Valencia is a city of over 2,000 years old, which is worth discovering. For that reason, we have organized several routes that will let you approach the different spheres and the different historical periods of the city.
and Religious Spheres
In a first visit, for those that due to time reasons can only focus on the most representative in the city, we offer our visitors an entertaining and comprehensive visit.
In the political area we will see the City Hall, as the most important monument (open from Monday to Friday, but sometimes closed for political or protocol reasons).
In the commercial area we have to emphasize La Lonja (the Silk Exchange. Open every day except for Sunday and hollydays afternoon) and the Central Market. Finally, in the religious area, one must not miss the Cathedral (Open every day. One must pay to visit it) and the Basilica of our Lady.
Visit to the Gothic Town
If you have more time and wish to know the commercial and cultural greatness of other periods, you can choose a tour around the gothic period in order to discover singular churches and outstanding palaces. Some of these buildings were built, on many occasions, over ancient mosques (in the case of churches) or over Arab baths in the case of some palaces.
By the end of the 15th Century the city had 75,000 citizens. In the 14th and 15th Centuries Valencia was one of the biggest cities in Europe and one of the great powers in the Mediterranean area, comparable to Marseille, Genova or Venice. This wealth was based on the business with mainland Spain, with other Mediterranean cities and also with some places from the north of Europe, such as Flandes.
Among the civil gothic monuments La Lonja de la Seda is a masterpiece. It started to be built in 1483 and it was initially undertaken by Pere Compte. In 1996 the building was entitled as “World Heritage Monument”. The port sheds and the corn exchange are nice examples of the gothic architecture with commercial functions. When talking about the palaces, we have to put emphasis on la Generalitat, among other interesting ones such as those belonging to the Boil family, Scala family, Escrivà family, the Borjas, etc. Unfortunately, most of them can not be visited inside because they are private mansions or they shelter political and administrative institutions.
Regarding the military or defensive constructions, we can see the splendour of Quart and Serranos gates, which are part of the old Christian city wall.
Concerning the gothic religious buildings, the most important example is the Cathedral, whose construction started in the 13th Century and went on including outstanding elements along the 14th and 15th centuries. One must mention interesting churches as Santa Catalina, Sant Joan de l´Hospital, San Salvador and San Nicolás, which were covered with baroque decoration in the 17th and 18th Centuries but some of them cleared again during the 60´s.
Valencia is a city rich in museums. Therefore, we suggest you to visit the most emblematic ones.
The Fine Arts Museum is one of the most important art galleries in Spain with gothic altarpieces and masterpieces by Joan de Joanes, Ribalta, el Greco, Ribera, Goya, etc (Free entrance).
The National Museum of Ceramics, which was possible thanks to Mr Gonzalez Martí donation, municipal funding and individual financial support. It is the palace of Marquis of Dosaguas, an exceptional building dating from the 15th century and renovated during the 18th and 19th centuries. Both the museum and the palace can be visited at the same time. The entrance is free.
Fallas Museum is a historical document, unique in the world. It shelters the collection of sculptures (ninots) saved from the flames since 1934.
and Baroque architecture
The religious intransigence of the Counter-Reformation in the conflictive Valencia -due to the abundance of Moorish people- caused the arrival of Patriarch San Joan de Ribera, who introduced the Trento Council ideas (1563) and founded the Corpus Christie College, located in front of the University. Both of them are renaissance style buildings that we recommend to visit.
The baroque style is so abundant in Valencia that it is said that we are bursting with baroque style. The big religious crisis in the 17th Century had an influence on many churches which were transformed into baroque style. We highlight the Basilica of our Lady, the façade of Marquis of Dosaguas palace and the West entrance to the Cathedral.
We have to mention that Modernism is a way of thinking, which has an effect on the architecture and the town planning. After 1835, a key date in the Mendizabal revolution, in 1836 it was finished with the disappearance of corporative priviledges that limited the commercial freedom and also the industrial growth and the prosperity of middle class people, the main character in that new way of thinking. Valencian middle class had an open mind, harmonized with Cataluña with the will to renovate the classique fashion representing a new image.
Valencian Modernism is delayed and consequently influenced by many different tendencies, such as Art Noveau, Secession, Florale, imitating European architecture. Some artists found in Valencia advantageous conditions for their modern ideas. The building of palaces and mansions was very frequent during this period.
The wish to be modern had a big influence from Europe, France, Italy, and Germany… In the Modernism route we have to include The North Train Station, the Central Market and the Colon Market.
The Most Modern
and Present City
Valencia is a city with a lot of contrasts, from the Muslim heritage until the most modern buidings such as the America´s Cup Port.
We propose you a tour in order to discover the most modern and avant-garde architecture that we can be found nowadays in Valencia.
The America’s Cup port
To house the 32nd AC, the city designed an ambitious project that includes the buildings and news spaces as well as the restauration of the old buildings to adapt them to the new use during the 32nd AC.
The External platform is one of the most important projects. It is formed by two shelter docks of 2 Km long. They form the mouth of the entrance and give the possibility to tie up 700 ships between north and south docks. There are also 60.000 m2 for vehicles and bikes and new areas for pedestrians and cars parking.
Veles e Vents building is an innovative project developed by David Chipperfield and Simón Vàzquez. The simbiosis of two architects give us the chance to observe the preparation and exit of ships at the beginning of every race. It is situated on top of a on a canal and that is why it allows a privileged perspective.
The America´s Cup is considered the oldest trophy in the world. Valencia has been the first European city to host this competition, which will take place again in Valencia during the next edition.
(We can take a catamaran at the port to make a tour around the AC Port)
The City of Arts, and Science
CAC is a huge complex for the dissemination of science and culture. Its main aim is to promote knowledge, sciences and respect for nature; all in a unique architectural environment.
The project, the work of architects Santiago Calatrava and Felix Candela, competes with what has been a stunning transformation of the old Turia riverbed. Following the catastrophic floods in 1957, the river was diverted to the south of the city and in its previous course, now dry; a 10 Km long park was built stretching across the centre of the city. It is here that the 350.000m2 of CAC was erected with a longitudine axis of some 1,800 m on the right hand side of the final section of the old riverbed.
It was opened to the pubic in 1998, with the opening of The Hemispheric.
The Hemispheric is a spectacular eye, open to science, to the cosmos and to the beauty of stars. A suprising building of 14,000 m2, designed by the Valencian architect Santiago Calatrava in the form a giant eye surrounded by two huge lakes.
The Science Museum is not only an emblematic and futuristic shell, again the work of Santiago calatrava, but also a project to adopt a particular philosophy. The impressive work that resembles a giant skeleton or petrifid forest has enormous 40m high windows and covers a total area of 42,000 m2, 30,000 of which can be used for all sorts of exhibitions.
The Science Museum first opened its doors in 2000 with one of the basic characteristic of interactive science museum of this kind, the freedom to touch, which allows not only the manual but also the intellectual and emotional interation of the public. For this reason, the museum rules are “not to touch, not to think and not to feel is forbidden”.
The Humbracle is a spectacular garden area of more than 17500 m2 that serves as a belvedere, from which one can gaze the buildings, lakes, walks and gardens that make up the complex.
The Palau de les Arts, the opera house, was the latest part in the gradual opening of the CAC to the public. It is a majestic building with 75m high and covering 40.000m2.
The Oceanografic is an area dedicated to the understanding of nature and the marine world. It is a project that brings the science of the sea to the public with a message of environmental conservation. It was conceived as a natural park, a centre for science, education and research, helping to save protected fauna and flora. The complex enables the visitor to make an underwater trip around the globe. The Oceanografic opened its doors in 2002.
Valencia at night
It is a panoramic sightseeing (at the Valencia’s moon) to know the best illuminated places in Valencia…such as the City Hall square, where the illumination is so good that give us a prominence to architectural diversity…
The elegance of Peace Street, is so good illuminated that the mansions don not look real…the quatrocento mentality is reflectd on the city wall gates, as Serranos and Quart…
The mosaics which cover the City of Arts and Science buildings -to sum up- give a special and magic view of the city that is worth enjoying.
Lying to the south of the city of Valencia, the Albufera freshwater lagoon is one of the most important nature areas in the land of Valencia.
A slim strip of costalline protects it from the sea, and on this strip of the land, sand dunes have formed, there is a curious Mediterranean pine forest growing in sandy soil with rich slirubbery. This area is pastureland. Three canals (two natural ones and the third is man made), connect the lagoon and the surrounding wetland with the sea, and each has its own characteristic flora and fauna. La Albufera is an important stopover point for migratory birds and nesting area for resident’s birds.
Excursions to the
We also offer an excursion around the region with the possibility to taste the typical local gastronomy.
· Sagunto and Puig Monastery.
· Monastery of the Valldigna and Gandia.
· The Caves of San Jose in the Vall d’Uixó