lunes, 3 de junio de 2013

Valencia Seashore and the Constant Gardener

The tour guides often approach to the harbor of Valencia to teach foreigners about our Gastronmy, Valencian Paella and stories from the past of Valencia. We like to remember them the source of our most popular beach and the person who was responsible of its naming.
Inicio de la pesca en Malvarrosa
Regreso al atardecer

It was a person named Felix Robillard. He came from France and was a reknown botanist who settled in Valencia in mid-nineteenth century and could be called the Constant Gardener, becaus of his constant working on behalf of the city.
This botanist begun its illustrious career at the "Jardin des Plantes" in Paris. He went on to become the head gardener at the “Champs Elysees”. In 1848 he moved to Valencia where he was designate "Gardener" of the local botanical garden. Later settled in present Malvarrosa district. La Malvarrosa was at that time a marshy land that Robillard patiently dried in order to plant several aromatic herbs. He devoted his time to cataloging our Mediterranean plants, more than 60,000 plant species and the modernization of agriculture in Valencia.
 In industry he specialized in the cultivation of a variety of geranium, "Pelargonium capitatum", a plant native of Green Cape at South Africa, commonly known as “malvarosa”". 
Mata de malvarrosas
Flor de la malvarrosa

The seedling will later name this popular waterfront district. Robillard pressed this flowers to achieve their oils and essences in a modern perfumes production plant. These essences were presented at the London Exhibition of 1862 and that of Paris in 1867, gaining an international recognition.
It was the most illustrious son of this former fishermen village, with the famous local writer Vicente Blasco Ibanez, who had his residence beside the beach in the early twentieth century.
Balneario de las Arenas, comienzos siglo XX
Jóvenes años 20 disfrutando del balneario

By that time Malvarrosa beach became a major social center and meeting point of Valencian society, famous for its spas and thermal waters imitated from France.
Currently the main spas resort was transformed into a luxury hotel and the beach was improved with its wide promenade also extended by the recent "The Patacona Beach".
Actual Paseo de la Playa de la Malvarrosa, homenaje a la pesca tradicional

To remember is to recreate the passed time.

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