Valencia, located on the Mediterranean Sea, attracts many tourists. It is interesting to wander around the bustling Old Town, where the small streets are located magnificent medieval buildings. One of them, the Lonja de la Seda (“silk exchange”), is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. But no less majestic are the modern attractions of Valencia, such as the City of Arts and Sciences. You can relax by exploring the city in one of the magnificent shady parks or lie on a sandy beach. So, what are the most interesting sights in Valencia?
City of Arts and Sciences
It is impossible to embrace at one glance this fascinating ensemble of ultramodern structures surrounded by parks, streams and swimming pools. Its construction began in the mid-90s and ended in 2005. These giant buildings contain cultural centers, a planetarium and an IMAX cinema. You can also see the botanical collection of local plants here.
In 2003, the City of Arts and Sciences opened an ultramodern oceanarium, which contains 500 different species of marine life. The aquarium consists of ten zones, each of which represents a specific environment. For example, in the Arctic aquarium you can see how white whales swim. Other aquariums have sand tiger sharks and dolphins. There is also a place for walruses and sea lions.
Lonja de la Seda
This majestic building of the late XV century is a UNESCO site and is considered a masterpiece of Valencian Gothic architecture. It is the best monument of the Golden Age of Valencia when the city was one of the main centers of trade and culture in Europe. The name Lonja de la Seda means “Silk Exchange”. Here met traders from all over the Mediterranean to make deals. Inside the building, in its main hall (Hall of contracts), you can see elegant columns and an incredible vaulted ceiling.
Cathedral of Valencia
The Solemn Gothic Cathedral of Valencia was erected in the XIII-XIV centuries, but during the next few centuries Renaissance, Baroque and Neoclassical changes were made. Inside the cathedral are paintings of the Renaissance period of the XV century. There are also several paintings from Rome, created on the order of Pope Alexander VI. But the most exciting part of the cathedral is the chapel of the Holy Bowl. At the altar, there is a bowl called the Holy Grail, which was used by Jesus for communion before his crucifixion. Archaeologists believe that this agate bowl is made between IV century BC and I century AD.
Bell Tower of El Miguellete
Construction of the Gothic octagonal bell tower of the cathedral was started in 1381 and lasted almost 50 years. At first, the bell tower stood apart from the cathedral, but the outhouses in the late 1400s united the two buildings. If you climb 207 steps to the top, you can see the famous Miguel bell, cast in 1432. It weighs more than 10 tons. In addition, from here you can enjoy a magnificent view of the city!