Guided tour "Valencia, a Boulevard of Sculptures"
Guided tour "Valencia, a Boulevard of Sculptures"
- 2-hour tour of spacious avenues, squares and monumental sculptures.
- Discover art nouveau buildings that share space with neo-Mudéjar, neo-Byzantine and neo-baroque architecture.
- Enjoy exploring gardens and seek out the historical figures who reside there.
- The tour is led by an official tourist guide.
- 15% discount with purchase of the València Tourist Card.
We begin in Ayuntamiento Square:
Did you know that Valencia has an extremely well-preserved art nouveau heritage? It is in such fine shape because its buildings are still used today, lending the city an incredible flavour.
Valencia is one of those cities where with every step you take, you come across a spot or a building that is so well integrated it appears to have emerged from the space naturally.
The fact is, following the demolition of the Christian walls in 1865, the Valencia we see on this tour was transformed as art nouveau seized the reins of its architecture. During this period, institutions made the decision to allocate large sums of money to public works and making them beautiful.
If you’d like to see the result, come learn the stories behind its grand yet peaceful avenues and sculptures. But careful! This tour will win you over with the charms of Valencia and its light.
Your guide will be waiting at the Ayuntamiento Square Tourist Office. It is just next to the main entrance of the City Hall. Look around, because you’ll be very close to the statue of Francesc de Vinatea, the first on the tour.
Beyond this sculpture, Valencia’s Ayuntamiento Square has muuuuuch to see. In addition to buildings such as Correos y Telégrafos (Post Office) and the Ateneo Mercantil (a cultural association), whose architecture will immediately catch your eye, this is the setting for the famous Mascletà, a loud fireworks display which is set off every 1st to 19th March at the shout of ‘Senyor pirotècnic, pot començar la mascletà’ (‘Mr Pyrotechnician, the Mascletà may begin’) by the Fallera Mayor (Queen of the Fallas Festival).
Second stop: Xàtiva Street
Not far away, just 300 metres, with the art nouveau Norte Station ahead, we come to Xàtiva Street. Don't get distracted, have a good look at the station. The façade is pure Valencian art nouveau.
Keeping it company is the monumental Plaza de Toros (Bullring), in the neoclassical style inspired by a Roman amphitheatre. Have you seen the Roman Colosseum? You get the general idea.
In front of one of its gates is the figure honouring the Valencian banderillero Manolo Montoliu. The guide will explain why it is there and his tragic story.
Prepare yourself, because this spot has become a popular meeting place for many Valencians and is incredibly lively. There is more foot traffic than cars.
Third stop: Gran Vía Marqués del Turia
A short walk will take you to Gran Vía Marqués del Turia. This is where you will find those art nouveau buildings we mentioned, including Casa Ortega and Casa Chapa.
Don't expect the typical wide street with endless lanes and dreadful traffic. Gran Vía Marqués del Turia is a large avenue, but the boulevard has a landscaped central reservation with extremely tall palms and hundred-year-old trees. The traffic on either side is a secondary character.
Right at the start of the city’s Gran Vía par excellence (we have other streets of that name, but when you say ‘the Gran Vía’, everyone knows you mean this one) is the sculpture titled Homenaje al Labrador Valenciano (Homage to Valencia’s Farmworkers). The figure has a fountain in front in a small pool. In summer, just walking past it is very refreshing.
Continuing on, we come to the monument dedicated to the poet Teodoro Llorente. Note the size of the rubber plants nearby, and especially the streetlamps in the gardens. They are a delight.
Fourth stop: Cánovas del Castillo Square
We have now come to Cánovas del Castillo Square. This square and its surrounding area are an excellent place to have a bite to eat or a drink at dusk. The atmosphere is incredible.
That being said, moving on ... The square has an elliptical shape, and in the centre is the fountain monument to the Marquis de Campo, by Mariano Benlliure. The guide will share the story of the person behind the figure of Don José Campo Pérez, a personality who gave much of himself in his time.
While you're there, also be sure to notice Casa Chapa, one of the art nouveau buildings we mentioned earlier. From there, you can see the real thing, really and truly, and it’s worth stopping a moment to have a look.
Fifth stop: Porta de la Mar Square
We leave the Gran Vía behind at Porta de la Mar Square. Now then, as your guide will explain, this sort of triumphal arch is a bit controversial. No spoilers, but this has something to do with the Franco dictatorship.
Regardless, the fact is that this monumental structure is hard to ignore, given its size and because it faces Colón Street, the commercial hub of Valencia.
Sixth stop: Glorieta Gardens
And so, we come to our final stop. The Glorieta Gardens date from the early 19th century and contain all the elements of what at the time it was felt a public garden should have: large trees, fountains and sculptures all around.
Inside, you will find statues of every size and shape hidden amongst the groves: busts of notable Valencian figures, monumental benches, and fountains with sculptures in the style of Bernini.
This is where you will bid farewell to your guide, having fallen irretrievably in love with Valencia.
Don't say we didn't warn you. How about it?
Itinerary: Plaza del Ayuntamiento – Calle Játiva – Gran Vía Marqués del Turia – Plaza Cánovas del Castillo – Plaza Porta de la Mar – Jardines de la Glorieta
Languages: Bilingual (Spanish / English).
Starting point: Tourist Information office Town Hall Square. Plaza del Ayuntamiento, 1.
Schedule: Saturdays at 11:00am
Duration: 2 hours
GUARANTEED DEPARTURE WITH PRIOR RESERVATION.
For guided tours for groups of more than 20 people, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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>>> The organizer of this activity has implemented all the necessary hygienic measures to avoid COVID19 infections.
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Discount with Valencia Tourist Card: 15% OFF
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