Vassfforcia la Serenísima
|Sant Cugat Cathedral at la Ciudadela borough|
| Nickname: Serenísima|
Short name: Vassfforcia City
|Province||Vassfforcia la Serenísima|
|Federal Entity||City State|
| 573.72 km²|
-Province of Vassfforcia
|Foundation||October 19th 1105|
|Main languages||Spanish and Catalan|
|Head of Government||Viscount Don Eduardo Medina Placencia (PCD)|
Vassfforcia la Serenísima is the capital city of Vassfforcia. It has a population of 3 million (5 million when the metropolitan area is counted) which makes it the third largest city in the country. It is an important economic (the third largest port), cultural and political center in the country and in the world, and is the home of the federal government. It has been the capital since Vassfforcia was a Catalan colony. As a world city, it occupies a place as one of the most important cities in the Heartland, and is one of the most important hubs for transportation, politics and commerce on the Alcedonian continent.
Vassfforcia City is located in the estuary of the rivers Lathenruth and Defors, at only 1 meter over sea level on average. It neighbors Umperia to the west, the Province of Vassfforcia to the south and Montaura to the east. It was founded by the Catalan conquerors in 1105 on the peninsula between the two rivers as the Commercial Outpost of Bas Força. In 1311 the County of Vassfforcia was established as the colony became the Commercial Consulate of Vassfforcia and after independence it became the County of Vassfforcia la Serenísim. Finally, as part of geographical redistribution made with the Reform of 52, it became a city-state.
Life in the City
Despite its population, the smog level in the city is virtually non-existent. The warm northerly prevailing winds carry any pollution off and disperse it, making life in this enormous city at least bearable to those who can't handle the size. Serenísima is a swarm of transportation; and although it only has one enormous airport, it has 15 freeways and over 100 major arteries, numerous ferry crossings along the estuary the city is situated on and is part of the TRAPUNE which connects the city with the rest of the northeast.
At night, the city sparkles; its variously-coloured lights from the modern skyline to the historic government and religious buildings inside the walled barrio of La Ciudadela. It is a city shrouded in the occasional evening thundershower, but also shrouded in fantasy, exploration, modernity, love and, above all, history.
The city is awash with fine dining, nightclubs, sightseeing and vibrancy, and a city so beloved not only by the Vassfforcian people, but by the world, that it has become one of the world's top urban destinations.
Vassfforcia City is a city-state since the Reform of 52 theoretically ruled by the Count of Vassfforcia, who is the Grand Duke of Vassfforcia; but it is actually ruled by the Xunta de Vassfforcia, the local legislature composed of 50 legislators elected by universal vote every five years (last election 2005) by proportional representation, there is only one huge election district in the city for local elections. The Xunta de Vassfforcia elects the Viscount of Vassfforcia among its members after every election as the city is ruled with a parliamentary system. The viscount is the acting executive within the city instead of the Grand Duke. Every barrio elects a representative called síndico who is responsible of taking the local affaires to the Xunta and the Viscount. Vassfforcia City sends fourteen senators to the Grand Senate from which 10 are elected by universal vote and 4 are elected by the Xunta.
Vassfforcia’s port is the third biggest in the country and its chemical and technology industries are famous throughout the region; there are, as well, many biotechnology companies. Due to the influence of technocrats on the entire nation, many more science business had popped up as well. Thanks to the port many trade houses have offices in the city and the barrios of Factorías, las Mercedes and Santo Domingo are the banking center of the country including financial services, mutual funds and insurance.
Most of the city’s population does not own a car of themselves thanks to the excellent public transport of the city. Not even people living outside the city are worried about transportation thanks to the TRAPUNE and the subway, and the ferry system. For those who do have cars, the city is well connected by urban highways and many arteries; nevertheless, as in any big city, traffic jams are a common sight.
Vassfforcia is a busy seaport and handles many cargo ships, the warships from the AVU Cisne Blanco carrier group, ferries and cruise ships. Vassfforcia City has been since the independence the seat for many trade houses both Vassfforcian and foreign, and many department stores in the country are the descendants of these firms.
The subway of Serenísima is part of the TRAPUNE, thus the city is connected with the northeast of the country easily. The Vassfforcian rail company (FVF) also connects the city with the rest of the country.
El Sol de Vassfforcia and El Imparcial are Serenísima's two major daily newspapers. A local edition of El País, a major paper nationwide, is also available. Dinero y Negocios is a bi-weekly paper which centers on financial topics. The Vassfforcian Independent Media Center provides alternative views for nearly everything, they have a left wing view most of the time, while WINYAD, the most prestigious Vassfforcian source has its main offices in the city. Rentas y Propiedades is an exclusive to real estate bi-weekly publication. Many of the publishing houses of Vassfforcia like Alinaza, El Cuentacuentos, García y García and Hnos. Mol have their central offices in Vassfforcia.
Northeastern Vassfforcia has the largest broadcasting market in Alcedonia; thus many radio stations, both on FM and AM own frequencies all over the region. The Vassfforcian Broadcasting Company, a public-owned company is also centered and transmits most of its programs from the capital.
Arts and Entertainment
The Most Serene Republic of Vassfforcia is considered to be a highly intellectual and cultured country and the capital is no exception. It considered one of the most culturally impressive cities in the country, the region and the world. The older barrios, contain a number of ornate theatres, including the National Theatre and the Opera House. Avant garde theatres are scattered throughout the city, especially at Mercaderes and Puerto Antiguo, but also at Universitarios. The city is populated with an enormous number of museums, art cinemas (like the National Cinema), libraries, art galleries and cafés where people discuss anything from politics and the last best-seller to sports.
Colleges and Universities
The Vassfforcia City area has the oldest university in the country and has many prestigious colleges.
The University of Sant Cugat is a private university in Vassfforcia City. It is the oldest university in the country, founded in 1411 as the Pontificia Universidad de Vassfforcia by the Dominican Order, but after their expulsion it passed to the Jesuits who still own it. The university is one of the most prestigious in the country, especially for humanities, philosophy and theology. Most of its students have scholarships given by the government and religious schools. It supports itself with the fruit of their investigations, government budget and donations made through the Jesuit Order.
The most prestigious colleges and universities in the city are: the Latin College of Vassfforcia, the National Arts Academy, the Catalan College of Sant Jordi, the Ducal College of Sant Cugat, the Hispanic College of Santiago and many more.
The barrios are the boroughs of Vassfforcia City, it has 37 barrios and 4 especial administrative areas under the direct control of the federal government (i.e. the port, the airport and the natural parks). It has been proposed that some barrios may be merged together.
1. Bosques de Medina
23. Barrio del Carmen
Between the 15th and 17th centuries the Vassfforcian elite decided to build a new government borough to show off the richness and wealth of the thriving city and republic and the new borough of la Ciudadela was founded. It is a barrio of baroque palaces and churches, and most buildings are government dependencies, museums and concert halls. Most of them also keep the traditional convenience stores, fondas, tavernas and other businesses that have always been there. In the barrio are many important buildings, the Sant Cugat Cathedral, the Palau Ducal and the Grand Senate among many others. The barrio is crossed by channels and walled and the baroque architecture is protected by law, new buildings most keep the old façade, which makes it one of the most beautiful places not only in Vassfforcia City, but in the country and the region.
Antiguo means “ancient” on Spanish and the barrio has this name because it is the oldest barrio of Vassfforcia City. Most buildings date from the 12th and 13th centuries, when the city was founded. At the original central plaza is the first church in northeastern Alcedonia, the first Ducal Palace (today a library) and many other important buildings which have become particular homes for wealthy people who like the calmed medieval neighborhood crossed by channels. It is also famous for its gourmet restaurants, designer boutiques and cafés along the various plazas; however, nightlife is inexistent due to local regulations. The medieval architecture of the barrio is protected by law. Many of the inhabitants of the barrio own yachts.
Like la Ciudadela, Sant Cugat was founded in the 15th century when the elite moved to the west bank of the estuary, but it was inhabited by little merchants and rich artisans, thus the buildings in the barrio are smaller and less sumptuous. Today it is no longer a residential area but a commercial and government borough. It also has museums, government buildings (the local government for example) and many stores; it is rumored that at Sant Cugat you can find anything from plumbing materials to designer clothes and weapons. Many of the most traditional bars, restaurants and hotels are located in the barrio, while the oldest and most prestigious firms in the city keep offices in the barrio. Like la Ciudadela the barrio is also crossed by channels and its architecture is protected by law, but it’s more varied with buildings dating from the 15th to the beginning of the 20th centuries.
Artesanos and San Jorge
They are two of the oldest barrios founded by artisans; Artesanos (Spanish for artisans) was founded in the late 15th century and was the first barrio outside the wall, while San Jorge was founded at the beginning of the same century and was the last barrio to be walled. Today they are middle to higher-class residential neighborhoods where most buildings date back to the 18th and 19th century; however, they are not quite nor peaceful and many restaurants, bars and nightclubs are located in the area. Both barrios are where young people go to party and traffic jams are omnipresent. At evening the various plazas and cafés of the barrios are where intellectuals and artists go; in addition to the many nightclubs both barrios have many museums, art galleries and small independent theatres.
Puerto Antiguo and Mercaderes
Puerto Antiguo means “old port” on Spanish as this barrio used to be the city’s port until the late 18th century. Mercaderes means “merchants” and the name comes from the many trade houses established in the barrio while Puerto Antiguo was the port. Today these barrios are very similar to Artesanos and San Jorge but they have the difference of being crossed by many channels which keeps most traffic away. However, they are still a popular place for intellectuals and artists, and as the former two barrios have many galleries and theaters but these barrios are also more residential as they are quieter and more peaceful.
Pescadores and Barrio del Carmen
Pescador means “fisher” on Spanish, while Virgin of Carmen (an avocation of Virgin Mary) is the patron saint of fishers. The names were given to the barrio because they sprung as the fishers’ home area. However, most of the fishers’ houses dating back from the 12th and 15th centuries were demolished during the late 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century by the higher middle class and the wealthy classes which moved to the peaceful barrio covered by channels. Today, they are still peaceful barrios with lower middle to higher middle class one-family houses and some of the first apartment buildings in the city. Business in the area is limited to convenience stores, some traditional fondas, (little family restaurants) and tavernas (bars). Some of the inhabitants of middle and higher middle class own boats and even yachts.
Factoría is the old Spanish word for “factory” (in contrast to modern fábrica) and the barrio has this name because it was the first real industrial borough in the city. It was founded during the mid 18th century and was an industrial barrio with factories and barracks for the workers. However, by the late 19th century the barrio has been abandoned and was one of the most dangerous places in the city. Thus, during the 1920s the government began a repopulation program for the area. Since then, it has become, with the Barrio de las Mercedes, into the banking center of the city with local offices of the BAP and many other firms, foreign and national. It is a barrio covered with skyscrapers, apartment buildings, many malls, restaurants, bars, nightclubs and the surviving art deco house converted into offices. The barrio is notorious for its traffic jams, but public transport offers a very good option.
Barrio de las Mercedes
Barrio de las Mercedes is one of the oldest barrios in the city. It dates back to the beginning of the 18th century when the Iglesia de las Mercedes was built and its name became the name for the whole barrio. Originally it was a barrio for artisans and little merchants, but with industrialization it became a working class neighborhood with some middle class houses. By the beginning of the end of the 19th century it was, like Factorías, abandoned and a dangerous area, thus it was included in the repopulation program. Since then the barrio became first a middle class neighborhood but the 1970s it has become part of the banking district and now it is also covered by skyscrapers and apartment buildings; however, some 18th and 19th century buildings like the Church of las Mercedes and its hospital have not been demolished and are protected by law. This has made the barrio an eclectic mix of baroque churches, neoclassic and art deco houses and apartment buildings along with post modern and even intelligent skyscrapers both residential and office.
Barrio de la Compañía and Barrio de Santo Domingo
Founded in the 17th and 16th centuries respectively by the little merchants and artisans, the names come from two religious orders, the Jesuits (called Comapñía de Jesús on Spanish) and the Dominican Order because they had a church and monastery in the barrios. The barrios have always been residential areas for the middle-class and because of its age the northern half of la Compañía has channels. Today the barrios are still a residential area with one-family houses on the north and apartment buildings and skyscrapers on its south. In the westernmost part of the barrio there are also many office buildings and corporate skyscrapers because of its nearness to Factorías. The barrios have buildings dating back to the 17th and 18th century aside with modern and postmodern skyscrapers. Together they have examples of nearly every architectural style from baroque to minimalist. Santo Domingo is more business while la Compañía is more residential.
Universitario means “university student” on Spanish and the barrio is called like that because in the 15th century the Pontificia Universidad de Sant Cugat de Vassfforcia (today Univesity of Sant Cugat) and the barrio was built around the different schools and the students’ houses. Today it’s still the campus of the university; most of the schools are still in the barrio and have kept their original buildings of baroque and neoclassic style. However, now the students live in newer apartment buildings. The architecture of the barrio is an eclectic mix of old and newer buildings with residential areas, the schools and many cheap restaurants and bars. Some of the older bars in the city (tavernas) are located in this barrio.
Santiago is one of the older barrios in the city. It was founded in the 15th century by artisans, fishers and little merchants. Then, during the Industrial Revolution it became a working-class neighborhood but it was never abandoned. Today it’s a residential area for lower middle and middle class people who live in one-family houses. There are only few apartment buildings in the area. Businesses in the barrio are mostly convenience stores, tavernas, fondas and the like. The barrio has buildings dating back to the 15th century (like the Church of Santiago which gives its name to the barrio) and modern houses.
At the mid 19th century San Cosme became the new industrial area of the city. Today it has become a residential and business area with office buildings, malls, restaurants and some bars along apartment buildings and some one-family houses. Most factories have moved south to Colorines, but there are still some in the area.
Colorines (Spanish for “goldfinch”) sprang as the new industrial area of the city during the fifties and still today it is the industrial center of the city. However, on its northern half it has become a residential area covered with apartment buildings for the working and the middle-class. It has one huge mall and many convenience stores and fondas.
Barrio de la Covadonga
The Barrio de la Covadonga, named after the Virgin of Covadonga, was the second barrio to be built outside the city walls. It was originally an artisans’ and fishers’ neighborhood, but its nearness to San Cosme mad it a working-class neighborhood. Today it is a business center with many corporate buildings, malls, restaurants, nightclubs and has buildings such as the Torre PetroVas.
The name means “between rivers” and although it was planned as a residential neighborhood, its nearness to both the port and the airport made it a business center. The barrio has many hotels, restaurants and offices from every trade house with presence in the country. It has also become one of the barrios covered with skyscrapers in spite of the channel on its eastern half.
Castello Ducal and Mirarío
These barrios were founded during the 1950s as a modern option to the overpopulated central barrios. However, their isolation from the rest of the city and later the building of the airport west to the barrios made them very unpopular. Today the barrios are middle-class one-family neighborhoods populated nearly entirely by old people who have stayed in spite of the isolation. Nevertheless, this isolation has the advantage of keeping both barrios from the traffic jams of other more central areas. The War Ministry is located in the old Castello Ducal (Ducal Castle), on an island on the Defors River.
Ferrocarrileros and Claveles
Ferrocarilero means “train worker” on Spanish, and the name was given due to the fact that the first train station in the city was built in that area. During the 19th century it was a working-class neighborhood, but by the 1930s it was a horrible outskirt of the city, thus in the 1940s a repopulation program started and the area became a light industrial and middle-class residential area. Clavel means “carnation” on Spanish and was founded as part of the repopulation program for Ferrocarrileros as a middle-class residential area. Today both barrios are very similar with people from Claveles being in general only mildly wealthier than those from Ferrocarileros. Today both barrios have many one-family houses, many apartment and office buildings and some light and chemical industries. The buildings date back to the 1940s, 50s and 60s and the barrios has many convenience stores, restaurants and two malls.
Contramar is one of the most expensive barrios in the city. It was founded during the 1880s when Grand Duke Don Johan I Gwydh MacDanyel ordered the construction of a new palace and the surrounding area was rapidly covered with mansions and palaces from other nobles and very wealthy people. The barrio is crossed by the boulevard Contramar, at which is the Palau Contramar, and many other neoclassic and art deco and nouveau mansions and palaces for the wealthy. To this day the barrio is one of the most prestigious and expensive neighborhoods in the country.
Berenguer and San Juan
Berenguer, named after one of the Vassfforcian noble houses, and San Juan are two middle to higher class neighborhoods located south of Contramar. Berenguer was founded during the 1930s and San Juan during the 1940s and most buildings are one-family houses, but new apartment buildings are being built in the area since 1998. Business in the area is limited to one mall, convenience stores, some fondas and cafés.
Santa Fe, San Francisco and San Antonio
Although among the oldest barrios (they date back to the 17th and 18th centuries), Santa Fe, San Francisco and San Antonio are now middle to high-class residential areas very similar to Berenguer or San Juan. Probably the only difference between these barrios is the existence of older baroque buildings at Santa Fe, San Francisco and San Antonio like the churches that give the names to the barrios.
Barrio de las Rosas, Bosques de Miraflores and Bosques de Dohendor
These three barrios are located between the Heartland Park and the Vassfforcia Park in western Serenísima. They are middle-class neighborhoods founded between the 1940s (Miraflores) and the 1960s (las Rosas). They used to be very similar to Medina and Soto, but since the 1980s many small firms started moving to the area and it already has a couple of residential skyscrapers and many apartment buildings. The area also has many businesses, especially convenience stores, restaurants and quite a few malls from which three are huge. In las Rosas is located the Estadio Olímpico, home stadium of the Delfines de Vassfforcia professional football club.
Bosques de Medina and Bosques de Soto
Bosques de Medina and Bosques de Soto are a middle-class boroughs located in western Vassfforcia City, between Park Heartland and the Ducal Forest. They are residential neighborhoods with mid to large one-family houses, some convenience stores, supermarkets and five malls. At Medina, near the coast, in the north, there are also many luxurious condos; while in the south there are more apartment buildings. Most buildings date from the late 70s in Medina and from the 80s in Soto.
Nuevo Contramar, Bosques de Contramar and Bosque de Encinos
These are the three newest barrios of the city and are planned to become the new business center of the country. They are designed both with residential and business purposes, with the highest buildings in the city both residential and corporate. They all have malls and are very well communicated with the rest of the city and the northeast region of the country. Encinos was founded during the80s, but Nuevo Contramar was only founded in 1999 thus the architecture is postmodern and most buildings are intelligent.
Sites of Interest
- La Ciudadela as a whole:
- Sant Cugat Cathedral
- Palau Ducal
- The Grand Senate
- National Museum of History
- National Museum of War at Castello Ducal
- National Naval Museum at El Carmen Fort
- Palau Contramar
- Parque Heartland
- Parque Vassfforcia
- Puerto Antiguo
- The National Theatre
- University of Sant Cugat at Universitarios
- and many more museums and theatres all around the city
Vassfforcia City is home to four major league sports teams.
The Olympic Stadium is the home of two major league team:
- Delfines de Vassfforcia Soccer Club
- Delfines de Vassfforcia Grindiron Club
The baseball team, the Vassfforcian Marines.
Caballeros is the grindiron team of the University of Sant Cugat