Valencia. AlexTar travelog

Valencia. AlexTar travelog

Show Video

It’s one of those destinations that never disappoints. The city offers 300 days of sun per year with an average temperature of almost 18ºC. The perfect climate to discover the city, while walking under blue skies and stopping now and again at a sunny terrace. Founded in 138 B.C. by the Romans, it’s an overlap of Roman, Visigothic, Muslim and Medieval cultures.

Hello, travelers! Today we are discovering Valencia. It’s a capital of the autonomous community of Valencia and the third-largest city in Spain after Madrid and Barcelona, surpassing   800,000 inhabitants in the municipality. The city is situated on the banks of the Turia river, on the east coast of the Iberian Peninsula, fronting the Gulf of Valencia on the Mediterranean Sea. Its historic centre is one of the largest in Spain. Now, let’s explore this new destination. The heart of Valencia is the most popular part among tourists. Its Old town once was surrounded with huge walls and people could entre only through gates. One of them is The Torres de Quart.

It’s one of the two fortified gates of the medieval wall of Valencia that still remain standing. It’s located at the intersection of Guillén de Castro Street with Quart Street. They represent a good example of late Gothic military constructions. The gates were known as the Torres de la Cal (The Limestone Towers), since the limestone that came into the city had to come in through these gates. The back of the towers was opened to allow a view of the inside.

It was the women´s prison for some time. The Quart Towers played a vital part in stopping Napoleon's troops in 1808 during the tar of Independence against the French.  The scars left on the towers by cannon balls can still be seen today. Nowadays, one of the modern gates to Valencia is Nord railway station. The building is one of

the main works of the Valencian Art Nouveau and was declared Good of Cultural Heritage in 1987. It stands next to a bullring Plaza de Toros de Valencia. It was built in the  neoclassical style, inspired by civil Roman architecture such as the Colosseum in Rome. From here the city’s guests can go down Avenida Marques De Sotelo which leads to Town Hall Square. Its

significant feature is Art Deco and Modernisme styles of architecture. They’re not typical Valencian constructions but more classical European. And it’s a popular shopping area too. The most remarkable place here is Town Hall of Valencia. This majestic building in Valencia's

city centre boasts an impressive clock tower. The building's two annExes are joined and comprise the older 18th century “Teaching House” and a more recent 20th century construction which includes the facade onto the plaza outside. The City Hall buildings are fascinating to visit, with grand marble staircase, municipal archives, a museum and administrative offices for the city of Valencia.

The square in front of City Hall - Plaza del Ayuntamiento - closes to traffic on the last Sunday of each month, so people can enjoy a stroll, markets and other special events. The fountain here had several water features and lit up at night, which is why it was known as "the luminous fountain». Valencia is decorated with hundreds of beautiful churches and cathedrals.

Church of San Martín and San Antonio was built in the 14th century in Gothic Valencian  and Baroque styles, its antiquity dating back to the time of the conquest of the city of Valencia. In a few meters from it there is the National Museum of Ceramics and Decorative Arts. The palace, originally a Gothic building, was fully reshaped to Baroque in the mid-18th century, Nowadays, as the result of several later remodelings, it combines mainly Rococo, Neoclassical and Oriental style. The main entry is crowned by a statue of the Virgin Mary from which two streams of water cascade, symbolizing the Jucar and the Turia rivers. And this is a heart of Valencia - Plaza de la Virgen. It sits on the site that once was

the forum of Roman Valencia. It is surrounded by impressive buildings and home to lots of pigeons. In the centre of the square is a fabulous fountain which represents the irrigation of the Turia River surrounded by eight female figures, naked and with headdresses of Valencian farmers, who represent the eight main ditches that irrigate the Vega de Valencia. The Basilica of the Forsaken is the second most important religious structure in Valencia and one of the earliest Baroque buildings in all Spain. It was built in 17th century on the site of a Roman temple. Constructed in traditional Spanish style with a typical blue tiled dome, the

Basilica is host to the hugely revered statue of Virgen of the Forsaken – the patron saint of Valencia. Depicted with a lily in one hand, her other hand holds the baby Jesus who bears the cross in his arms. During meses the entrance is free. Directly in the heart of old town stands the magnificent Cathedral of Valecia or Saint Mary’s Cathedral. The remarkable 13th century church was erected on the site of an 8th century mosque after the Reconquista; the mosque itself stood on the ruins of a much earlier Roman temple.

It contains Romanesque, French Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Neoclassical elements. If you enjoy panoramic views, there is nothing better than climbing the  Miguelete tower. You will need to climb 207 steps, but the effort is worth it, since you will get the best panoramic views of the city. The cathedral can also be visited for free while meses.

The cathedral contains numerous 15th-century paintings, some by local artists, others by artists from Rome. A purported Holy Chalice, believed by many to be the true Holy Grail, is kept in one of the cathedral's chapels. Another of the Cathedral's treasures is the Renaissance frescoes of the main altar, which were rediscovered ten years ago by removing the Baroque vault that covered them. Following the perimeter of the Cathedral, at the entrance to Carrer Barcella, there is an arch that connects the Palau Arquebisbal with the Cathedral. On one   side of the arch is a Roman tombstone used as a measure of wheat (Barxilla) in the Middle Ages. One more arch (Passage Emili Maria Aparicio Olmos) on the opposite side connects the Cathedral with the Basilica.

On Plaza de la Virgen there is a small garden with benches in shadow of trees and a drinking fountain. So, it’s a nice place to hide from hot sun. On the opposite side of the square, it’s another garden - Parc de la Mare de Déu. It’s surrounded with a fence and is more quiet although located next to the central square. This place is even better to hide from the sun on the  fragrant trees of tangerine and flowers. The Lonja de la Seda is a principal tourist attraction in the city. During subsequent centuries, La Lonja functioned as a silk exchange. The honesty of its traders

is honored by the inscription that runs around the main contract hall. The UNESCO considered it as a World Heritage Site in 1996 since "the site is of outstanding universal value as it is a wholly exceptional example of a secular building in late Gothic style”. Santa Catalina Church is one of the oldest in Valencia. It was built in the early 13th century at the site of a prior mosque. A large part of the building was rebuilt in the 16th century after being destroyed by a fire. The inside of the church is very ornate and shows some of the best

religious art in the city. Much of the church construction was due to King Jaime I. The eighteenth-century Baroque tower housing the belfry is possibly the most notable element, standing out from the rest of the building. The church is composed of three naves   with side chapels, crosspiece domes and the apse which includes a chapel. Near the church you can see the narrowest building in Europe - La Estrecha. It’s only 107 cm wide. It’s easy to miss! Valencia was and is a very popular shopping area. There are many malls, shops and markets where tourists can find and buy Spanish souvenirs. One of them is Plaça Redona.

Or you can choose to go to find the biggest one - Central Market. It’s a public market. The Central Market of Valencia is one of the largest in Europe with a predominantly Valencian Art Nouveau style. Its unusual roof comprises original domes and sloping sections at different heights, while the interior seems to be lined in a range of materials such as iron, wood, ceramics and polychromed tiles. Most vendors sell food items, although souvenir shops and restaurants

are located inside the market as well. It is a popular location for tourists and locals alike. Serranos Towers is another of the twelve gates that formed part of the ancient city wall, the Christian Wall. It was built in Valencian Gothic style at the end of the 14th century. Its name is probably due to its location in the northeast of the old city centre, making it the entry point for the royal road. It is an important landmark and one of the best-preserved monuments of Valencia. It was the main entrance to the city, and it was originally

built with a defensive function. For 300 years the towers were used as a prison for nobles. From the gate a pedestrian Serrans bridge crosses the old riverbed Turia, which crossed the city from west to east to its mouth into the sea. The river formerly ran through the center of Valencia but was diverted south of the city to prevent flooding. The old riverbed is now a verdant sunken park that allows cyclists and pedestrians to traverse much of the city without the use of roads. The park, called the 'Garden of the Turia' boasts numerous ponds, paths, fountains, flowers, football

pitches, cafés, artworks, climbing walls, an athletics track, a zen garden and more. The many bridges overhead carry traffic across the park. Marking the park's eastern extreme is Valencia's neo-futuristic architectural and cultural complex, the City of Arts and Sciences. It is the most important modern tourist destination

in the city and one of the 12 Treasures of Spain. Designed by Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela. Surrounded by attractive streams and pools of water, it and the surrounding areas of the "city" are typically used as a relaxing place to walk day or night, with an open-air bar during the evening.

Queen Sofía Palace of the Arts is an opera house, performing arts centre, and urban landmark designed by Santiago Calatrava to anchor the northwest end of the City of Arts and Sciences. The building rises 14 stories above ground and includes three stories below ground. Its height is 75 metres (246 ft), being the tallest opera house in the world. Under the metallic, expansive curved-roof structure   building contains four auditoriums: Main Hall, The Auditorium, Aula Magistral, Martí i Soler Theatre. The Hemisfèric, also known as the planetarium or the "eye of knowledge", is the centerpiece of the City of Arts and Sciences. It’s an IMAX Cinema, planetarium and laserium. It was the first building

completed in 1998. Its design resembles an eyelid that opens to access the surrounding water pool. The bottom of the pool is glass, creating the illusion of the eye as a whole. There is a remarkable echo in the building and if two people stand at the two opposite pillars inside of the eye they can speak with each other.

L'Umbracle, is a sculpture garden and landscaped walk with plant species indigenous to Valencia (such as rockrose, lentisca, romero, honeysuckle, bougainvillea and palm trees). It harbors in its interior The Walk of the Sculptures, an outdoor art gallery with sculptures from contemporary artists. The plants in the garden were carefully picked to change colour with the seasons.

It is a rather peculiar place since the garden is covered by some arcades 18 meters high that form a transparent roof. The cosy garden of l'Umbracle is also a fantastic viewpoint where you can relax with stunning views of the buildings of the City of Arts and Sciences. Prince Philip Science Museum is an important visitor attraction here. It’s an interactive museum of science that resembles the skeleton of a whale. The building's architecture is known for its geometry, structure, use of materials, and its design around nature. This is the great 21st-century science museum for getting to know in a didactic, interactive, and entertaining way everything to do with life, science, and technology. The method used by the Museum

consists of a huge variety of seasonal exhibitions and scientific activities of all kinds to arouse the visitor’s curiosity on new technologies and scientific advancements so as generate a pleasant learning process in which the visitor always takes an active part. Also there are 2 more complex buildings of art and science like The Oceanographic and The Agora. Talking about transportation here, I would say it’s very comfortable and modern. At the same time I didn’t like the fact that in a ticket machine one can buy only a single ticket for subway. But in the ticket offices or in some shops they’re sold for all kinds of transport  and any number of trips. Ticket offices work only on big stations. And the shops are closed in early

mornings and on Sundays. Single ticket costs €2.50 (€ 1.50 + € 1 CARD). If you buy more trips at once, each trip will cost less. So I recommend buying a Bonometro card with 10 journeys within 1 central area on all kinds of transport for €11 (€ 9 + € 2 CARD). It saves time and money. Except buses and subway, there are trams in Valencia. Remember to validate your ticket before getting on board.

Otherwise, you will be fined. Only buses or trams can take straight to the seaside of Valencia. I like trams the most because they are less crowded and have a soft couch on the back side. The beach in Valencia is located far away from the city center. La Malvarrosa beach is the most famous and best-known of all the beaches in Valencia and has inspired great artists. It got its name when it was transformed from a swampy area into a hollyhock flower plantation in the middle of the 19th century. In the past, the beach was crossed by a famous tram, which has

now been modernized. Its width, fine golden sand, and easy access from anywhere in the city make it one of the most popular beaches for locals. It offers all the services for the bathers you can imagine: sunshades and deck chairs for hire, refreshment kiosks... And it is best suited for visitors with

reduced mobility because it takes you from the promenade directly to the water. The range of outdoor activities is unrivalled: fitness courses, cross-fit and everything else you could wish for. It also has a marked-out channel section for surfing, paddle surfing, windsurfing, canoeing. Volleyball fans can rent one of the many courts available on the town sports field. And when you are finished, all the restaurants and entertainment you could wish for await you on the promenade. I was lucky to see this city in different weather conditions: under the hot sun, at night and in rainy day. The city becomes even more charming at night. The rain transforms ordinary roads into

shiny mirror with reflections of churches, ancient walls and pedestrians hiding from the drops. I spent 2 wonderful days in Valencia. And I think it’s absolutely enough to explore the ancient city center as well as the modern museums and art galleries. But the city always has something to show on next visits. I’m sure I’ll be back here again. What do you think of Valencia? What city do you enjoy the most in Spain? Hope to know your impressions in comments below. Remember to subscribe and turn on notifications about new videos, because I want to discover the whole world together.

2021-11-11 00:24

Show Video

Other news