We enjoyed this impressive local museum. Most of the art displayed was created by artists from Xàtiva and the archaeological pieces displayed are from local digs, with many from a 12th century Islamic palace found in 1991.
The town has a colorful history and we learned of its 4 different names. The Iberians named the settlement “Saiti”. The Romans and Visigoths next called it “Saetabis”. During the Arab domination the town was renamed “Xàtiva”. In 1707 after the War of the Spanish Succession, Felipe (Philip) ordered Xàtiva evacuated and burned. By August 1708, King Felipe’s wrath had cooled down and he had the city rebuilt and renamed “Nueva Colonia de San Felipe”, a name which was later rescinded in 1812 by the Spanish Parliament when the town was, once again, named “Xàtiva”.
After the burning the inhabitants of Xàtiva came to be known as ‘Socarrats’, literally ‘the scorched’, and to this day, as a statement of protest, the portrait of Felipe V, the conqueror, is hung upside down.
(click on any picture to go to slideshow mode)