So, things I have learned today. Valencia’s built history goes back to Roman times. It had another heyday in the fifteenth century, during the second half of which the Lonja – silk exchange hall – was built in the Spanish Gothic style. Its barley-twist columns are quite stunning, and it does a nice line in battling gargoyles in an attempt to keep the devil at bay (or, at least, to keep pests off the mulberry trees). The stone carving is lovely and just seems to flow in ornament for the fun of it. The Gothic style lasted longer on the edges of Europe – like Spain and Britain. When this was being built, Italy and France had already moved on to the Renaissance.
The cathedral of St Maria spans a number of centuries and styles. The Romanesque doorway – which survived the Moorish conquest – still looks new.
There was another economic boom at the end of the nineteenth century, when the Art Nouveau houses were built. Most – but not these ones – are outside the heart of the city:
I still can’t get over how decorative the whole is. I keep catching sight of vistas I want to capture.