Valencia is the capital city of Carabobo State, and the third largest city of Venezuela.
The city is an economic hub that contains Venezuela's top industries and manufacturing companies. The population of Valencia reached some 1.5 million in the year 2003, and it is expected to grow dramatically in the years to come. Greater Valencia unofficially incorporates the communities of Naguanagua, San Diego, and other smaller bordering cities. It is thought to be greatly underrated, partially due to its proximity to Caracas (some 180 km away).
The elevation of the city is 520 meters . Valencia is located in a valley, surrounded by a mountain range called the Coastal Range (Cordillera de la Costa). On the eastern outskirts of the city lies Lake Valencia, Venezuela's second largest lake.
The city has been an active participant of Venezuela's history. Valencia was founded by Captain Alonso Diaz Moreno on March 25, 1555 — as the locals are proud of reminding visitors, eight years before Caracas. It was the first Spanish settlement in central Venezuela and its official name was Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion de Nueva Valencia del Rey.
The infamous conquistador Lope de Aguirre besieged the city in 1561.
In 1677 it was raided by French pirates, who burnt down its City Hall, thus destroying many very important documents about the early settlement of Venezuela. The German scientist Alexander von Humboldt visited the city on his trip through the Americas. He reported that at the time of his visit the city had around 6000 to 7000 inhabitants.
On June 24, 1821 the battle of Carabobo was fought on the outskirts of the city, sealing the independence of Venezuela from imperial Spanish rule.
Law and government
Valencia has one municipality: Valencia Municipality, Venezuelan law specifies that municipal governments have four main functions: executive, legislative, comptroller, and planning. The executive function is managed by the mayor, who is in charge of representing the municipality's administration. The legislative branch is represented by the Municipal Council, composed of seven councillors, charged with the deliberation of new decrees and local laws. The comptroller tasks are managed by the municipal comptroller's office, which oversees accountancy. Finally, planning is represented by the Local Public Planning Council, which manages development projects for the municipality.
The main newspaper servicing Valencia is "The Carabobeno" or "Diario El Carabobeno" http://www.el-carabobeno.com/index.aspx . In May of 2007 many universities in Venezuela, including within Valencia, had demonstrations protesting the non-renewal of the broadcast license of Venezuelan Television station, Radio Caracas Television (RCTV). RCTV has been at odds with Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.
Sites of interest
Ateneo de Valencia
Teatro Municipal de Valencia
Casa de los Celis, settlement of the Museum of Art and History and the Lisandro Alvarado Foundation.
Museum of History and Anthropology
Iturriza Palace, or Quinta Isabela, Museum of the city (Museo de la Ciudad).
Parks and points of interest
Negra Hipolita Park or Fernand Penalver Park
Metropolitan Park |Metropolitan Park (Parque Metropolitano)
Valencia Aquarium (Acuario de Valencia) (ranks as largest aquarium in Latin America)
Plaza Monumental de Valencia, second largest bullring in the world.
The city is well connected with the rest of the country by a network of highways and roads well maintained by INVIAL.
A modern metro system is being constructed that will connect the city's remote suburbs with the downtown area.
Buses are the main means of mass transportation. There are two bus systems: the traditional system and the VALBUS. The traditional system runs a variety of bus types, operated by several companies on normal streets and avenues:
*bus; large buses.
*buseta; medium size buses.
*microbus or colectivo; vans or minivans.
The airport, Arturo Michelena International Airport (SVVA), is the nation's third busiest. It is served by all major Venezuelan airlines.
Valencia is twinned with:
Naples, Italy Valencia, Spain Sibiu, Romania Naguanagua, Venezuela Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Artista Valenciana, Maria Esther Barbieri, (English and Spanish)
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Valencia, Carabobo