Weave your way into Plaza Redonda for a spot of lace shopping or to view the stalls of delicate embroidery and you’d be hard pushed to imagine this as the bustling fish market it once was.
The ‘Round Square’ has a long history of trade. It was built in 1840 by Salvador Escrig and was the place for local families to come and buy their fish and meat. One of the inlets to the square is called ‘Street of fish’. It is traditionally known as ‘el clot’ which means ‘the hole’. The unusual design and evocative names for it make it one of Valencia’s most unique tourist attractions.
A recent revamp includes a circular covering, creating a cool environment for shoppers to come and enjoy the shade, the history and the ancient fountain at its centre – a perfect spot for sitting in the sun.
Restored in 2012, this space has become one of the city’s most enchanting spots. Surrounded by traditional craft shops and tapas bars at street level, you can also browse the small stalls that sell lace, embroidery, fabrics and Valencian souvenirs, as well as ceramics and household items in the nearby streets.
If you stand by the fountain in the centre you can take in the new and beautiful view of the late Baroque bell tower of Santa Catalina, which stands over the three stories of the round building framing the square. On the ground, there is a quote by the Valencian writer Vicente Blasco Ibanez who mentions the location in his novel Arroz y Tartana.
Once you step inside, you won’t realise you are just a stone’s throw from some of the busiest streets and monuments of Valencia, especially when the knitting circle is in full swing. Most mornings, a group of women gather here to knit and to teach others who would like to learn the craft. The balconies from the three stories of homes above the Round Square shops are decorated with window boxes and typical shutters.
Whether you plan to take your knitting needles, buy some authentic Spanish lace for a craft project or just want to soak up the history, Plaza Redonda is well worth a visit.