GANDIA NAMED 'VALENCIAN CULTURAL CAPITAL'
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.