View of Xàtiva
|Autonomous community||Valencian Community|
|• Mayor||Roger Cerdà i Boluda (2015) (PSPV)|
|• Total||76.60 km2 (29.58 sq mi)|
|Elevation||115 m (377 ft)|
|• Density||380/km2 (990/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Official language(s)||Spanish and Valencian|
Xàtiva (Valencian pronunciation: [ˈʃativa], locally: [(æj)ˈʃætɪʋæ]; Spanish: Játiva [ˈxatiβa]) is a town in eastern Spain, in the province of Valencia, on the right (western) bank of the river Albaida and at the junction of the Valencia–Murcia and Valencia Albacete railways. During the Al-Andalus Islamic era, Arabs brought the technology to manufacture paper to Xàtiva. In the 12th century, Xàtiva was known for its schools, education, and learning circles. Islamic scholar Abu Ishaq al-Shatibi's last name refers to Xàtiva where he lived and died.
Xàtiva (Saetabis in Latin) was famous in Roman times for its linen fabrics, mentioned by the Latin poets Ovid and Catullus. Xàtiva is also known as an early European centre of paper manufacture. In the 12th century, Arabs brought the technology to manufacture paper to Xàtiva (Arabic: شاطبة Shāṭiba).
It is the birthplace of two popes, Callixtus III and Alexander VI, and also the painter José Ribera (Lo Spagnoletto). It suffered a dark moment in its history at the hands of Philip V of Spain, who, after his victory at the Battle of Almansa during the War of the Spanish Succession, ordered the city to be burned. The name was changed to San Felipe. In memory of the insult, the portrait of the monarch hangs upside down in the local museum of L'Almodí.
Xàtiva was briefly a provincial capital under the short-lived 1822 territorial division of Spain, during the Trienio Liberal. The Province of Játiva was revoked with the return to absolutism in 1823.
Xàtiva is built on the margin of a fertile plain, and on the southern slopes of the Monte Vernissa, a hill with two peaks, each surmounted by a Castle of Xàtiva.
Its Collegiate Basilica, dating from 1414, but rebuilt about a century later in the Renaissance style, was formerly a cathedral, and is the chief among many churches and convents. The town-hall and a church on the castle hill are partly constructed of inscribed Roman masonry, and several houses date from the Moorish period.
Other sights include:
- the Royal Monastery of the Assumption, Gothic and Baroque style, built during the 14th century and renovated in the 16th–18th centuries.
- Natal house of the Pope Alexander VI.
- Church of St. Felix (13th century)
- Church of St. Peter (14th century). The interior has a coffer decorated in Gothic-Mudéjar style.
- Hermitage of Santa Anna (15th century), in Gothic style
- Almodí, a 14th-century Gothic edifice (1530–1548) now housing a Museum
- Casa de la Enseñanza, Xàtiva
- Muhammad Khalid Masud, Islamic Legal Philosophy: A Study of Abu Ishaq al-Shatibi's Life and Thought, McGill University 1977
- XÀTIVA - Museo de l'Almodí
- (Spanish) División provisional del territorio español de 27 de Enero de 1822, the text of the proposed 1822 territorial division of Spain, Instituto de Historia, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC, Spanish National Research Council). Accessed online 2010-01-03.
There is plenty of information available about Xativa and the surrounding area on the English language website;