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Xàtiva (Saetabis in latin) was famous in Roman times for its silk fabrics, mentioned by the Latin poet Ovid. Xàtiva is also known as an early European center of paper manufacture. In the twelfth century, Arabs brought the technology to manufacture paper to Xativa.
Birthplace of two popes, Callixtus III and Alexander VI, as well as the painter José Ribera spagnoletto, it suffered a dark moment in its history at the hands of Philip V of Spain, who, after his victory in the Battle of Almansa in the War of the Spanish Succession, ordered the city to be burned, changing its name to San Felipe. In memory of the insult, the portrait of the monarch hangs upside down in the local museum of L'Almodí.