A Historical Tour of the Old Town
Valencia’s historical center has an amazing cultural heritage and it’s worth taking a day (or two) to visit. Whenever you have a free day or afternoon to wander around the old, windy streets and spectacular monuments, you can use this guide to help you go on a small tour by yourself!
Torres de Serranos
Our little tour starts at the Serrano Towers which, along with the Quart Towers, make up the remains of Valencia’s medieval walls which once surrounded the city (now the Old Town of Valencia). They were built between 1392 and 1398 and represented the symbol of a city in the middle of its economic expansion process. This monument was the main access to the city back in the past and it’s located in front of the Serrano Bridge, through which loads of merchants used to come to the city from different territories.
Valencia Cathedral and El Miquelet
If we keep walking straight on towards the Virgin Square, we’ll find Valencia’s Cathedral. Its construction began in 1262 and it was built above the Old Mosque of Valencia which was there from the time of the Moors. The Cathedral took several centuries to finish and, as a result, we can now observe elements of different architectural styles such as Romanic, Gothic and Baroque.
Right inside the Cathedral stands the bell tower known as El Miquelet or the Miquelet Tower. It owes its name to the 10 tonne bell called Miquel, which you can find at the top of the tower, if you dare to climb to the top! The tower is 70 meters tall and the only way to get to the top is via a narrow, spiral staircase. However, we can assure you, it’s worth it! The staircase leads to amazing views of the city of Valencia.
La Lonja de la seda
Going deeper into the historical center, we’ll come across the Silk Market, commonly known as ‘Llotja de València’ or ’Llotja de Mercaders’. This monument was built between 1482-1538 and represents the wealth and magnificence of the Valencian Golden Century (XV). It was a place for commercial exchange among merchants from all over Europe during the medieval era and was declared a World Heritage Site in 1996 by UNESCO.
In order to visit the Central Market of Valencia we just need to cross the street. Valencians used to come to this market to buy food, clothes and anything and everything they needed to live.
In the past, it was just a gathering of merchants made up of small stalls. However, the need for a proper building became obvious and that’s why we can now enjoy this Modernist-style building in the historical center of the city. Today it is no longer used for everything, but is limited to food stalls where you can find things like fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, meat, Spanish ham, local delicacies, and also some readymade dishes. There are a few places to sit down for a meal too. Drop by if you want to find fresh high-quality food or even to drink a beer and have a walk around it!
The history and culture of Spain is truly intriguing. We offer courses that can be customized to focus on specific areas like history and traditions. If this is something that interests you, find out more here.