Dades bàsiques


2 hours

Punt de partida:

Tamarit Palace

Punt de finalització:

Malferit Palace

On this route we review the rich historical and heritage legacy left by the silk trade in Valencia. Between the fourteenth and eighteenth centuries this was a very important city in the production of textiles, the most powerful industry in this period.

Since 2015, Valencia has been part of a programme of UNESCO and the World Tourism Organization for the dissemination of the cultural heritage of the Silk Road. This is the name given to trade itineraries for goods that, apart from silk, also included ceramics and other products arriving from China to Europe.

Silkworm breeding was incorporated by the Arabs into the Iberian Peninsula during the eighth century. This is how the Valencian orchard was filled with mulberry trees centuries before the orange tree dethroned them. Later, the Genoese brought the newest production techniques to Valencia and silk artisans settled in the Velluters neighbourhood, where weaving was manufactured.

Precisely in the Velluters neighborhood runs a good part of our route. Today it is called Barrio del Pilar, although popularly it is still known by its old name. This is where silk production was concentrated in Valencia. There is evidence of the existence of about 5,000 looms dedicated to this activity that employed almost half of the population of Valencia.

The neighborhood retains a certain period flavor thanks to imposing buildings such as the Tamarit Palace, an old velvet factory where one of the most important dynasties of silk masters and businessmen of the eighteenth century resided, who exported silk to the Spanish colonies. This family came to employ more than 500 people on their looms. Today this building built in the eighteenth century, the only one that remains of the Valencian silk industry, is rehabilitated as a social and cultural space.

Nearby we find the College of High Silk Art, a beautiful baroque building that housed the institution that regulated the trade and production of textiles in Valencia and that today houses the oldest and largest guild archive in Europe. Here is the Silk Museum, with several exhibition rooms that show an exquisite collection of silk fabrics and looms of the eighteenth century, as well as other utensils and samples of work, Valencian dresses, etc.

Located behind the College of High Silk Art is the Craft Center of the Valencian Community, a public entity aimed at the dissemination of local crafts. To understand the Silk Road it is also necessary to know the influence that craftsmanship has had on our territory.

In this same area we find some shops selling traditional Valencian clothing, one of the many in Valencia dedicated to the manufacture of fallera, zaragüell, torrentí dresses and other Fallas accessories. A visit to one of these shops can serve to enrich our vision of the silk phenomenon in Valencia, whose legacy is still alive thanks to our city’s local festivals. Every year, with the arrival of the Fallas, a beautiful display of Valencian silk fabrics floods the streets of Valencia.

We are heading towards one of the most impressive monuments on our route. Towards the fifteenth century, the silk trade became the main economic engine of the city, and led to an exciting commercial exchange. All this activity had its monumental expression in the construction of the Silk Exchange or merchants, as a symbol of the great mercantile splendour of that Valencia of the Golden Age.

We find it outside the Velluters neighborhood, a few minutes walk along Avda. from the West, bordering the Central Market. La Llotja is the greatest exponent of our civil Gothic, a monument recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Admiring its facades and visiting its interior are unique experiences that no visitor can miss.

If we enter the Carmen neighborhood, taking a short walk along Danses Street until it ends at Cavallers Street, we can visit the Palace of Malferit and within it the Iberian Museum of Tin Soldiers, which includes a complete room dedicated to the Silk Road.

Once off the route, visitors can go deeper and make the most of this route with other historical testimonies that they will find in some paintings of the Museum of Fine Arts Sant Píus V and in that of the Patriarch, if you look at the luxurious silk dresses of some of the protagonists of certain paintings. You will also find them in La Catedral, which has a section dedicated to the exhibition of religious clothing.

Another place worth visiting that has a selection of textiles and ceramic pieces that correspond to the Silk Road is the National Museum of Ceramics González Martí that is located in the Palace of the Marquis of Dosaigües, jewel of Baroque architecture.