Villarreal - Name

Name

Both the Castillian Spanish Villarreal and Valencian Catalan Vila-real are cognates meaning 'Royal Town', due to the city's foundation by King James I of Aragon. Throughout the Middle Ages, as were most European settlements, it was known by its Latinised name Villae Regalis. A 1592 tapestry of the Valencian Parliament shows the city's representative with the old Valencian name Vilareal. It was in the late 18th century, as Spain became more centralised, that the Castillian name took over. The city was renamed in 1939, after the Spanish Civil War, as Villarreal de los Infantes (Royal Town of the Infantes), to avoid confusion with other Spanish localities with the same name. It is sometimes still referred to under this extended version.

On 27 February 2006, after a campaign which started in the 1980s, the Valencian form became the only official name for the city, after a unanimous vote by the city council.

Inhabitants of the city are known as vila-realencs (male) or vila-realenques (female) in Valencian, and Villarrealenses in Spanish.

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