Costa Levante News - - FRONT PAGE - By Sa­man­tha Kett skett@cb­

GAN­DIA has be­come the first town in the re­gion to be awarded the ti­tle of Va­len­cian Cul­tural Cap­i­tal – an hon­our that six in 10 lo­cals be­lieve will be a great in­cen­tive for vis­i­tors to come and ex­plore.

To cel­e­brate, a video pro­jected in 3D against the walls of the town hall showed off Gan­dia's his­tor­i­cal her­itage, and wandering min­strels from the Safor Dixie Band played in the streets.

The Borgia Palace, where the in­fa­mous dy­nasty lived for 10 gen­er­a­tions be­fore the last in line, Duke Fran­cisco, gave up his riches to join the Je­suits and found a univer­sity in their name, as well as the spec­tac­u­lar Col­le­giate church in the town hall square are Gan­dia's main her­itage gems, but other cul­tural el­e­ments that won it the award in­clude its nerdy fi­esta hero, the Tío de la Porra – a send-up of Napoleon Bonaparte – and the muix­eranga, or hu­man tow­ers.

For hik­ers with plenty of en­ergy, the Bayrén cas­tle on top of the moun­tain over­look­ing the town is an­other ex­cel- lent vis­i­tor at­trac­tion and was built dur­ing the Moor­ish oc­cu­pa­tion of Spain.

Gan­dia may­oress Diana Mo­rant. Photo by Álex Ol­tra.

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