Archaeological Crypt of the Prison of San Vicente Mártir
The Archaeological Crypt of the Prison of San Vicente Mártir is located in Plaza del Arqueobispo, 3, in front of the City Museum and a few steps from the Cathedral.
In it you can see a multimedia audiovisual that explains the history of the building. The audiovisual passes are made in three alternative languages: Spanish, Valencian and English, and are combined with free visits in which you can appreciate in detail the archaeological remains.
The Visigothic building corresponds to a funerary chapel built in the sixth century to house the mortal remains of a prelate.
It is built with a mixed ashlar (reused) and masonry factory, paying special attention to the exterior finish, in which mortar is used to mark the ashlars. The building was covered with a barrel vault and there is a possibility that it had a second floor. At the foot of the nave, arcosoliums were built to counteract the thrusts of the roof, probably used as chapels to arrange sarcophagi.
The transept is separated from the nave and chancel by a double line of chancels, made of finely carved limestone and supported by marble bars. In the centre of the transept was found a grave and, inside, the mortal remains of a male individual of mature age. From the position of the bones and their characteristics it was concluded that it was a seconded burial, that is, that the body was buried in another place and later unearthed and moved to this grave. On the outside of the building, at each corner, there are cist tombs built with large stone sashes.
This building was part of the episcopal complex, also consisting of the cathedral, the wedge, a church next to it, a possible baptistery and another twin chapel to the one studied, as well as an extensive necropolis. It is very likely that our building was connected to the cathedral. The SIAM, the municipal department of archaeology dependent on the Historical Heritage Service, began the archaeological excavation in this place in 1989, on the occasion of the demolition of the building that surrounded the so-called Prison of San Vicente.
In the lower levels of the excavation the Kardo maximus, an extension of the Via Augusta within the city, was found. Likewise, several structures of a domus facing this street were excavated, highlighting the appearance of a mural painting with an effigy of the god Mercury.
Above the road was found a cruciform building, dating from Visigothic times. Later it was discovered that it was a funerary chapel built to house the remains of a prelate, which would form part of the episcopal complex, probably as an annex to the cathedral. Its state of conservation was excellent and even one side of the transept retained the roof.
The interior space of the chapel was divided into different rooms by means of railings. Throughout the excavation process it was concluded that these had been built in Islamic times to transform the building into palace baths. At the beginning of the eleventh century this phase was amortized, throwing earth and debris into the construction. In the depreciation levels a huge amount of decorated and undecorated ceramics were found, as well as two splendid bronze pitchers, a decorated ostrich egg, and a lunch dated 1007-1008.
- Tuesday to Saturday: from 10am to 2pm and from 3pm to 7pm.
- Sundays and public holidays: from 10 am to 2 pm.
- Monday: CLOSED.
The Crypt will be closed on: 1 and 6 January, 1 May and 25 December
Single ticket: € 2 / Sundays and holidays: Free
Reduced rate. Price: 1 euro.
- Groups (> 10 people).
- Students of formal training.
- People over 65 and pensioners.
- Members of large and single-parent families.
- Carnet Jove holders or similar issued by authorised Spanish or European institutions.
The visit will be free on May 18 (International Museum Day)
They will also enjoy the free rate:
- Under sixteen years of age.
- Social esc groups that accredit it.
Olars with his teacher.
- People legally unemployed.
- Duly accredited teaching staff.
- Professionals from the following entities, with accreditation:
- Academy of Fine Arts and Sciences
- Association of Cultural Managers
- Association of Art Critics
- Official guides with accreditation issued by the Ministry of Tourism.
- People with disabilities, duly accredited, as well as the person accompanying them, provided that this is essential for them to make their visit.
- People at risk of exclusion
- Valencia Card, Valencia Cruise Card and Discount Card holders.
Plaza del Arqueobispo, 1