Decorated with a symmetrical grid of orange trees, the Plaza del Patriarca is home to a couple of Valencia's most historic buildings: the Real Colegio Seminario del Corpus Christi and La Nau, both of which date from the 15th century.
A thousand years ago, a formidable set of walls protected Valencia from marauders and invading armies, and anyone hoping to gain access to the city had to pass through one of its twelve monumental gates. Today, the medieval walls have disappeared, but two gates remain: the Torres de Serranos to the north, and the Torres de Quart to the west.
As Valencia's first family of art, the Benlliures left an indelible mark on the city's cultural landscape, around the turn of the 20th century. We visited their former home on Calle Blanquerias, which has been converted into a museum dedicated to the family and their astounding artistic output.
There's more than one major concert venue in the Turia park. About a kilometer away from the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia, Valencia's futuristic egg-shaped opera house, you'll find the Palau de la Música. Built in 1987, the Palau focuses on classical music. It's prized for its acoustics, and attracts orchestras and famous musicians from around the world.
The neighborhood of El Carmen takes its name from the massive, ancient convent around which it was built. Today, the monks are long gone, but the Convento del Carmen has found a renewed purpose as one of the city's premiere cultural spaces.
Valencia doesn't get a lot of time to recover from Fallas before the next big holiday rears its pointy head. Easter Week is celebrated throughout the city, but the main events happen in the city's beachfront districts. The Semana Santa Marinera fills the streets of Cabanyal with processions, Jesus statues, flying flowers, marching bands, and brotherhoods in scary hoods.
Vicente Blasco-Ibáñez is easily the most important literary figure in modern Valencian history. As well as author of several classic novels, he was a world traveler, newspaper editor, and political firebrand, as famous for his controversial rhetoric as for his stormy love affairs. His chalet on Malvarrosa Beach has today been converted into a museum, dedicated to his life and works.
Despite its location in the center of Valencia, most people stroll right past the Palau de Cervelló without ever registering its presence. But don't miss out. Built in the 17th century for the Counts of Cervelló, this is the city's most important surviving palace.
Nowhere is the ancient history of Valencia more palpable than at L'Almoina: a former archaeological site which has been converted into a museum. Found next to the cathedral, L'Almoina takes visitors on a walk underneath the ground, and back through time.
Before cobbling together our concise history of the city, we decided to refresh our knowledge at the Valencian History Museum. Housed inside an old cistern, this museum takes visitors on a comprehensive tour from the days of the Romans to Francisco Franco.