TREASURES OF ART AND POPULAR CULTURE
The tradition of Valencia between the sacred and the profane: monuments and Christian relics, markets and pagan celebrations to enjoy the city in all its countless facets.
What we will see
- Cathedral and Holy Chalice
- "Las Aguas" water court
- The Lonja, Central Market
- "Fallas" Museum
What we will do
- We will begin our tour of Valencia at the Cathedral, better known to Valencians as "La Seu", or "The seat", which is now the hub of religious, cultural and daily life in the city. We will admire this stunning church from outside. Construction began in 1262 in a Gothic-Cistercian style and took until the 18th century to complete, producing a wonderful blend of complementary styles.
- Every Thursday, at one of its gates, the famous "Las Aguas" water court is held, the oldest judicial institution in Europe which, because of its tribunals and irrevocable sentences, mostly settles disputes over the use and exploitation of irrigation water from the fertile plain of Valencia. The court, which originated in the Middle Ages, gathers every Thursday at midday at the chiming of the bells of the Miguelete, the cathedral's bell tower, announcing a lively and unique tradition.
- But it is inside the cathedral that the oldest relic worshipped by the Christians is carefully held: the Holy Chalice which, according to tradition, would have been the chalice used by Jesus Christ during the Last Supper.
- We will then head to the Lonja, the old silk exchange and one of the most fascinating pure Gothic-style civic buildings in history. Declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1996, the Lonja is a symbol of Valencia's wealth during the Golden Age, in around the 15th century, and the commercial and social revolution that took place in the Late Middle Ages.
- Then we will cross the road to explore the famous Central Market of Valencia, which, with an area of over 8,000 m2 and one thousand sales points, is one of the largest indoor markets in Europe.
- Glass domes, liberty-style finishing and brightly coloured tiles today provide the backdrop for the scents and colours of the stores offering products from the earth and sea in a picturesque setting.
- An abundance of tradition and biting satire is on offer at the "Fallas" Museum, where we can see genuine satirical hand-made figures created by the inhabitants of each district to be burned on the evening of 19 March, the day of the festival of Saint Joseph. We can see which ones were saved from the stake by a public vote and kept in the museum.
What you need to know
- Dress code that is appropriate for the places of worship to be visited is recommended.
- When the cathedral is being used for religious ceremonies, our tour will be limited to the exterior of the building.
- The Central Market is closed on Sundays and can only be viewed from the outside.