Originally built in 1238, shortly after the Reconquista, the Iglesia Catedral-Basílica Metropolitana de la Asunción de Nuestra Señora de Valencia is the religious center of the Comunidad Valenciana. It’s located in the heart of the capital, sandwiched between the city’s two most important plazas: La Reina and La Virgen.
On the second Sunday of May, Valencia celebrates its patroness, the Virgen de los Desamparados (Our Lady of the Forsaken), with a lethargic and low-key event. Subdued worshipers calmly line the Plaza de la Virgen, offering whispered prayers and privately reflecting on their faith as their beloved icon passes quietly by. (Are you detecting any sarcasm, here? Because I’m laying it on pretty thick.)