This fascinating museum is housed in a new building by the Sevillian architect Guillermo Vázquez Consuegra, one of the best examples of contemporary architecture in Valencia. Inside, impressive exhibits are dedicated to a decisive period of Valencian history that began in the 18th Century and that helps viewers understand how we have come to see the world and be in it.
The origins of the Church of Saint Nicolas can be traced back to the 13th Century from where begins the long and eventful history of this religious site. The church, as it stands today, is a blend of two distinct architectural styles - the Gothic and the Baroque. From the outside, the church features a simple, understated design that is typical of 15th-century, Gothic architecture. Inside, the church is a visual feast, adorned from floor to ceiling in colorful Baroque frescoes that date back to the 17th Century. The Church of Saint Nicholas is a veritable treasure trove of ecclesiastical art and one of Valencia's most popular attractions. Stop by and enjoy a glimpse into the life of the church's patron saint, chronicled in artistic detail across the walls and ceiling of this historic site.
The stunning white avant-garde building is quite a site to see from afar. Designed and engineered by Santiago Calatrava, a Valencia native this building is truly worth a visit even if you do not plan to catch a show or performance. Reminiscent of the Sydney opera house, the building was meant to look like a ship. Here you can see mostly classical music performances and opera, and stupendous performances have been hosted here in the past, involving stalwarts such as Zubin Mehta and Placido Domingo.
One of the only two gates to have survived the destruction of the historic city walls in 1865, the Torres de Serranos impress with their sheer enormity and grandeur of scale. Constructed between 1392 and 1398, this massive gateway served as the main entrance to the city and proved to be a fitting choice for ceremonial functions despite the fact that it was originally conceived of as nothing more than an imposing addition to the city's defenses. Designed by Pere Balaguer, the gateway was built upon a remarkable Gothic design, with ornamentations and embellishments that have withstood the test of time. From 1586 to 1887, the Torres de Serranos was re-purposed as a prison for nobility, and has been variously used ever since. Today, the monumental gateway is a popular attraction, is pinnacle affording those who brave the climb fantastic views of the city of Valencia. Composed of a pair of pentagonal towers with a common gallery and architectural nuances galore, the Torres de Serranos is still central to social life in Valencia, and is noted as the host of the opening ceremony of the Fallas each year.
An imposing Gothic masterpiece, the Cathedral of Valencia consists of three naves, a polygonal apse and monumental dome. Construction began in 1262 and finished in 1702, though before it was a cathedral, it was the site of a mosque and a Roman temple. The cathedral's three doors reflect the mixture of styles: the Palau (palace) door is archaic Romanesque mixed with primitive Gothic; the Door of the Apostles is pure Gothic, and the Hierros Door is Baroque. Every Thursday at midday, the Door of the Apostles is the site of the oldest tribunal in all of Europe, the Tribunal de las Aguas (Water Court), which resolves the conflicts arising over the use of water in the nearby fields. Another outstanding feature is the Gothic bell tower, known as the Miguelete, whose 207-step stairway takes you up to some of the best views over the city. The cathedral also houses the Catedralicio Diocesano Museum and the Santo Cáliz Chapel.
The first of its kind in Spain, this totally white futuristic cityscape made up of enormous modern buildings is the work of famous local architect Santiago Calatrava. You'll find it in the Túria River Bed. Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias complex spreads out over 350,000 square meters (86.4 acres) and consists of four different structures but related sections: the Arts Centre, Science Museum, planetarium and Ocean Park. Each of these are must-visit spots for tourists.
The Tinglado 2 is the latest addition to the open air event spaces in Valencia. Located right beside the Clock Building, the venue was the brain-child of Quiet Mundosenti 2Music. Primarily, the venue plays host to contemporary concerts, bringing to stage some of the best local talent. The venue is quickly gaining fame, and has become quite a popular base for local artists to showcase their talents at.
Situated in the square which bears the same name, you will find the Ayuntamiento de Valencia (Valencia Town Hall), a key point of reference for visitors and inhabitants equally. Built in an eclectic style, it is home to the daily hectic movements of officialdom. It is also the best seat in the house, as it were, to watch the most characteristic events of the city, such as the daily mascletá (daylight fireworks) during the week of the Fallas festival. The Ayuntamiento was built in the 18th century. Inside there is an elegant marble staircase, a ballroom and the council meeting room. The City History Museum can also be found under the roof of this noble building.
Valencia may be the third-largest city in Spain, but it remains an incredibly liveable place that grooves to a beat of its own. The city lies along the southeastern coast of Spain, where the River Turia empties into the Mediterranean Sea. There are some truly superb beaches, but Valencia is best known for its City of Arts and Sciences, an ultra-modern complex of buildings designed by Santiago Calatrava; all sinuous curves, glimmering glass and soaring angles. This collection of museums, theaters and more lie along the spectacular stretch of green that winds its way through the city, marking the original course of the river before it was diverted to prevent flooding. Alongside these contemporary marvels, the city also boasts an impressive collection of Modernist architecture and a vast old quarter with an astonishing array of churches, forts and palaces embellished with elaborate designs. The Valencia Cathedral, in particular, is an awe-inspiring sight. Valencia's culinary traditions are a worthy match for its extensive architectural cache, with the bustling Central Market at its epicenter. Here, locals and visitors gather to shop for fresh produce, seafood and cured meats sourced from the fertile hinterland. While there's a fabulous variety of restaurants to choose from, Valencia is best known for its local rice specialties, especially paella. A city that casually straddles the line between tradition and modernity, Valencia is wondrous.
The Plaza del Ayuntamiento is a point of reference to start any trip around the city of Valencia. It is especially interesting as the starting-off point for a tour through the old quarter or a busy shopping spree along some of the most important nearby shopping districts in the city. The palatial Ayuntamiento (Town Hall) building dominates the square, and its bells chime out the time to passers-by. Surrounding the plaza are other buildings from Valencia's golden age, such as the Correos building (the main post office). In the center of the plaza, a fountain spurts water, surrounded by flower stalls with all the colors, sizes, varieties (and prices) imaginable. On sunny days the plaza is filled with people out for a stroll, and during the "Fallas" festival, a swarm of people meets up here every day at two o'clock for the "Mascleta", when kilo upon kilo of firecrackers are set off.
This small hall located right in the centre of Valencia, in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, belongs to a chain of theatres owned by the Valencian government. It is situated in the same building as the Sala Rialto. Because of its small size, its possibilities are limited, therefore it specializes in avant-garde productions. It is used mostly by Valencian theatre groups who put on experimental performances with unique staging arrangements, although on occasion you'll find vanguard groups from other places. It also serves as a cinema where they show new or never-seen cultural films. The entrance fee and schedule change according to the production.