From Gothic quarters to futuristic architecture, Valencia has it all. Valencia is a city in which the light and sea of the Mediterranean coexist in a striking manner as in a Sorolla painting. The third largest city in Spain, Valencia has an ample cultural offer together with a boiling nightlife and beautifull beaches. Valencia bursts with tradition, and loads of fiestas are organized for the enjoyment of the people thoughout the year, but the most important of all remains "Las Fallas". The spectacular City of Arts and Sciences with its extravagant
The Cathedral, El Miguelete and Plaza de la Virgen
Each of the three gates of the Cathedral has a diferent style: Irons Gate (baroque), the Apostles Gate (gothic) and the Palace Gate (Romanesque). The bell tower El Miguelete where you can enjoy amazing views. And the Plaza de la Virgen sits on the site that once was the forum of Roman Valencia.
Plaza del Mercado: Lonja de la Seda, Santos Juanes Church and Mercado Central
The Plaza del Mercado is home to 3 buildings of interest, the Silk Market, one of the best examples of gothic civil architecture in Europe which is Patrimony of the Humanity (UNESCO), the Santos Juanes Church in baroque style and the Central Market, a colourful market in a beautiful modernist building.
The Serranos Towers are considered to be the largest Gothic city gateway in all of Europe, and were constructed at the end of the 14th century by Pere Balaguer as part of the city's fortification. They provisionaly housed prison cells and served as a triumphal arch on many festive occasions.
National Ceramics Museum Gonzalez Marti
The National Ceramics Museum Gonzalez Marti is housed in the Palace of Marquez de Dos Aguas that dates from the 15th century and was refurbished in 1740 on rococo style with a magnificent alabaster entrance. Inside, you can find the 19th century rooms and a collection of tiles made in the Royal Ceramics Factory in Alcora.
The City of Arts and Ciences
The City of Arts and Ciences complex includes four buildings: L'Hemisferic is a Laserium, Planetarium and IMAX cinema, the Science Museum is one of those museums where it is forbidden not to touch, L' Oceanographic is a giant marine park or aquarium and the Palau de les Arts is an Opera House.
The Museum of Fine Arts San Pio V
Located in a Baroque building recently renovated, The Fine Arts Museum San Pio V is one of the most outstanding painting archives in Spain, renowned for its collections of primitive Valencian painters, although there are also works by El Greco, Velázquez, Murillo, Goya, and some archeological pieces.
San Juan del Hospital Church
San Juan del Hospital is one of the oldest churches in Valencia, built around 1261. The church has a single nave covered with a pointed barrel vault. Inside, you may contemplate the magnificent chapel of Santa Barbara and others chapels with painted murals from the Gothic period.
San Miguel de los Reyes Monastery
The Jeronime monastery of San Miguel de los Reyes was erected in the 16th century over the old abbey. The facade is in the Renaissance style and is framed by two towers with salomonic Baroque columns. The monastery also has two cloisters surrounded by arch galleries.
The Port and The Beach
Valencia is hosting of the 32nd America’s Cup, the international yact race, in summer 2007. Visit the port and enjoy with the team bases, the house of America’s Cup, the superyacht pier and the port sheds. After, walk by the promenade seafront in the Las Arenas, La Malvarrosa and Alboraya beaches.
The Botanic Garden
The Botanic Garden was founded in 1567 for the study of medicinal plants. In 1802 it was installed in l'Hort de Tramoyeres, where it is currently situated. The restoration that was concluded in the year 2000 allowed for the reclamation of this spectacular green space.
On October the 9th Valencia celebrates Saint Dionysius' Feast Day, the local version of Saint Valentine. The valencian men wrap up specially decorated and shaped marzipan sweets - Piuletes and Tronadors in silk handkerchiefs - Mocaors and give them to their girlfriends as a demonstration of their affection. October the 9th it's also Valencia region's official holiday to celebrate the triumphant entrance of Jaime I into the city after defeating the Moors in battle hundreds of years ago. But will talk about Jaime I in another post. Now let´s enjoy some fruit and vegetable shaped marzipan sweets and at least send some loving thoughts to the loved one!
The Museum of Fine Arts
Outstanding works from the Valencian School: Joan de Joanes, Ribalta, Espillosa, Vicente López, Sorolla, Pinazo, etc. International works such as Velázquez's self-portrait, works by Pinturicchio, Andrea del Sarto, Van Dyck, Murillo, El Greco, Goya, etc. In the sculpture pavilion, you'll see interesting examples of contemporary art and an important archeological collection.
IVAM - Valencian Institute of Modern Art
Permanent exhibition of sculptures by Julio González and regular temporary exhibitions by some of today's leading avant-garde representatives of the arts.
National Ceramics Museum - Palace of the Marqués de Dos Aguas
Housed in the Palace of the Marqués de Dos Aguas, with a façade in the churrigueresque style, this museum offer an overview of outstanding works in ceramics from Manises, Paterna and Alcora. Thou the ceramics museum housed here are one of the best collections in Spain, the 1st floor of the palace is... well, still a palace. A lovely one! Definetly worth a visit.
Of note are the works by Almedina, Joanes, Goya, Jacomart, Alonso Cano and Orrente.
Contains a collection ol insects and fossils. The most important museum exhibited is the skeleton of a megatherium.
A collection worthy of mention, including works by El Greco and early Flemish painters.
A view of the Paleolithic Valencia including a range of curious remains and fossils.
The one in Valencia is between the oldest and most impressive in Spain, with a variety of bullfighting memorabilia from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.
Las Fallas Museum
The Ninots are the cartoon-like figures or statuettes decorating the monumental Valencian fallas. Each year, since 1934, the cream of the crop have been saved from the roaring flames and kept in this museum, together with posters, photographs and other objects connected with the fallas.
Municipal Historical Museum
Located in the Ayuntamiento (City Hall), the museum has a collection of historical objects, including the Senyera (the regional flag), the pennant of James I the Conquerer,the 15th century Flemish tablet of the Final Judgement and a series of antique books and guild memorabilia.
House-Museum José Benlliure
Contains the works of this wellknown Valencian artist, along with ceramics and objects from the epoch. The studio of José Benlliure is a jewel. Well preserved, with lots of personal items of Benlliure, has a lovely view at the walled garden where Benlliure familly used to relax once. Well worth a visit!
Joaquín Saludes Maritime Museum
Located in the Torres de Serranos (the east gateway to the ancient city), this exposition presents a valuable collection of amphorae and other archeological objects brought up from the Mediterranean seabed, as well as an attractive shipmodel display.
City Museum- Marqués de Campo Palace
Holds an archeological collection illustrating the pre-Roman age and the founding of the city, and a part of the municipal art gallery. It also contains a permanent exhibition of Christian Valencia in the XIIIth and XIVth centuries .
House-Museum Blasco Ibañez
For a long time, the term falla was used indistinctly for the torches, bonfires, rag dolls and platforms, but gradually the term came to be restricted to the satirical pyres that exposed vices or prejudices to public scorn. The special characteristic of the satirical fallas is that they represent a reprehensible social action or attitude. They have a specific subject and aim to criticise or ridicule. They are more than mere bonfires or pyres because they show scenes referring to people, events or collective behaviour that their makers - the falleros - consider should be criticised or corrected. The two most popular subjects for fallas are eroticism and social criticism.
The most important elements are of Las Fallas: cardboard, plaster and wax, without forgetting the wood of the frames and the metal mesh covered with sacking for the large figures. Using these simple materials, the Valencian artists emulate the large, long-lasting creations of sculptors, showing their skill in the production of grandiose monuments. The most difficult and complex task is the construction of moulds for the heads. These are based on clay models which are then cast in plaster and subsequently in wax to give heads that are then completed by adding a moustache, a squint or a sneering expression to give a non-human touch and turn them into the characters featured in the falla.