipality has an area of 345.6 km² and a population of 34,928 inhabitants as of INE 2008. There is evidence of settlement in the area from Middle Paleolithic. However, it is on dispute if the current city dates from visigothic times or before, though it existed in the 11th century, during the Muslim period. After the Christian conquest, it became Seigneury, Principality and Marquisate, until the people, encouraged by the Catholic Monarchs, revolted against the marquis. In 1525 Charles V conceded the title of City to Villena; this is the most economically prosperous period, as shown by the monuments that survived to nowadays. Although a railway station was inaugurated in 1858, economy kept being agricultural until the rural exode that took place in the 1960s.
The economic model changed so that economy is based on tertiary sector and industry, chiefly footwear and furniture. The historical city and surroundings contain an important group of historical remains, including two castles and several churches, hermitages and squares, as well as a number of museums, standing out the Archaeological Museum "José María Soler". Among the main cultural events are the Moors and Christians festival and the Concurso de Jóvenes Intérpretes "Ruperto Chapí"; the first known name of the area is Ad Turres, which appears in the Vascula Apollinaria and has been identified with some of the Roman villas or postae in the Via Augusta itinerary, at some point between Villena and Font de la Figuera. Near the latter there is evidence of an old Tower ruined by the 14th century; as for the origin of the term Villena, there is some polemic. Menéndez Pidal proposed an evolution from a hypothetic antroponym Bellius or Vellius and the sufix -ana, as in Lucena or Maracena, which would give the Roman word Belliana or Velliana.
However, Belliana or Bellius have not been documented in Roman times, as well as the evolution from Belliana to Villena involves several phonetic difficulties. So, Domene Verdú indicates that the origin of the toponym would be the term بليانة Bilyāna, purely Arabic, meaning "the filled"; this Arabic term, documented from the 11th century on, evolved in two ways. On the one hand, following the rules of Medieval Spanish, to Belliena, as is written in the Historia Roderici. On the other hand, Belliena was replaced by the Aragonese term Billena after the Christian conquest, carried out by Aragonese and Catalan; the current spelling was consolidated around the 15th century, since Spanish had lost the distinction between and and writing was attracted by the word villa, meaning "town". The coat of arms of Villena has been used traditionally since at least 1477, but has never been made official; the castle in the first quarter comes from the symbol of the Crown of Castile, whereas the lion in the second quarter and the winged hand in the third are legacy of don Juan Manuel, second lord of the city.
The three pinetrees and the pond in the fourth quarter refer to the Lagoon of Villena or the Fuente del Chopo big wealth sources for the city. The crown is a symbol of the marquisate of Villena; as the coat of arms has never made official, there are different versions according to the City Hall's terms of office, as well as certain polemic about the position of the second and third quarter. Villena is placed northwest in the province of Alicante, in the comarca of Alto Vinalopó, it is in the middle of an important crossroad which links the Valencian Community, the Region of Murcia and Castile-La Mancha, in a natural corridor known as Villena's Corridor or Vinalopó's Corridor, since the river Vinalopó flows through the municipal term of Villena. This corridor has been of capital importance since prehistoric times, being at the middle of towns as Biar, Font de la Figuera, Yecla or Caudete made Villena an important transports junction. Villena's municipality, having an area of 345,6 km2 in the second widest in the province of Alicante.
Villena region played an important role during the Bronze Age, in the development of early metallurgy. Cabezo Redondo is an important archaeological site of the Bronze Age located on a hill 2 km from the town of Villena, it was a regional center inhabited between 1500 and 1100 BC, belonged to Argaric culture. After the Islamic conquest of the Iberian Peninsula the city was called Medina Bilyana and was one of the seven cities mentioned in the Treaty of Tudmir. Calatrava knights reconquered the city by the king James I of Aragon; this caused some tensions between Castile and Aragon, since Villena should have been reserved to Castile under the treaties of Tudilén and Cazorla, so both crowns had to sign news treaties: The Treaty of Almizra and Elche. After the Christian conquest, Villena becomes the capital of an important seigneury duchy and marquisate, until the popular rebellion against the Marquis, instigated by the Catholic Monarchs; the Cabezo Redondo gold hoard was an important archaeological.
It was made by the Spanish archaeologist José María Soler García. The treasure was found in 1959, contains 35 items of jewelry, including a tiara, finger rings and pendants. Treasure of Villen
Autonomous communities of Spain
In Spain, an autonomous community is a first-level political and administrative division, created in accordance with the Spanish constitution of 1978, with the aim of guaranteeing limited autonomy of the nationalities and regions that make up Spain. Spain is not a federation, but a decentralized unitary state. While sovereignty is vested in the nation as a whole, represented in the central institutions of government, the nation has, in variable degrees, devolved power to the communities, which, in turn, exercise their right to self-government within the limits set forth in the constitution and their autonomous statutes; each community has its own set of devolved powers. Some scholars have referred to the resulting system as a federal system in all but name, or a "federation without federalism". There are 17 autonomous communities and two autonomous cities that are collectively known as "autonomies"; the two autonomous cities have the right to become autonomous communities, but neither has yet exercised it.
This unique framework of territorial administration is known as the "State of Autonomies". The autonomous communities are governed according to the constitution and their own organic laws known as Statutes of Autonomy, which contain all the competences that they assume. Since devolution was intended to be asymmetrical in nature, the scope of competences vary for each community, but all have the same parliamentary structure. Spain is a diverse country made up of several different regions with varying economic and social structures, as well as different languages and historical and cultural traditions. While the entire Spanish territory was united under one crown in 1479 this was not a process of national homogenization or amalgamation; the constituent territories—be it crowns, principalities or dominions—retained much of their former institutional existence, including limited legislative, judicial or fiscal autonomy. These territories exhibited a variety of local customs, laws and currencies until the mid nineteenth century.
From the 18th century onwards, the Bourbon kings and the government tried to establish a more centralized regime. Leading figures of the Spanish Enlightenment advocated for the building of a Spanish nation beyond the internal territorial boundaries; this culminated in 1833, when Spain was divided into 49 provinces, which served as transmission belts for policies developed in Madrid. However, unlike in other European countries such as France, where regional languages were spoken in rural areas or less developed regions, two important regional languages of Spain were spoken in some of the most industrialized areas, moreover, enjoyed higher levels of prosperity, in addition to having their own cultures and historical consciousness; these were Catalonia. This gave rise to peripheral nationalisms along with Spanish nationalism; therefore and social changes that had produced a national cultural unification in France had the opposite effect in Spain. As such, Spanish history since the late 19th century has been shaped by a dialectical struggle between Spanish nationalism and peripheral nationalisms in Catalonia and the Basque Country, to a lesser degree in Galicia.
In a response to Catalan demands, limited autonomy was granted to Catalonia in 1914, only to be abolished in 1923. It was granted again in 1932 during the Second Spanish Republic, when the Generalitat, Catalonia's mediaeval institution of government, was restored; the constitution of 1931 envisaged a territorial division for all Spain in "autonomous regions", never attained—only Catalonia, the Basque Country and Galicia had approved "Statutes of Autonomy"—the process being thwarted by the Spanish Civil War that broke out in 1936, the victory of the rebel Nationalist forces under Francisco Franco. During General Franco's dictatorial regime, centralism was most forcefully enforced as a way of preserving the "unity of the Spanish nation". Peripheral nationalism, along with communism and atheism were regarded by his regime as the main threats, his attempts to fight separatism with heavy-handed but sporadic repression, his severe suppression of language and regional identities backfired: the demands for democracy became intertwined with demands for the recognition of a pluralistic vision of the Spanish nationhood.
When Franco died in 1975, Spain entered into a phase of transition towards democracy. The most difficult task of the newly democratically elected Cortes Generales in 1977 acting as a Constituent Assembly was to transition from a unitary centralized state into a decentralized state in a way that would satisfy the demands of the peripheral nationalists; the Prime Minister of Spain, Adolfo Suárez, met with Josep Tarradellas, president of the Generalitat of Catalonia in exile. An agreement was made so that the Generalitat would be restored and limited competencies would be transferred while the constitution was still being written. Shortly after, the government allowed the creation of "assemblies of members of parliament" integrated by deputies and senators of the different territories of Spain, so that they could constitute "pre-autonomic regimes" for their regions as well; the Fathers of the Constitution had to strike a balance between the opposing views of Spain—on the one hand, the centralist view inherited from Franco's regime, on the other hand federalism and a pluralistic view of Spain as a "nation of nations".
The Valencian Community is an autonomous community of Spain. It is the fourth most populous autonomous community after Andalusia and Madrid with more than 4.9 million inhabitants. Its homonymous capital Valencia is metropolitan area in Spain, it is located along the Mediterranean coast on the east side of the Iberian peninsula. It borders with Catalonia to the north and Castilla–La Mancha to the west, Murcia to the south; the Valencian Community consists of three provinces which are Valencia and Alicante. According to its Statute of Autonomy, the Valencian people are a nationality, their origins date back to the Aragonese reconquest of the Moorish Taifa of Valencia, taken by James I of Aragon in 1238 during the Reconquista. The newly founded Kingdom of Valencia was granted wide self-government under the Crown of Aragon. Valencia experienced its golden age in the 15th century. Self-government continued after the unification of the Spanish Kingdom, but was suspended in 1707 by Phillip V of Spain as a result of the Spanish War of Succession.
Valencian nationalism resurged towards the end of the 19th century, which led to the modern conception of the Valencian Country. Self-government under the Generalitat Valenciana was reestablished in 1982 after Spanish transition to democracy. Many Valencian people speak Valencian, the region's own co-official language, a southwestern dialect of Catalan standardised by the Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua. Valencian is a diglossic language, repressed during Franco's dictatorship in favour of Spanish. Since it regained official status in 1982 in the Valencian Estatut d'Autonomia. Valencian has been implemented in public administration and the education system leading to an exponential increase in knowledge of its formal standard. Valencian is understood by more than half of the population living within the Valencian Community. Valencia was founded by the Romans under the name of "Valentia Edetanorum", which translates to'Valiance of the Land of the Lamb'. With the establishment of the Taifa of Valencia, the name developed to بلنسية, which became Valencia after the expulsion of the Moors.
"Valencian Community" is the standard translation of the official name in Valencian recognized by the Statute of Autonomy of 1982. This is the name most used in public administration, the media and Spanish written language. However, the variant of "Valencian Country" that emphasizes the nationality status of the Valencian people is still the preferred one by left-wing parties, civil associations, Catalan written language and major academic institutions like the University of Valencia. "Valencian Community" is a neologism, adopted after democratic transition in order to solve the conflict between two competing names: "Valencian Country" and "Former Kingdom of Valencia". On one hand, "Valencian Country" represented the modern conception of nationality that resurged in the 19th century, it became well-established during the Second Spanish Republic and on with the works of Joan Fuster in the 1960s, implying the existence of the "Catalan Countries". This nationalist subtext was opposed by anti-Catalan blaverists, who proposed "Former Kingdom of Valencia" instead in order to emphasize Valencian independence from Catalonia.
Blaverists have accepted the official denomination. The autonomous community can be homonymously identified with its capital "Valencia". However, this could be disregarding of the provinces of Castellón. Other more anecdotal translations have included "Land of Valencia", "Region of Valencia" and "Valencian Region"; the term "Region", carries negative connotations among many Valencians because it could deny their nationality status. The Pre-Roman autochthonous people of the Valencian Community were the Iberians, who were divided in several groups; the Greeks established colonies in the coastal towns of Saguntum and Dénia beginning in the 5th century BC, where they traded and mixed with the local Iberian populations. After the end of the First Punic War between Carthage and Rome in 241 BC, which established their limits of influence in the Ebro river, the Carthaginians occupied the whole region; the dispute over the hegemony of Saguntum, a Hellenized Iberian coastal city with diplomatic contacts with Rome, destroyed by Hannibal in 219 BC, ignited the Second Punic War, which ended with the incorporation of the region to the Roman Empire.
The Romans founded the city of Valentia in 138 BC, over the centuries overtook Saguntum in importance. After the Fall of the Western Roman Empire, during the Barbarian Invasions in the 5th century AD, the region was first invaded by the Alans and ruled by the Visigoths, until the arrival of the Arabs in 711, which left a broad impact in the region, still visible in today's Valencian landscape and culture. After the fall of the Caliphate of Cordoba, two main independent taifas were established at the region, Balansiya and Dénia, along with the small and short living taifas of Orihuela, Alpuente, Jérica and Sagunt and the short Christian conquest of Valencia by El Cid. However, the origins of present-day Valencia date back to the Kingdom of Valencia, which came into existence in the 13th century. James I of Aragon led the Christian conquest and colonization of the existing Islamic taifas with Aragonese and Catalan colonizers in 1208; the kingdom developed intensively in the 14th and 15th centuries, which are con
Valencian referred to as Southern Catalan, is a dialect of the Catalan language spoken in the Valencian Community, where it is an official language, in the El Carche comarca in Murcia, where it has no official recognition. Besides, it is spoken in the south of the Terres de l'Ebre and in the south of La Franja in Aragon, in its transitional variety; the denominations "Valencian" or "Valencian language" are used traditionally and as a glottonym exclusively in the Valencian Community, to refer not only to the dialect spoken in the region, but to refer to the totality of the Catalan language. However, outside this territory the use of this denomination is null, it is considered the Valencian Community's own language according to the region's 1982 Statute of Autonomy and the Spanish Constitution. According to philological studies, the varieties of this language spoken in the Valencian Community and El Carxe cannot be considered a dialect restricted to these borders: the several dialects of Valencian belong to the Western group of Catalan dialects.
Valencian, as a variety of the Catalan language, displays transitional features between Ibero-Romance languages and Gallo-Romance languages. Its similarity with Occitan has led many authors to group it under the Occitano-Romance languages. There is some controversy within the Valencian Community regarding its status as a glottonym or as a language on its own among certain political sectors such as blaverism and Spanish nationalism. According to a study carried out by the Generalitat Valenciana in 2014, scarcely more than a half people in the Valencian Community consider it as a separate language, different from Catalan. However, according to the same study, most of Valencians with higher studies say that it is the same language. According to the 2006 Statute of Autonomy Valencian is regulated by the Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua, by means of the Normes de Castelló. Due to not having been recognized for a long time and the considerable immigration coming from Andalusia but from other areas of Spain where Spanish is spoken, the number of speakers has decreased, the influence of Spanish has led to the adoption of a huge amount of loanwords.
Some of the most important works of Catalan literature in Valencia experienced a golden age during the Late Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Important works include Joanot Martorell's chivalric romance Tirant lo Blanch, Ausiàs March's poetry; the first book produced with movable type in the Iberian Peninsula was printed in the Valencian variety. The earliest recorded chess game with modern rules for moves of the queen and bishop was in the Valencian poem Scachs d'amor; the official status of Valencian is regulated by the Spanish Constitution and the Valencian Statute of Autonomy, together with the Law of Use and Education of Valencian. Article 6 of the Valencian Statute of Autonomy sets the legal status of Valencian, providing that: The official language of the Valencian Community is Valencian. Valencian is official within the Valencian Community, along with Spanish, the official language nationwide. Everyone shall have the right to know it and use it, receive education in Valencian. No one can be discriminated against by reason of their language.
Special protection and respect shall be given to the recuperation of Valencian. The Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua shall be the normative institution of the Valencian language; the Law of Use and Education of Valencian develops this framework, providing for implementation of a bilingual educational system, regulating the use of Valencian in the public administration and judiciary system, where citizens can use it when acting before both. Valencian is recognized under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages as "Valencian". Valencian is not spoken all over the Valencian Community. A quarter of its territory, equivalent to 10% of the population, is traditionally Castilian-speaking only, whereas Valencian is spoken to varying degrees elsewhere. Additionally, it is spoken by a reduced number of people in Carche, a rural area in the Region of Murcia adjoining the Valencian Community. Although the Valencian language was an important part of the history of this zone, nowadays only about 600 people are able to speak Valencian in the area of Carche.
In 2010 the Generalitat Valenciana published a study and Social use of Valencian, which included a survey sampling more than 6,600 people in the provinces of Castellón, Alicante. The survey collected the answers of respondents and did not include any testing or verification; the results were: Valencian was the language "always or most used": at home: 31.6% with friends: 28.0% in internal business relations: 24.7%For ability: 48.5% answered they speak Valencian "perfectly" or "quite well" 26.2% answered they write Valencian "perfectly" or "quite well" The survey shows that, although Valencian is still the common language in many areas in the Valencian Community, where more than half of the Valencian population are able to speak it, most Valencians do not speak in Valencian in their
Beneixama is a municipality in the comarca of Alt Vinalopó in the north of Alicante province, Valencian Community, Spain. Beneixama photovoltaic power plant Media related to Beneixama at Wikimedia Commons