Valencia this morning

First stop was the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, with the Post Office and City Hall squaring up across the square. Nice ironwork on the top of both, but the Post Office edged it with its allegorical females driving a train and steering a boat.

Past some impressive brickwork, and then to the busy Mercado Central. Steel, glass, ceramics, decoration everywhere, and delicious food on every stall. Civic pride at its finest.

It was begun in 1914 and looks back to the steel structures of the 19th century; it’s interesting to compare it to its contemporaries: Leeds market (similar) and Stuttgart (Jugendstil and reinforced concrete).

Next came Roman, Visigoth and Moorish Valencia – all in the one museum, since successive invaders had each built on top of the other. At the lowest level were the Roman baths and the road to Rome itself:

Then a quick look in the cathedral before lunch. The most impressive things were a Goya painting of St Francis Borgia (yes, that family) driving out demons, and the alabaster windows of the octagonal tower. Given that the outside of the cathedral is such a mishmash of shapes and architectural styles, it was impossible for me to reconcile the shape of the interior with the exterior.


I guess that in high summer the diffused light from the alabaster is preferable to brilliant sunlight coming in through the windows.

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