- Most of us know Valencia is a beautiful city on the Mediterranean coast with a nice and warm weather almost all year long. Paella, oranges, Fallas and La Tomatina are part of its well-deserved fame. But Valencia is much more than that. Discover five things you might not know about Valencia.
El Patriarca: one of the best libraries on European Renaissance
- This magnificent museum goes unnoticed by most visitors and even locals walking through Valencia. Its facade resembles a church and lacks decoration, but we should not judge a book by its cover, a visit to this almost 500 years old seminary school take us back in time and will definitely surprise you. It treasures one of the largest libraries on European Renaissance and a large collection of paintings including painters such as Joan of Joanes, Ribalta, Morales and El Greco.
Serrano Towers: a small part of the Museo del Prado
- Valencia was an important medieval town surrounded by walls to protect its inhabitants. Today the remains of the Christian walls are just a few, since the wall was demolished in 1865 to carry out a project to expand the city and improve its health standards. From the 12 gates of the wall, only two remained: the Quart Towers and the Serrano Towers. The latter was one of the places where artworks from the Museo del Prado were kept to prevent them from being destroyed during the Civil War. To do this, the inside of the towers were specifically set up to resist -and protect the works- in case of bombing.
Paseo de Ruzafa: Broadway in Valencia
- Today this pleasant pedestrian street can just remind the splendor of the 50s. The so-called Broadway of Valencia -by the amount of lighting and vaudeville- is a quiet street with all kind of stores and nothing outstanding. Long gone are the days of those cafés opened until late in the night with a vibrant atmosphere.
Valencia and its oranges: fame
- Orange has been the major source of income in the Valencian Community for over two centuries. Despite the name, the world-renowned Valencia orange is not a native orange to our land. Valencia has been growing these oranges with a great success since the 14th century. The Valencia orange variety is perfect for juice and is the most famous and cultivated orange in the world.
Palacio del Real: destroyed by Spanish troops 200 years ago
- Valencia had a sumptuous palace expanded over the years which at its peak had 300 rooms. Also known as the Palace of the 300 keys this was the residence of Muslim rulers during the Taifas and in Christian times became the residence of the kings of Aragon, the Habsburgs and the Bourbons. Since the royal seat was not in Valencia the Palacio del Real was only used when the kings were in town. In 1810 the palace was destroyed by Spanish troops during the War of Independence to prevent the building from being taken by Napoleonic troops who could use it as a stronghold from which to attack the city. Nowadays we can barely see the remains of its foundations at the Jardines del Real.