El Pla del Real

El Pla del Real (” El Llano del Real” in Castilian) owes its name to the former Palacio del Real (Palace of the Royal) not Palacio Real (Royal Palace), which was in the same district.

The name comes from the Arabic word “Rahal” (from the Arab Andalu رحال Raḥāl, and this from the classical Arabic رحل raḥl, “Camping point”, which meant “country house” or “a family farm smaller than the size of a farmhouse). The former Palace was never a royal residence and should therefore, under no circumstance can it be called a Royal Palace. Inspite of that, many monarchs including those from the House of Aragon, House of Austria and House of Bourbon stayed there.  Thus, the Palace of the Royal was born, originating as a place of recreation during the times of the Moors and continued as such during the time of the Christian conquest. In the 14th Century, during the time of Peter IV, (aka Peter the Ceremonious), the Palace was known as the place where the Aragonese Monarchs stayed in the ancient kingdom of Valencia.

Today, a reminder of el Puente del Real (which allowed access to city from the palace) is a square that connects the bridge (el Llano del Real) and Jardines del Real or Viveros which occupy a small part of the former palace’s gardens.

Benimaclet borders it to the north,  Algirós and Camins al Grau borders to the east, Ensanche borders to the south and Ciutat Vella and the Zaidia to the west. El Pla del Real is made up of four districts: Exposició, Mestalla, Jaume Roig y Ciutat Universitària.

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