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Valencia, Venezuela

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Valencia Cathedral, Valencia, VenezuelaValencia Cathedral, Valencia, Venezuela
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Valencia is the third largest city in Venezuela. Located along the north coast, it serves as the state capital of Carabobo State. The city covers 2,323 sq km (896.9 sq mi) and has a population of 2.2 million people.

The Valencia area has been inhabited by hunter-gatherers as early as the fourth millennium BC. Subsequent waves of settlers developed basic forms of farming in the area, growing corn and cotton.

Valencia was founded by Captain Alonso Díaz Moreno in 1555, eight years before Caracas. It was the first Spanish settlement in central Venezuela, and was named Nuestra Señora de la Asunción de Nueva Valencia del Rey. In 1677 the town was plundered by French pirates who burned down its city hall.

In 1830 Valencia served as the capital of Venezuela following its separation from Colombia. The discovery of oil in the early 20th century propelled the fortunes of Valencia. Oil revenue poured into the city, helping it to rapidly develop and industrialize.

Visiting Valencia

The Arturo Michelena International Airport (VLN) is the airport serving Valencia. It receives flights from Caracas as well as Aruba, Barcelona (Venezuela), Curaçao, Maracaibo, Panama City, Puerto Ordax and Santo Domingo, among others.

Places of Interest in Valencia

  1. Iturriza Palace
    Historic building that houses the city museum.
  2. Municipal Theater of Valencia
    Completed in 1895 in the French architectural style, this is the main theater of Carabobo.
  3. Museum of History and Anthropology
    Museum holding a vast collection of pre-Columbian artifacts found in Venezuela.
  4. Negra Hipólita Park
    A large public park that features concert halls and cultural centers within it.
  5. Páez House
    Former home of José Antonio Páez, one of the first presidents of Venezuela. Today it serves as a museum.
  6. Plaza Monumental de Valencia
    The second largest bullfighting arena in the world.
  7. Valencia Aquarium
    The largest aquarium in Latin America. it also has a small zoo displaying animals endemic to Venezuela.

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