Castellon (or Castellon de la Plana) is the capital of the province of Castellon and is known firstly as the great industrial centre of the community of Valencia. Nowadays there are more than 100 000 citizens there who are busy not only in industry but also in different popular handicraft.
The founder of the place, the Spanish King Aragon, could be proud of this city nowadays. It was founded in 1252 and that time it consisted of a small village of Benibare and the Fadrell castle that was inherited from moors.
The status of the capital of the province of Castellon was given to the place in 1833 after the end of the War of Independence. This year can be considered to be the beginning of violent growth of the city. The golden century for Castellon occured 130 years later in the 60s of the 20th century, when Spain was able to recover from 100 years of permanent wars and internal conflicts and to create what is called in economics now “a Spanish Miracle”. “The Miracle” includes the greatest in the province clinics, the Principal Theatre and the city park of Ribalt.
But the most remarkable sights of Castellon are not modern. The symbol of Castellon is the Bell Tower called “El Fadrie”. In the Valencian dialect it means “the bachelor”. The hight of it is 58m and it was built in the form of octagon. It is the only thing which has remained of the architectural ensemble of St. Maria’s Church of the 16th century. After World War II St. Maria’s Church was rebuilt but a little bit far away from the Bell Tower. That is why it is called “El Fadrie” or “the bachelor”. The Bell Tower and the Church are both situated in the heart of Old Castellon in Plasa Mayor square.
The other cultural centre of Castellon is situated in the south-eastern part of the city surrounded by beautiful orangeries. It is St. Maiden Maria’s Basilica built in 1366. It was built in honour of St. Maria abiding in the vicinity of Castellon. The icon of St. Maria was found by a peasant on his field and since then St. Maria is considered to be the patroness of the city.
It should be mentioned that besides the architectural masterpieces Castellon is famous as a tourist centre of Valencia. The city is situated in the very centre of Costa Azahar, one of the three resort regions of the community including Costa Blanca and Costa Valencia.