Barrio del Carmen: living history
This thousand-year-old city neighbourhood grew between two walls, the Muslim and the Christian
This emblematic neighbourhood is situated in the city’s old quarter, the Ciutat Vella, and takes its name from the Carmen Calzado convent, the church and adjacent square. It is, for all intents and purposes, the authentic historical centre of Valencia. Although it was once enclosed by the Muslim wall, it is now the Serranos and Quart Towers that represent the city’s most iconic medieval remains. As visitors pass through these gates, they enter a labyrinth of narrow cobbled streets hiding myriad secrets.
Streets including Roteros and Corona descend from the old suburbs. In the heart of the neighbourhood visitors will find the beautiful Portal de la Valldigna, the impressive frescoes of San Nicolás Church, the centennial Plaza del Árbol and the tiny Casa de los Gatos (House of Cats), as well as long-standing businesses boasting centuries of history. Barrio del Carmen is also bohemian territory, rich in street art and home to cutting-edge museums including the IVAM, the Carmen Centre and the Beneficencia Cultural Centre.
The streets are filled with life whatever the time of day. Pay a morning visit to the famous Mossén Sorell Market, which offers a wide range of gourmet produce. As the day goes on and the outdoor seating terraces fill with people, why not join them in enjoying some typical tapas and eating a great paella? When night falls, the busy pubs and restaurants surrounding Plaza del Tossal are the place to be. Barrio del Carmen represents a living history of Valencia and its people, but is also very relevant to the way of life here today.