Xàtiva is a small, historic city, known primarily for the mighty castle from the Moorish era towering over it. There is also a picturesque Old Town with stone houses from the Medieval and Renaissance periods.
The city is one of the oldest settlements in Spain. Its origins date back to prehistoric times. Before the Romans arrived, the Iberians had built their fortress on the hill. They also minted their own coin, which proves the importance of this center. Today, the former fortress of the Iberians is the so-called Minor Castle, which is part of the Xàtiva Castle. Above it rises the Greater Castle built by the Romans, and then reinforced and expanded by the Moors. Both parts can be visited today. In addition to wax and residential buildings, there are also two chapels, the Chapel of St. George and the Santa Maria Chapel, and from the walls there is a beautiful view of the surrounding area.
It was the Moors who gave a strong impetus to the development of the city in the Middle Ages. Xàtiva was the first place in Europe where paper was produced. The recipe for its execution was brought by the Arabs, and the local paper mills remained among the leaders of the continent for a long time.
Below the castle is the Old Town, a maze of streets. The monumental silhouette of the Renaissance Collegiate Church of Santa Maria de Xàtiva stands out among the dense stone buildings. Also noteworthy are the facade of the former hospital for the poor, decorated in plateresco style, and the 13th-century church of St. Felix standing on the foundations of the Visigothic basilica.