Having a chance to visit Valencia, Spain, after spending two days working, i didn't waste time so much lying in bed at the hotel. I somehow knew that this city has big cathedral in it, and that was the first keyword i typed on the search bar. I love gothic architecture, and i know the cathedral would appear in either gothic, baroque, or renaissance style. And i was right, this city has good cathedral named Saint Mary's Cathedral (in Spanish: Iglesia Catedral-Basílica Metropolitana de la Asunción de Nuestra Señora de Valencia). Here we go.
SAINT MARY'S CATHEDRAL
Fig. A: The entrance gate
Historically speaking, this cathedral was built between the 13th century and the 15th century, and before it was built, a mosque is located exactly on the same place. So after the Christian conquest of the city (1238), the mosque was knocked down, and then the cathedral was built in its place.
Fig. B: The view from the inside
You need to pay attention to this cathedral's visiting hours, since this cathedral is sometimes closed on sundays and public holidays. The look will be no different than other cathedral in Europe, but somehow this cathedral has a mixture of Gothic, Baroque, Renaissance, and even Neoclassical style, since it's construction went on for centuries.
Fig. C: Another view from the inside
The picture below is The Door of The Irons, due to the cast-iron fence that surrounds it. It is the part of the cathedral you would see when you get out of the building. I wasn't interested in the irons gate, but I starred at the sculpture on the wall above the gate. It was meticulously carved in Baroque style.
Fig. D: The Door of The Irons
Well, that was all I could tell you about the cathedral. For you who’s interested in the history of the cathedral before visiting it, you could simply see it’s Wikipedia page. And when you’re already there, you could have audio guide that comes free with the entrance price as you stroll around its intricate and impressive interior.
THE NATIONAL CERAMICS MUSEUM GONZALEZ MARTI
Another place you must see in Valencia, only 10 minutes walking from the cathedral, is The National Ceramics Museum Gonzalez Marti (In Spanish: Museo Nacional de Cerámica y de las Artes Suntuarias González Martí). I was thinking that this was a kind of a museum showing many tiles with different patterns. But when I saw the entrance gate, I knew it was worth visiting.
Fig. E: The Entrance Gate
The unbelievable baroque entrance to the museum never fails to impress the bypasser. The palace dates from XV century. It was actually a Gothic house, a home to a Valencian family - the Marquis de Dos Aguas. In 1740, it was redecorated in Baroque style by Hipolito Rovira, and here we see the entrance gate in baroque style. In 1949 the house was acquired by the Ministry of Education to house the collection of ceramics donated by Dr. Gonzalez Marti.
Fig. F: The Entrance Gate, a closer look
The first big thing you’ll see is not a ceramic. It is a surprisingly a golden chariot! I was not into the history of the chariot at that time, but the look of it was so amazing. Carved in complicated curves, while everything was still at its place (not including the horse, for sure).
Fig. G: The Golden Chariot
On it’s side, you can see the painting covering the chariot’s door and body. This reminds me to the beautiful Fabergé Egg, jeweled eggs that were carved from a foundation of gold, intended to be given as Easter Egg Gift to the Russian Tsar.
Fig. H: The painting on the Golden Chariot
Fig. I: Another closer look of The Golden Chariot
This museum houses a large collection of ceramics from prehistoric times to Islamic samples and some of modern works. You can find porcelain art work, artistic clock, modern sculpture, and even a fully equipped typical Valencian kitchen made 100% of ceramics from top to bottom. Here are some of the collections.
Fig. J: Artistic Porcelain Clock
Fig. K: Porcelain Artwork
Fig. L: Sculpture of Ancient Bullfighting Festival
Fig. M: Porcelain Flamingo Lady
Fig. N: I don't know who the girl is in this artwork
Fig. O: Another crazy clock artwork
On the other floor, you will find the luxurious grandeur rooms in its original Gothic style, and some other rooms are decorated in a way so that it will bring you back into the age of salons, orientalism and ballroom dancing. The last room I spent quite much time was the mirror room. It is not a room where every single part of the wall is covered with mirror, but it is a room where big mirrors are being used to complete the gothic decoration, and big windows allows the sunshine flood in from balcony.
Fig. P: The Salon
Fig. Q: The Mirror Room
Fig. R: The Mirror Room
Fig. S: The Mirror Room
If you read my previous blog about a 200 year-old guitar, those two guitars are located in this museum too.
That's all Folks. Don't forget to pay attention to the visiting hour of the museum and the cathedral before paying a visit. See ya on my next blog post, Valencia and It's Modern Architecture.