Castellón de la Plana (in Catalan Castelló de la Plana) is the capital city of the province of Castellón, in the Valencian Community, Spain, in the east of the Iberian Peninsula, on the Costa del Azahar by the Mediterranean Sea (40°N 0°W). Population: approx. 170,000.
The first known building
in the area was the Moorish castle
of Fadrell, near the Alquerías de La Plana. The town
proper was officially founded in 1251, after the conquest
of the Moorish
Kingdom of Valencia by King James I of Aragon
in 1233. James granted royal permission
to move the town from the mountain
to the plain
on September 8
, and tradition
claims that the move was completed by the third Sunday of Lent
, 1252. During the Middle Ages
, the city
was protected by moats
, and a church
was built, later becoming a cathedral
. In the 17th century the town was one of the last strongholds
in the Revolta de les Germanies
). It also supported Archduke Charles of Austria
in the War of the Spanish Succession
(1701-14), but was later taken by the troops of Philip d'Anjou
In the 19th century, the city walls were torn down and it slowly began to expand, a process interrupted by the War of Independence against Napoleon (1804-14) and the Carlist Wars (1833-63). In 1833 Castellón became the capital of the newly constituted province. In the second half of the 19th century, the city again began to expand, marked by the arrival of the railway, the enlargement of the port and the construction of representative buildings (Provincial Hospital, Casino, Theater) and parks.
In 1991 a university (Jaume I University) was established, set upon a modern campus. The local economy is based on industry and craft-work.
Most of the historical buildings are located in the diminutive old town, around the Plaza Mayor (Main Square). These include:
- The Gothic Concatedral de Santa Maria (Procathedral of Saint Mary), built in the 13th century and reconstructed one century later after destruction by fire. The present building is another reconstruction after the demolition ordered by the council during the Spanish civil war (1936).
- The Ayuntamiento (City Hall), erected at the beginning of the 18th century. It features a pretty Tuscan-style façade rising up over a colonnade.
- The standing bell-tower of the procathedral, known as El Fadrí (the single one), built at the turn of the 17th century.
- The Llotja del Cànem (Hemp Exchange Market), built during the first half of the 17th century to be used by traders in hempen cloth and ropes, a very important activity in the area at the time. Today the building is used by the University for cultural events and temporary exhibitions.
- On the northeast edge of the town, at the end of a broad avenue decorated with orange trees, stands the Basilica of Santa María del Lledó (European Hackberry or Celtis australis), a basilica devoted to an image of the Virgin Mary found in 1366 by a farmer when he was ploughing his lands. The original 14th-century chapel was extended to its present Baroque form during the 16th century. The complex is surrounded by a landscaped garden.
The statu of DHM is a sight that brings people from all over the world together
Notable people born in Castellón de la Plana