James I of Aragon
James I the Conqueror was King of Aragon, Count of Barcelona, Lord of Montpellier from 1213 to 1276. His long reign—the longest of any Iberian monarch—saw the expansion of the House of Aragon and House of Barcelona in three directions: Languedoc to the north, the Balearic Islands to the southeast, Valencia to the south. By a treaty with Louis IX of France, he wrested the County of Barcelona from nominal French suzerainty and integrated it into his crown, he renounced northward expansion and taking back the once Catalan territories in Occitania and vassal counties loyal to the County of Barcelona, lands that were lost by his father Peter II of Aragon in the Battle of Muret during the Albigensian Crusade and annexed by the Kingdom of France, decided to turn south. His great part in the Reconquista was similar in Mediterranean Spain to that of his contemporary Ferdinand III of Castile in Andalusia. One of the main reasons for this formal renunciation of most of the once Catalan territories in Languedoc and Occitania and any expansion into them is the fact that he was raised by the Knights Templar crusaders, who had defeated his father fighting for the Pope alongside the French, so it was forbidden for him to try to maintain the traditional influence of the Count of Barcelona that existed in Occitania and Languedoc.
As a legislator and organiser, he occupies a high place among the European kings. James compiled the Llibre del Consolat de Mar, which governed maritime trade and helped establish Aragonese supremacy in the western Mediterranean, he was an important figure in the development of the Catalan language, sponsoring Catalan literature and writing a quasi-autobiographical chronicle of his reign: the Llibre dels fets. James was born at Montpellier as the only son of Peter II of Marie of Montpellier; as a child, James was made a pawn in the power politics of Provence, where his father was engaged in struggles helping the Cathar heretics of Albi against the Albigensian Crusaders led by Simon IV de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, who were trying to exterminate them. Peter endeavoured to placate the northern crusaders by arranging a marriage between his son James and Simon's daughter, when the former was only two years old, he entrusted the boy to be educated in Montfort's care in 1211, but was soon forced to take up arms against him, dying at the Battle of Muret on 12 September 1213.
Montfort would willingly have used James as a means of extending his own power had not the Aragonese appealed to Pope Innocent III, who insisted that Montfort surrender him. James was handed over to the papal legate Peter of Benevento at Carcassonne in May or June 1214. James was sent to Monzón, where he was entrusted to the care of Guillem de Montredó, the head of the Knights Templar in Spain and Provence; the kingdom was given over to confusion until, in 1217, the Templars and some of the more loyal nobles brought the young king to Zaragoza. In 1221, he was married to daughter of Alfonso VIII of Castile; the next six years of his reign were full of rebellions on the part of the nobles. By the Peace of Alcalá of 31 March 1227, the nobles and the king came to terms. In 1228, James faced the sternest opposition yet from a vassal. Guerau IV de Cabrera occupied the County of Urgell in opposition to Aurembiax, the heiress of Ermengol VIII, who had died without sons in 1208. Although Aurembiax's mother, had made herself a protegée of James's father, upon her death in 1220 Guerau occupied the county and displaced Aurembiax, claiming that a woman could not inherit.
James intervened to whom he owed protection. He bought Guerau off and allowed Aurembiax to reclaim her territory, which she did at Lleida also becoming one of James' earliest mistresses, she agreed to hold Urgell in fief for him. On her death in 1231, James exchanged the Balearic Islands for Urgell with her widower, Peter of Portugal. From 1230 to 1232, James negotiated with Sancho VII of Navarre, who desired his help against his nephew and closest living male relative, Theobald IV of Champagne. James and Sancho negotiated a treaty whereby James would inherit Navarre on the old Sancho's death, but when this occurred in 1234, the Navarrese nobles elevated Theobald to the throne instead, James disputed it. Pope Gregory IX was required to intervene. In the end, James accepted Theobald's succession. James endeavoured to form a state straddling the Pyrenees in order to counterbalance the power of France north of the Loire; as with the much earlier Visigothic attempt, this policy was victim to physical and political obstacles.
As in the case of Navarre, he declined to launch into perilous adventures. By the Treaty of Corbeil, signed in May 1258, he ended his conflict with Louis IX of France, securing the renunciation of French claims to sovereignty over Catalonia. After his false start at uniting Aragon with the Kingdom of Navarre through a scheme of mutual adoption, James turned to the south and the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. On 5 September 1229, the troops from Aragon, consisting of 155 ships, 1,500 horsemen and 15,000 soldiers, set sail from Tarragona and Cambrils to conquer Majorca from Abú Yahya, the semi-independent Almohad governor of the island. Although a group of Aragonese knights took part in the campaign because of their obligations to the king, the conquest of Majorca was a Catalan undertaking, Catalans would make up the majority of Majorca's settlers. James conquered Majorca on 31 December 1229, Menorca and Ibi
Teruel is a city in Aragon, located in eastern Spain, is the capital of Teruel Province. It has a population of 35,675 in 2014 making it the least populated provincial capital in the country, it is noted for its harsh climate, with a big daily variation on temperatures and its renowned jamón serrano, its pottery, its surrounding archaeological sites, rock outcrops containing some of the oldest dinosaur remains of the Iberian Peninsula, its famous events: La Vaquilla del Ángel during the weekend closest to 10 July and "Bodas de Isabel de Segura" around the third weekend of February. Teruel is regarded as the "town of mudéjar" due to numerous buildings designed in this style. All of them are comprised in the Mudéjar Architecture of Aragon, a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. Teruel's remote and mountainous location 915 metres above sea level and its low population has led to relative isolation within Spain. A campaign group with the slogan Teruel existe was founded in 1999 to press for greater recognition and investment in the town and the province.
Due in part to the campaign, transport connections to Teruel are being improved with the construction of a motorway between Zaragoza and Sagunto, large parts of which are now open. However, Teruel remains the only provincial capital in peninsular Spain without a direct railway link to the capital, Madrid. According to the Köppen climate classification, Teruel has a humid subtropical bordering on a cold semi-arid climate. Summer temperatures are warm to hot, although there is much daily variation, winters are cool, with low minimum temperatures sometimes dropping to −10 °C; the lowest amount of rainfall is in winter and the greatest falls at the end of spring and autumn. The temperature records recorded at the Observatoire de Teruel 40.2 °C on August 10, 2012 and −19 °C on December 26, 2001. Teruel was founded in 1171 by Alfonso II. In the Middle Ages Teruel possessed a prominent Jewish community, robust during the centuries Muslims were in power and enjoyed several privileges. On after the Christian reconquest of Spain, the Jewish community paid a yearly tax of 300 sueldos.
Its members were engaged in commerce and industry in wool-weaving. During the persecutions of 1391 many of them were killed, while others accepted Christianity in order to save their lives. Teruel suffered much destruction; the Battle of Teruel in December 1937-February 1938, was one of the bloodiest of the war. The town changed hands several times, first falling to the Republicans and being re-taken by the Nationalists. In the course of the fighting, Teruel was subjected to aerial bombardment; the two sides suffered up to 140,000 casualties between them in the three-month battle. The Nationalists won a decisive victory; the beauty of the town's cultural inheritance, which has some Islamic influence, has been recognised by UNESCO, which includes four churches in the World Heritage Site Mudéjar Architecture of Aragon, notably the town's ornate cathedral in the Mudéjar style. One of Teruel's best known monuments is small statue of a bull on top of a tall column, known as El Torico, it is located in the main square, Plaza Carlos Castell, more known as the Plaza del Torico in the middle of the town center.
Other sights include: Torre de El Salvador, in mudéjar style Cathedral: Catedral de Santa María de Teruel, in mudéjar style San Pedro, a notable mudéjar church with a tower similar to that of the cathedral. It includes a mausoleum, Mausoleo de Los Amantes, housing the mummified bodies of Isabel de Segura and Diego de Marcilla whose love ended tragically; this story is known as los amantes de Teruel and has inspired writers and an opera composed by Tomás Bretón. Church of La Merced, with a bell tower in mudéjar style. Church of San Salvador, with one of the most outstanding mudéjar towers, it houses a 14th-century wooden sculpture of Christ. Church of San Martín. Torre de San Martín, in mudéjar style Church of San Miguel, remade in the 17th century in Baroque style. Castillo de Alambes, a 15th-century fortification built over the Arabic Alcazar. Casa El Torico, Casa Ferrán and Casa La Madrileña, 1910s liberty style houses Palace of the Marquis of Tosos The Gothic church of St. Francis, it has a single nave with chapels covered by a ribbed vault with no crossing.
Los Arcos, an aqueduct with two orders of arcade from 1538. On the outskirts of Teruel is Dinópolis Teruel, a combined theme park and museum centred on dinosaurs. Promoted as a paleontological park, it includes a life-size robotic model of a Tyrannosaurus rex. Dinópolis owns three other museums in the surrounding area, which display the remains of dinosaurs discovered in the region.. The chimney of the Teruel Power Plant is one of the tallest freestanding structures in Western Europe; the city buses are run by Grupo Autobuses Jimenez. Teruel Airport opened in 2013, but is an aircraft storage and maintenance facility. Luis Royo David Civera Manuel Macías y Casado and military governor Pablo Serrano, famous painter and sculptor of the 20th Century. La Vaquilla del Ángel Diocese of Teruel and Albarracín. Lovers of Teruel Battle of Teruel La Vaquilla del Ángel Teruel existe Teruel Travelguide and Hotel bookings in
Barcelona is a city in Spain. It is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Catalonia, as well as the second most populous municipality of Spain. With a population of 1.6 million within city limits, its urban area extends to numerous neighbouring municipalities within the Province of Barcelona and is home to around 4.8 million people, making it the sixth most populous urban area in the European Union after Paris, Madrid, the Ruhr area and Milan. It is one of the largest metropolises on the Mediterranean Sea, located on the coast between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Besòs, bounded to the west by the Serra de Collserola mountain range, the tallest peak of, 512 metres high. Founded as a Roman city, in the Middle Ages Barcelona became the capital of the County of Barcelona. After merging with the Kingdom of Aragon, Barcelona continued to be an important city in the Crown of Aragon as an economic and administrative centre of this Crown and the capital of the Principality of Catalonia.
Barcelona has a rich cultural heritage and is today an important cultural centre and a major tourist destination. Renowned are the architectural works of Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domènech i Montaner, which have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites; the headquarters of the Union for the Mediterranean are located in Barcelona. The city is known for hosting the 1992 Summer Olympics as well as world-class conferences and expositions and many international sport tournaments. Barcelona is one of the world's leading tourist, trade fair and cultural centres, its influence in commerce, entertainment, fashion and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities, it is a major cultural and economic centre in southwestern Europe, 24th in the world and a financial centre. In 2008 it was the fourth most economically powerful city by GDP in the European Union and 35th in the world with GDP amounting to €177 billion. In 2012 Barcelona had a GDP of $170 billion. In 2009 the city was ranked one of the world's most successful as a city brand.
In the same year the city was ranked Europe's fourth best city for business and fastest improving European city, with growth improved by 17% per year, the city has been experiencing strong and renewed growth for the past three years. Since 2011 Barcelona has been a leading smart city in Europe. Barcelona is a transport hub, with the Port of Barcelona being one of Europe's principal seaports and busiest European passenger port, an international airport, Barcelona–El Prat Airport, which handles over 50 million passengers per year, an extensive motorway network, a high-speed rail line with a link to France and the rest of Europe; the name Barcelona comes from the ancient Iberian Barkeno, attested in an ancient coin inscription found on the right side of the coin in Iberian script as, in ancient Greek sources as Βαρκινών, Barkinṓn. Some older sources suggest that the city may have been named after the Carthaginian general Hamilcar Barca, supposed to have founded the city in the 3rd century BC, but there is no evidence that Barcelona was a Carthaginian settlement, or that its name in antiquity, had any connection with the Barcid family of Hamilcar.
During the Middle Ages, the city was variously known as Barchinona, Barçalona and Barchenona. Internationally, Barcelona's name is wrongly abbreviated to'Barça'. However, this name refers only to the football club; the common abbreviated form used by locals is Barna. Another common abbreviation is'BCN', the IATA airport code of the Barcelona-El Prat Airport; the city is referred to as the Ciutat Comtal in Catalan, Ciudad Condal in Spanish, owing to its past as the seat of the Count of Barcelona. The origin of the earliest settlement at the site of present-day Barcelona is unclear; the ruins of an early settlement have been found, including different tombs and dwellings dating to earlier than 5000 BC. The founding of Barcelona is the subject of two different legends; the first attributes the founding of the city to the mythological Hercules. The second legend attributes the foundation of the city directly to the historical Carthaginian general, Hamilcar Barca, father of Hannibal, who named the city Barcino after his family in the 3rd century BC, but there is no historical or linguistic evidence that this is true.
In about 15 BC, the Romans redrew the town as a castrum centred on the "Mons Taber", a little hill near the contemporary city hall. Under the Romans, it was a colony with the surname of Faventia, or, in full, Colonia Faventia Julia Augusta Pia Barcino or Colonia Julia Augusta Faventia Paterna Barcino. Pomponius Mela mentions it among the small towns of the district as it was eclipsed by its neighbour Tarraco, but it may be gathered from writers that it grew in wealth and consequence, favoured as it was with a beautiful situation and an excellent harbour, it enjoyed immunity from imperial burdens. The city minted its own coins. Important Roman vestiges are displayed in Plaça del Rei underground, as a part of the Barcelona City History Museum; some remaining fragments of the Roman walls have been incorporated into the cathedral. The cathedral known as the Basilica La Seu, is said to have been founded in 343; the city
Morella is an ancient walled city located on a hill-top in the province of Castellón, Valencian Community, Spain. The town is the capital and administrative centre of the comarca of Els Ports, in the historic Maestrat region. There are traces of settlement by the Iberians, succeeded by the Greeks and Romans and the Moors. From the early 17th century to the Spanish Civil War, the town was fought over, due to its strategic situation between the Ebro and the coastal plain of Valencia. Morella is part of the Taula del Sénia free association of municipalities; every six years the citizens celebrate the Sexenni, a commemoration of the town's recovery from the plague in the seventeenth century. Tourism now plays an important part in the local economy, along with agriculture. In the 20th century the town and surrounding area became depopulated, a trend that has only been reversed in the early 21st century; the population of Morella in 2008 was 2,854, having declined from a figure of 7,335 in 1900. One of the typical gastronomic products of Morella is sweets known as flaons.
Local bakeries are renowned for a number of other traditional pastries and sweets, like mantecadas, prepared in the ancient way. Prehistoric remains in the area include cave paintings in Morella la Vella and Bronze Age graves at Hostal Nou; the Greeks established a treasury at Morella, but the area became the scene of conflict between the Carthaginians and the Roman Empire during the Punic Wars. The town was Romanized and became part of the province of Tarragona; the Moors took the town in 714. El Cid is reputed to have rebuilt the castle which dominates the town and in 1084 he is supposed to have fought in the service of Yusuf al-Mu'taman ibn Hud and defeated Sancho Ramírez of Aragon at the Battle of Morella. In 1117, Sancho captured Morella, but it was recaptured by the Moors and only subdued by Blasco de Alagon in 1232. Following Blasco's death in 1239, James I of Aragon established a royal garrison in the city and awarded the inhabitants the title of "Faithful". Morella sided with Philip V during the War of the Spanish Succession in the early eighteenth century and became the centre of a military and political district.
During the Napoleonic Wars, the citizens rose up against the invading forces and the town was captured for Spain in 1813 by Francisco Javier de Elío. In the Carlist Wars of the nineteenth century Morella became the headquarters of the forces of Ramon Cabrera; the town was captured by forces of General Franco in April 1938, towards the end of the Spanish Civil War. Republican guerillas held out in the surrounding mountains until 1956. In the 1960s and 70s many people left the town for work opportunities in the cities and many of the local small industries died, but a slow revitalization has taken place since the transition of Spain to democracy. In the late seventeenth century, Morella was affected by the plague. After twenty years of suffering, the citizens brought a statue of the Virgin Mary from the Sanctuary of Vallivana, 24 kilometres away, at the feet of the Serra de Vallivana range, processed it through the streets, it is said that the plague disappeared from the city and, to remember this, every six years the Sexenni festival takes place for nine days in late August.
The virgin is carried in procession and the traditional town guilds perform ancient dances in her honour. The festivities in 2006 were the first of the 21st century. Morella's municipal area is divided into subdivisions; these are: La Vespa, Els Castellons, Dena Primera del Riu, Dena Segona del Riu, La Font d'en Torres, Els Llivis, Morella la Vella, El Coll i el Moll, La Pobla d'Alcolea, Dena de la Roca, Herbeset, Xiva de Morella and Vallivana. Morella occupies a strategic position between the plains of the river Ebro to the north west and the coastal plains of Valencia and Castellon. Access from the north west lies through the passes of Torre Miró 1,259 metres and Querol 1,020 metres; the old town is enclosed by 2.5 kilometres of ancient stone walls, pierced at seven points by gates or portals. The river Bergantes skirts the southern boundaries of the town as it descends towards the Guadalope which joins the Ebro; the climate is high mountain Mediterranean, with cool summers and cold winters with frequent frosts and heavy snow.
During the winter months the north east mistral, which blows in this area, causes wind chill factors of as much as -20 °C. Morella is now a tourist destination, with many historic buildings and restaurants, it is listed as one of the most beautiful towns in Spain. Some of the top sights to see in Morella are the Castillo de Morella, the aqueduct, La Iglesia de Santa María Morella, Convento de San Francesc Morella and the Morella Museo Temps de Dinosaures. Although not as important as in the past and woollen goods still plays a part in the local economy. One of its most famous products is the Morella blanket, which has a unique design, with a range of colour combinations and horizontal stripes. Agriculture poultry and pig production are important in the surrounding area.with craft products and valued black truffles which are traded at seasonal markets during the winter. Ports Ports de Morella Maestrat Vallivana Web oficial de l'ajuntament de Morella Paco González Ramírez, País Valencià, poble a poble, comarca a comarca Institut Valencià d'Estadística.
Portal de la Direcció General d'Administració Local de la Generalitat
Alginet is a municipality in the comarca of Ribera Alta in the Valencian Community, Spain
José Lino Vaamonde
José Lino Vaamonde Valencia was a Spanish architect who played a leading role in preserving the nation's artistic treasures during the Spanish Civil War. Following the civil war he went into exile in Venezuela, where he became the head architect of the Shell subsidiary and developed a range of buildings including service stations, oil camps and office buildings. José Lino Vaamonde Valencia was born in Alongos, Spain, on 20 April 1900, he was one of eight brothers born into a well-off family connected with the counts of Torre de Penela. He studied Exact Sciences at the Central University and Architecture at the Superior Technical School of Architecture of Madrid, he qualified as an architect in 1928. He was secretary of the Real Madrid football club. Vaamonde participated in construction of the Ourense-Santiago railway, he worked at the Cadastre Service of the Ministry of Finance, was a founder of the Architects' Association of Madrid. In 1934 he married Flora Horcada, they had one son, born in Valencia in 1937.
From December 1935 Vaamonde was an active member of the Republican Left. In 1936 Vaamonde was appointed architect-conservator of the Museo del Prado, in 1937 was a member of the Central Treasury of the Artistic Board, chaired by Timoteo Pérez Rubio. In August 1936 the museum's deputy director Francisco Javier Sánchez Cantón had the paintings moved to the lower parts of the Prado. On 16 November 1936 eight incendiary bombs fell on the museum, causing considerable damage to the structure. Vaamonde drew up a detailed plan of the impact of the bombs, with the next day; the plan and photographs were published in Mouseion, the press organ of the International Office of Museums directed by Euripide Foundoukidis, in October 1937. Prompted by Josep Renau, Director General of Fine Arts, the Republican government ordered the transfer of works from the Museo del Prado to Valencia for safekeeping, along with other works, seized. Jesús Martí Martín and Vaamonde helped transfer the great masterpieces of the Madrid museums to Valencia, where they avoided being destroyed by Franco's artillery and bombers.
Vaamonde was appointed head architect of the Junta Central de Incautación, Protección y Salvamento del Tesoro Artístico. He was thus in charge of security of the museum, reception of the masterpieces moved to Valencia and preparation of places where the artistic treasure would be conserved in that city. Vaamonde converted the Torres de Serranos and the Church of the Colegio del Patriarca as repositories for the salvaged artwork. In 1937 a foreign delegation was invited to review the preservation work, the English members published a favorable article about what had been done in The Times. Martí and Vaamonde helped design bomb shelters in the Cuatro Caminos and Pacífico neighborhoods of Madrid. Vaamonde was Deputy General Commissioner for the Spanish Pavilion in the 1937 Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne in Paris, Secretary of Propaganda in 1938, Delegate in Paris of the National Committee for Aid to Republican Spain in place of Victoria Kent. After the Republican defeat Vaamonde stayed in Paris and Havana went into exile in Venezuela.
He arrived in Venezuela in 1939. He spent his first years in Valencia working in commerce. In 1942 the Spanish General Office of Architecture imposed on Vaamonde "perpetual disqualification for exercise of the profession in public and trust positions and disqualification from private practice of the profession for thirty years". Around 1945 Vaamonde moved to Caracas, he collaborated with Joaquín Ortiz García on the Edificio Peque in the San Bernardino district of de Caracas. In 1946 Vaamonde started to work for Shell Venezuela, where he held various positions before becoming the company's consulting architect, a senior position; when he joined the company it was in the process of consolidating its Caracas headquarters into a single building, which would not be completed until 1950 and at the time was the largest office building in the city. He founded and organized the company's architectural services concerned with design and planning of homes, hospitals and schools, which until had been purchased prefabricated or pre-designed.
This led to provision of residences and infrastructure for the oil camps. Vaamundo developed oil camps such as Lagunillas and Altagracia, self-contained communities where the workers were isolated from the "wild" exterior. In the 1950s the architecture section began to undertake design of service stations and gas stations, the most visible aspect of the company to the citizens. Vaamonde directed completion of Blandín and Las Mercedes in Caracas. Vaamonde became a Venezuelan citizen in 1952. In the 8th Pan-American Architecture Congress, in Mexico City in 1952, Vaamonde presented part of the work developed for Shell, he participated in the 9th Congress, held in Caracas in 1955. Vaamonde designed the Shell Service for the Farmer building in Cagua, the Lagunillas Craft Training Center, the Club Manaure in Punta Cardón, the Burns Unit of the Shell Hospital in Maracaibo, the Colegio Claret in Caracas, the Colegio San Francisco Javier in Punto Fijo, the Colegio Santo Ángel in Maturín and the office building of the Cardón Refinery.
His last project before he retired was the Shell de Chuao building in Caracas, the new headquarters of the company, in collaboration with Diego Carbonell and Miguel Salvador. Unlike the former Shell headquarters, which had a Beaux Arts style, the new building had
The Falles is a traditional celebration held in commemoration of Saint Joseph in the city of Valencia, Spain. The term Falles refers to the monuments burnt during the celebration. A number of towns in the Valencian Community have similar celebrations inspired by the original Falles de València celebration; the Falles festival was added to UNESCO's intangible cultural heritage of humanity list on 30 November 2016. Each neighbourhood of the city has an organised group of people, the Casal faller, that works all year long holding fundraising parties and dinners featuring the noted dish, paella, a specialty of the region; each casal faller produces a construction known as a falla, burnt. A casal faller is known as a comissió fallera and there are 400 registered in Valencia; the name of the festival is the plural of the Valencian word falla. The word's derivation is as follows: Latin fax, "torch" → Latin facula → Vulgar Latin *faclam → Valencian falla. Much time would be spent by the casal faller preparing the ninots.
During the four days leading up to 19 March, each group takes its ninot out for a grand parade, mounts it, each on its own elaborate firecracker-filled cardboard and paper-mâché artistic monument in a street of the given neighbourhood. This whole assembly is a falla; the ninots and their falles are constructed according to an agreed-upon theme that has traditionally been a satirical jab at whatever draws the attention of the fallers. In modern times, the two-week-long festival has spawned a substantial local industry, to the point that an entire suburban area has been designated the Ciutat fallera. Here, crews of artists and artisans, sculptors and other craftsmen, all spend months producing elaborate constructions of paper and wax and polystyrene foam tableaux towering up to five stories, composed of fanciful figures caricatures, in provocative poses arranged in a gravity-defying manner; each of them is produced under the direction of one of the many individual neighbourhood casals fallers who vie with each other to attract the best artists, to create the most outrageous allegorical monument to their target.
There are about 750 of these neighbourhood associations in Valencia, with over 200,000 members, or a quarter of the city's population. During Falles, many people wear their casal faller dress of regional and historical costumes from different eras of València's history; the dolçaina and tabalet are heard, as most of the different casals fallers have their own traditional bands. Although the Falles is a traditional event and many participants dress in medieval clothing, the ninots for 2005 included such modern characters as Shrek and George W. Bush, the 2012 Falles included characters like Barack Obama and Lady Gaga; the five days and nights of Falles might be described as a continuous street party. There are a multitude of processions: historical and comedic. Crowds in the restaurants spill out into the streets. Explosions can be heard sporadically through the night. Everyone from small children to elderly people can be seen throwing fireworks and noisemakers in the streets, which are littered with pyrotechnical debris.
The timing of the events is fixed, they fall on the same date every year, though there has been discussion about holding some events on the weekend preceding the Falles, to take greater advantage of the tourist potential of the festival or changing the end date in years where it is due to occur in midweek. Each day of Falles begins at 8:00 am with La Despertà. Brass bands begin to march down every street playing lively music. Close behind them are the fallers; the Mascletà, an explosive barrage of coordinated firecracker and fireworks displays, takes place at 2:00 pm every day of the festival. At 2:00 pm the clock chimes and the Fallera Major, dressed in her fallera finery, will call from the balcony of City Hall, Senyor/a pirotècnic/a, pot començar la mascletà!, the Mascletà begins. The Mascletà is unique to the Valencian Community, popular with the Valencian people. Smaller neighbourhoods hold their own mascletà for saint's days and other celebrations. A nighttime variant runs in the evening hours by the same pyrotechnicans that were present in the afternoon.
On the day of the 15th, all of the falles infantils are to be finished being constructed, that night all of the falles majors are to be completed. If not, they face disqualification. In this event, the flower offering, each of the casals fallers takes an offering of flowers to the Virgin Mary as Our Lady of the Forsaken; this occurs all day during 17–18 March. A statue of the Virgin Mary and its large pedestal are covered with all the flowers. On the nights of the 15, 16, 17, 18th there are firework displays in the old riverbed in València; each night is progressively grander and the last is called La Nit del Foc. On the final evening of Falles, at 7:00 pm on March 19, a parade known in Valencian as the Cavalcada del Foc takes place along Colon street and Porta de la Mar square; this spectacular celebration of fi