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Viveros – Blasco Ibáñez – Faculties

Viveros - Blasco IbáñezAvenida Blasco Ibáñez is an urban road stretching some 3km, connecting the Jardines del Real (Viveros) with the area of Cabanyal. Previously known as the Passage of the Sea, it is one of the most famous streets in Valencia. Traffic travels both ways along this wide street, divided by a series of gardens. Trees in the gardens and along the pavements offer a characteristic aspect. Bicycle lanes running along both pavements make it possible to cycle the entirety of the road.

Blasco Ibáñez is one of the most emblematic roads in Valencia. It is convenient way to travel from the centre to the sea, and viceversa. Many of the University of Valencia faculty buildings are also located on either side of the road. The quantity of trees give the street a colour that many others in Valencia lack.

The Jardines del Real, a rectangular park with ornamental gardens, statues, ponds, and trees of over a hundred years old, is also known as Viveros. The gardens originate back to the 11th century under Moorish domination. A ‘Real’ is an orchard or Arabic garden which includes some form of construction, such as a space for leisure, that would have been used by the oligarchy. King Abd al-Aziz ordered that a large recreational plot with huge gardens of trees and flowers be built on the outskirts of the city to be enjoyed by the nobility. Due to its immense size and beauty, the plot became known as the ‘Palace of Real’ and was the government headquarters since the 11th century, until its destruction at the start of the 19th century: that’s to say, the Palace has been used by the kings of Valencia (Balansiya), those of the Crown of Aragón, the kings of Austria, and the Bourbons. Another proof of its grandeur is the nickname under which it has become known: the Palace of 300 keys, alluding to the number of rooms. It was demolished when protecting the city of Valencia from the French in 1810. Although the city had resisted the invasion of the French army in 1808, official history dictates that the Palace was destroyed by Valencia itself in order to ensure that Napoleon did not get there first. In spite of all their efforts, the strategy was of little help.

Viveros - Blasco IbáñezLocated next to the Jardines del Real is the San Pío V Gallery of Fine Art, one of the most important art galleries in Spain. Its collection of Gothic works from the 14th and 15th centuries are of particular notability, although its most famous works include a self-portrait by Velázquez, Virgen con el Niño y donante by Pinturicchio, and El Balancín by Francisco de Goya.

Avenida Blasco Ibáñez stretches from Viveros to the sea. It was named in 1980, after one of the most noteworthy Valencian writers in history: Vicente Blasco Ibáñez. A journalist and politician as well as a writer, Blasco Ibáñez portrayed Valencian lifestyle and idiosyncrasies in his novels. The street’s previous name, Walkway from Valencia to the Sea, came from the route that it follows. Built over the old Camí del Cabanyal, it goes from Viveros to the neighbourhood of Cabanyal, a small fishing village that was joined on to the city in 1897.

Avenida Blasco Ibáñez is recognised by its flower gardens. From Viveros until the junction with Avenida de Aragón, it is a street filled with life. The faculty buildings on each side of the road mean that the area is constantly buzzing with students. In this area, the garden plots are spacious; ideal for going for a run, taking a walk, or just relaxing for a minute or two. Although there are no restaurants on the Avenida itself, a great number and variety are located in the surrounding blocks. The Facultats metro station is found in this section, providing excellent transport links to the city centre. The Monforte Gardens are found just off Avenida Blasco Ibáñez, very close to the aforementioned Jardines del Real and they may be smaller than the Viveros, but they are no less beautiful. They are triangular in shape and neoclassical design, built in the 19th century, and contain an abundance of ponds, fountains, 33 marble statues, and architectural wonders. They are enhanced by a floral walkway and a small mansion.

Viveros - Blasco IbáñezThe second section covers the junction at Avenida Aragón to the roundabout that connects Avenidas Manuel Candela and Ramón Llull. This area is mainly residential and Avenida Blasco Ibáñez is a little wider at this part, with a smaller garden to make way for a parking zone. A large number of students live in buildings in this area as it is extremely convenient for both of the large Valencian universities. The area also includes two prestigious schools; one on each side of Blasco Ibáñez. There are many bars, pubs and restaurants located within Aldredor de la Plaza Xúquer and Calle Polo y Peirolón in which to grab a drink or a bite to eat. It is clear to see that this is an area with all the necessary services, and with bus stops, metro stations (Amistat and Aragón), and trams (Universitat Politècnica y La Carrasca).

The last section of Blasco Ibáñez was the most recently constructed and therefore the newest. Spanning from the roundabout that connects Avenida Manuel Candela and Ramón Llull, up to the Cabanyal train station at the end of the avenue. The central gardens in this section have widened again, as at the beginning of the street. Like the previous section, this area of Blasco Ibáñez has a lot going on during the day, and has a large selection of restaurants and bars. It is well linked with buses, metro, and trams, and it is closest area to the sea. The pretty Ayora Garden is found at the end of Blasco Ibáñez. This design of this park does not belong to any particular era, and is accompanied by a small, modern-style palace that was build in 1900. It is 17,000 m² in size and boasts springs, sculptures, and all types of vegetation; from imposing trees to delicate flower arrangements. For your information, the small, adjacent palace is used nowadays as a nursery school.

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