A succinct view of the monumental heritage of Valencia expresses the naturally privileged situation of the city, constrained by two natural limits, the water and the vegetable garden. It was founded in the second century a. C. as a fortified enclosure and grew upon itself, gradually displacing the successive walls, until they were finally broken, in the middle of the 19th century, to expand to the other side of the river and towards the vegetable garden and the sea, in its transit towards a modern city.
The walled enclosure constitutes the most important Monumental Heritage of Valencia, because it houses the remains of the Roman, Islamic and Christian city.
Of the Islamic Valencia, taken by the Arabs in the 8th century, only the urban layout of the Medina is partially preserved, along with some canvases of the wall and the Admiral’s late baths. However, an important heritage of Christian Valencia has been preserved, because after the conquest of the city by James I in 1238, a rapid process of repopulation began that produced a radical change in the urban image. This period highlights the consolidation of the suburbs and the construction of a new tapinería wall (1356), later enriched by the monumental gates of Serrans (1392-1398) and Quart (1441-1460).
Regarding religious architecture, the old mosques are transformed into parish temples and the main mosque into a Cathedral, being built between the 14th and 15th centuries the Micalet, the Church of Sant Joan de l’Hospital, the Church of Sant Martí , the Old Convent of Carmen, the Convent of Santo Domingo, the Church of Santa Catalina, the Trinity, the Church of San Nicolás de Bari or the Church of San Agustín, among others.
In the 15th century, a spectacular economic and demographic growth was achieved, which was reflected in an unprecedented urban development, of which there is a flourishing civil architecture that, through mansions and large public buildings, give a new citizen image . The most important building of this period is the Llotja de la Seda or the Merchants’ Market, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and built from 1482. Also noteworthy from this period are the Palau de la Generalitat Valenciana, the Palau de Benicarló, the Almudín de Valencia, the Portal de la Valldigna, the Drassanes del Grau, the Casa de l’Almirall, the Palau de Joan de Valeriola or the Palau dels Escrivà.
Between the 14th and 17th centuries, the construction of the “Historical Bridges” that we know today took place, the oldest being that of Trinidad (1356-1402) and the most modern that of San José (1604), giving way to the Baroque, which arrived in Valencia in the 17th century, leaving evidence of its severity in several religious buildings, such as the monastery of San Miguel and the Kings. Later, the Rococo of the 18th century, will return to the interiors of religious buildings the profusion of garlands, stucco and golden algeps, creating a very colorful style, to which is added the Manises table, of great tradition in Valencia since the time medieval This artistic symbiosis can be found in the Church of Our Lady of the Pilar and in the Palace of the Marqués de Dosaigües.
From the 19th century, urban architecture left the walled enclosure and the first expansions and urban renovations, such as the demolition of the Barri de Pescadors and the opening of Carrer de la Pau, provide us with several interesting examples of modernist and rationalist private architecture that should be mentioned, such as the Xapa house or the Dragon building.
Also from the Historic Complex, the rich traditional architecture of the Horta Valenciana, derived from the traditional irrigation system, with its hydraulic structures (waterworks, mills, weirs…) and the important examples of industrial architecture, which although before they were located outside the urban core, little by little it was integrated into the city. Many of these industrial and traditional buildings, which are difficult to maintain due to the absence of profitable uses compatible with their nature, have been acquired by the City Council, which has been rehabilitating them and earmarking them for public endowments for citizens. The most emblematic ones are shown on this page, such as the old Tabacalera, the railway ships of Demetrio Ribes or the Embullas del Port, protected by the corresponding catalogs as Assets of Cultural Interest or Assets of Local Relevance.
Finally, the remains of military architecture must be highlighted, with respect to which the City Council has made a great effort of work and investment, in order to inventory them, get to know them, study them and rehabilitate them, as witnesses of the most recent past and of the experiences of the Civil War and the Dictatorship in the city of Valencia.