Introduction to Valencia: Multicultural History, Modern Flair with Mark Planellas Witzsch

Introduction to Valencia: Multicultural History, Modern Flair with Mark Planellas Witzsch


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Valencia is the third-largest city in Spain, after Madrid and Barcelona, and one of the country’s most dynamic cultural and economic centers. At the crossroads of history for centuries, Valencia was founded by the Romans, occupied by the Moors, conquered by the Catalans, and visited by every other Mediterranean force over the years. Join us to learn Valencia’s history and discover the treasures that result from its multicultural past.

Valencia has been a cultural melting pot since its origins. Islam brought great refinement in architecture, art, philosophy, and agricultural techniques. Catalan colonizers brought language, Christian art, some of the first examples of modern literature in Europe, including one of the first Bibles written in a vernacular language.

This seminar will expand on Valencia’s origins but stay grounded in the present with a discussion of some of the most important sites in the city. We will stroll through its streets using all five senses: from the texture of the stone of its millenary buildings, the chromatic pallet of its Baroque altarpieces and Sorolla’s and Goya’s paintings, the sounds of the Old Quarter, the taste of saffron in Valencian paella, and to the smell of spices and fish in its famous central market. In this comprehensive itinerary, we’ll provide details of some of its best-renowned festivals, such as the famous “Fallas” or summer solstice burning of the giant papier mâché sculptures. Modern architecture in the city, designed by the Valencian avant-garde architect Santiago Calatrava, such as the striking city of Arts and Science, will be shown in this webinar as well.

As we wrap up, we will spend a little time exploring the legend of the Holy Grail, the cup that Christians believe Jesus drank from at the last supper. Valencians claim the cup was brought to their city from Rome and then hidden from Muslim invaders for centuries, only be uncovered again in the fifteenth century. We will test this claim while we explore the cathedral and its many treasures.

Led by an expert on Spanish culture and history, Mark Planellas Witzsch, this interactive seminar will explore Valencia from its historical roots to its modern flair. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of how the city evolved and what draws visitors to Valencia today.

Mark Planellas Witzsch is active in several areas in the cultural field and taught philosophy of art and avant-gardes of the twentieth century at university, focusing on universally well-known Catalan artists such as Salvador Dalí and Joan Miró. Catalonia being a part of Spain that has historically defended democracy and the ideals of the republic, the vast majority of its artists were committed to those Civil values and reflected in their art. This led Mark Planellas to dive into some related topics, such as propaganda in the twentieth century, thus publishing books on the subject, such as “Jaume Miravitlles. El somriure de Catalunya”, which explains the history of the first modern propaganda ministry ever created, in the context of the Spanish Civil War.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 6 reviews
83%
(5)
17%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
A
A.

Guest did not leave comment

R
R.S.S.M.
Wealth of information

Mark is very engaging speaker who presents a tremendous amount of historical and cultural information in a very organized and well-paced way still leaving time for questions

J
J.
Excellent & Informative!!

Mark did an outstanding job explaining the history & importance of Valencia for trading. The slides were superb to accompany his informative talk!! A real treat!!

B
B.
Brought Valencia to life

This conversation provided an ideal mix of historical and cultural context that lay the groundwork for exploring Valencia when traveling is possible again. A lot of information with excellent graphics and photos.

C
C.
An overview with historical and contemporary information

I was interested in this talk to see how these things work. It was my first one with Context Conversation. Mark Planellas Witzsch is knowledgeable about Valencia and Spanish history. Of course you can't reduce it all to 90 minutes, but he managed to give a taste of the history as well as current industry and sites that people might want to see if they visit Valencia. I've spent extensive time in Spain since 1985 and had planned to be there last year but that trip was cancelled due to COVID. However other than working with a valenciano, Valencia was a black hole in my knowledge about the peninsula, and I'd never visited Valencia either. I knew that it was related to Cataluña but did not know why or the extent of it. At least now I feel I know something about it. Viewers were encouraged to ask questions at the end and could keep their cameras on or off, which made it particularly welcoming and interactive.

Customer Reviews

Based on 6 reviews
83%
(5)
17%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
A
A.

Guest did not leave comment

R
R.S.S.M.
Wealth of information

Mark is very engaging speaker who presents a tremendous amount of historical and cultural information in a very organized and well-paced way still leaving time for questions

J
J.
Excellent & Informative!!

Mark did an outstanding job explaining the history & importance of Valencia for trading. The slides were superb to accompany his informative talk!! A real treat!!

B
B.
Brought Valencia to life

This conversation provided an ideal mix of historical and cultural context that lay the groundwork for exploring Valencia when traveling is possible again. A lot of information with excellent graphics and photos.

C
C.
An overview with historical and contemporary information

I was interested in this talk to see how these things work. It was my first one with Context Conversation. Mark Planellas Witzsch is knowledgeable about Valencia and Spanish history. Of course you can't reduce it all to 90 minutes, but he managed to give a taste of the history as well as current industry and sites that people might want to see if they visit Valencia. I've spent extensive time in Spain since 1985 and had planned to be there last year but that trip was cancelled due to COVID. However other than working with a valenciano, Valencia was a black hole in my knowledge about the peninsula, and I'd never visited Valencia either. I knew that it was related to Cataluña but did not know why or the extent of it. At least now I feel I know something about it. Viewers were encouraged to ask questions at the end and could keep their cameras on or off, which made it particularly welcoming and interactive.