The city of Valencia is the capital of the “Comunidad Valenciana” and the province of Valencia. It is located in the middle-east of Spain, on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea. The city is considered the third largest city of the Spanish State, according to its population rate, 1.500.000 inhabitants.
The province of Valencia has an area of approximately 10,807 km². Inland, you can find mountainous areas whilst on the coast the land is completely flat, and has many beaches as well as La Albufera, the largest lake in Spain and one of the most important wetland areas in the Iberian Peninsula.
Valencia was founded in the year 138 B.C by the Romans, who established their Forum in the Plaza de la Almoina, under which lies today a museum of Roman ruins. After the Romans, the Visigoths arrived in Valencia but in 714, the Muslims established control of the city, a situation that lasted until 1238 when King Jaime I of Valencia ousted them. The Arabs left a profound legacy with their irrigation systems, recipes and artistic influences that are relevant and noticeable right up to the present day.
Valencia is a Mediterranean city that invites one and all to enjoy its diversity and unforgettable charisma. It is a city of contrasts, proud of its illustrious, deep rooted history whilst being at the cutting edge of all the latest social and technological developments. It is city open to all, accessible to everyone, it is a city which can be enjoyed by all residents and visitors alike.
Valencia is a city for encounters and contrasts. The legacy left by the cultures and civilisations which have reached these shores in the past still remains alive in the city's monuments and streets, not to mention in its people's hearts. Business and trade coexist with leisure and culture. Valencia is a city that never sleeps. It has a rich cultural life with festivals, concerts, shows and exhibitions all year round.
A city like this can be enjoyed with all five senses. Dialogues flow smoothly, ideas float back and forth easily, lines of communication are always open and people feel at their ease. Valencia invites you to indulge your passion for the art of encounters.
Valencia enjoys a mild temperate Mediterranean climate. The average annual temperature is 17ºC with warm summers and very mild winters, rarely below 10ºC. There is only light rainfall mainly in autumn and the beginning of spring.
Valencia is a city with a great cultural interest where one can find ancient monuments such as its Cathedral, El Palacio de la Generalitat, El Miguelete, La Lonja, Torres de Serranos, Torres de Quart, the Central Market, along with many other historical places like Plaza Redonda (The Round Square), Plaza del Ayuntamiento (City Hall Square) and the Old city…
Cathedral of Valencia
Built starting in 1262 on an ancient mosque, raised at the same time on a very old Roman temple, it mixes Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque features. The museum contains a chalice recognised by the Vatican as possibly the original Holy Grail. See paintings by Goya and other major artists, then trudge up the Micalet belltower for sweeping city views.
Basílica de la Virgen de los Desamparados
Baroque church dedicated to the city’s patron saint. It was constructed in the 17th century and hosts some interesting frescoes by Palomino.
The Virgin’s Square
Opposite the Basilica de la Virgen de los Desamparados and the Door of the Apostles of the Cathedral, La Plaza de la Virgen spans, with a large area full of pigeons that flutter around, oblivious to their role as eternal witnesses of time passing. A bronze fountain stands out. It pays tribute to the creativity of the Valencian personality, represents the Turia river in human form, surrounded by its tributaries. This allegory made fountain is a “monument to water”, and at the same time an inevitable decoration for thousands of pictures taken by many visitors who pass by throughout the year.
Every Thursday, the gothic Puerta de los Apóstoles (the Door of the Apostles) becomes the setting for The Tribunal de Las Aguas (Water Tribunal) keeping alive a one thousand year old tradition. The Water Tribunal is the only legislative structure established by King Jaime I which still functions. They sit in a circle on wood and leather 17th century chairs, and make their rulings. Efficient and quintessentially Valencian, the Tribunal de las Aguas meets in front of an interested public which often includes young university students as well as tourists.
Located not so far from the Cathedral, it was built on the 14th century to store wheat. Interesting paintings inspired in popular engravings can be seen on the walls of the main area.
The old shipyards and warehouse are a magnificent sample of civil gothic architecture and they are located close to the harbour. They were built to bring the craft manufacturing, repairing and storehouse, consequently they played an important role in the maritime boom occurred in Valencia during the Middle-Age. This 14th century building was initially built by the ruling Moors and is now used as a Maritime Museum and hall for temporary exhibitions.
The Silk Exchange
La Lonja de la Seda is a late Valencian Gothic style civil building in Valencia, Spain, built in the 16th century and one of the principal tourist attractions in the city. 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, which dramatically illustrates the power and wealth of one of the great Mediterranean mercantile cities."
La Plaza Redonda
Constructed in 1840, the Plaza Redonda (Round Square) is one of Valencia’s most unique tourist attractions due to its peculiar design. Restored in 2012, this space has become one of the city’s most enchanting spots. Surrounded by traditional craft shops and tapas bars at street level, you can also browse the small stalls that sell lace, embroidery, fabrics and Valencian souvenirs, among other things. You can reach the square on foot via four streets that converge together to form an area which is welcoming and full of light. If you stand by the fountain in the centre, you can take in a new and beautiful view of the Late Baroque bell tower of Santa Catalina, which stands over the three stories of the round building.
One of the biggest markets in Europe, this market is situated inside a jewel of pre-modernista architecture. The ceramic covered partitions along with the stone, wood, and the colourful glasswork make the building an excellent example of the modernist architecture of the time. Experience the aromas of the Valencian orchards and market gardens, savour Mediterranean produce and enjoy home-grown gastronomy.
The Turia river flowed around the city until the 1950s when it was diverted after flooding. The river bed has now been transformed into a park, where locals walk, run, skateboard and ride bikes.
The City of Arts and Sciences, 21st century emblem of the Valencian Community, is designated as a fun a leisure space aiming to influence the scientific, technical, educational and leisure, tourist, economical and commercial urban fields. It is a unique place in the world to enjoy yourself with Art, Science and Nature.
The City of Arts and Sciences is situated next to the old bed of the river Turia, in the area between the Saler highway and the Moreras road; with a surface of 350.000 m². It has five great areas:
This is a landscaped viewpoint covering an area of more than 17,500 square metres, from which to view all the buildings, ponds, paths, and landscaped areas of the complex. Nature, sky, and water form an original architectural whole of gentle and delicate beauty in the Umbracle
This is the largest aquarium in Europe, with the capacity to house 45,000 living creatures from 500 different species. The planet's main marine ecosystems are represented here.
Its avant-garde architecture, the layout of the different aquaria and its scientific, recreational, and educational objectives bring the marine world to the public, raising awareness about protection of its flora and fauna. It serves, moreover, as a platform for scientific research.
The Hemisfèric is a unique and spectacular building. It represents a great human eye: the eye of wisdom. It symbolises looking and observing the world, which visitors can explore through stunning audiovisual projections. It has an ovoid roof more than 100 metres in length, and contains a great sphere that houses the projection room. A 24,000 square metre pond surrounds this structure, making the whole area one of amazing beauty.
It has the largest screen room in Spain, housing two projection systems in a concave screen covering more than 900 square metres.
Príncipe Felipe Science Museum
This great 21st century museum allows visitors to learn about the evolution of life, science, and technology in an educational, interactive and enjoyable way. It is surrounded by 13,500 square metres of water curtains. A building of grand proportions that is home to a multitude of activities and initiatives related to the evolution of life and the dissemination of scientific and technological information.
Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía
The grandeur of its architecture, together with its comprehensive technological facilities, make it a world landmark for the most prestigious circuits of theatre, opera, and musicals. Its Main Room has capacity for more than 1,400 spectators. Designed as an opera venue but easily converted into a stage for ballet and other performing arts. The building has facilities for teaching and other arts and culture-related activities. It also has landscaped greenspace covering 87,000 square metres.
The Juan Carlos I Royal Marina is one of the city’s most important landmarks, not only due to the events that are held there, but also due to its unique buildings. It houses the 19th Century Harbour Sheds, the Edificio del Reloj and the Veles e Vents building, the emblem of the new Marina. There are also shops, terraces and restaurants with spectacular views, as well as a children’s park, the Superyachts Berthing with its amazing yachts, and the North and South Marinas, filled with numerous boats.
Just a few metres away are the beaches of El Cabanyal (Las Arenas) and La Malvarrosa, next to the attractive Paseo Marítimo promenade. In the Valencian Region there are 485 kilometres of coastline. Beaches of all kinds can be found from very long straight beaches to those in small coves or inlets. The sand is fine and golden and, on some beaches you can find fine, clean gravel. All beaches have a splendid climate and light. We suggest you try a delicious paella in one of the seafront restaurants, or have a drink in one of the bars. For those who prefer a wilder kind of beach, we recommend El Saler, next to the Albufera Natural Park.
Valencia is home to numerous cultural activities. You can find theatre plays of different types. In the city, there are theatres such as: El Centro Dramático de la Generalitat Valenciana, la Sala Escalante, el Teatro Principal, el Teatre del Micalet, el Teatro Olympia, el Teatro Talia, etc.
The Palau de la Música offers classical music concerts regularly during the year. Once a year, the Certamen Internacional de Bandas de Música is held, this Festival keeps a great tradition alive all around the Valencian Province.
Pop-rock music concerts are also organised, where a large variety of Spanish and International artists perform their live music. Art lovers ought to visit museums or a large number of art galleries where temporary exhibitions are held, of which there is a large number in the city.
Valencia has more than 45 museums where you can enjoy art, history, culture and architecture. Don’t forget to pay a visit to the main museums in the old town. You can take in the 18th century Baroque architecture of the Ceramics Museum (located next to Marqués de Dos Aguas Palace), contemplate works by Sorolla, Goya and Zuloaga at the San Pío V Museum of Fine Arts or discover the contemporary art on display at the IVAM and the MUVIM.
Valencian people are outgoing, generous and love street parties. The basic ingredients of
Valencian parties and festivals are light, gunpowder, fireworks, parades, music, etc.
Fallas is our Valencian main festival. It takes place once a year from the 12th to the 19th of March. There is a rich explosion of colours, noise and gunpowder smell. Artistic monuments called fallas, plenty of colours and satire, are all around the city. Music and people dressed with typical costumes parade through the streets. Magnificent fireworks, together with Mascletás (daytime fireworks displays) and the flowers' gift to the Virgen de los Desamparados are important events. Hot chocolate with bunyols (a typical kind of cake) are typical of this festival. On the 19th of March, all the fallas are burnt, and the experience is unforgettable.
For further information just visit the following link: fallas.comunitatvalenciana.com