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Tuesday, March 6th, 2018

Museums worth visiting (part 2)

Valencia has museums of art, history and of science as well as centres dedicated to other elements of culture, such as: silk, fire and clay, that have made the city what it is today.

Fallas Museum

We have already mentioned that Valencia is a city full of museums, with high-quality institutes focusing on different themes, from art, to history, and to science. However, we leave for later the temples dedicated to their more established cultural features, those that give them their own personality. The city is famous for worshipping fire through its great festival, the Fallas, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Silk is also part of Valencia’s history, and has been for centuries (Valencia Silk Route), and ceramics, a profession that still enjoys great prestige thanks to local artists. In order to preserve all these elements, the city has museums where they are not only protected but also admired.

Beautiful building both inside and out

Palacio del Dos Aguas

The Palacio del Marqués de Dos Aguas (The Palace of the Marquis of Dos Aguas) is very impressive both for its content and for the building itself. It is a pinnacle work of the Rococo style featuring a large alabaster gate that captures the attention of all its visitors. In addition, its interior houses the Museo Nacional de Cerámica González Martí (the National Museum of Ceramics and Decorative Arts “González Martí”, with the best artisan collection in Spain. There are not only medieval pieces from the Valencian localities of Paterna and Manises, tiles and Valencian socarrats (fired clay tiles covered with a white base and generally painted in red and black), but also models of oriental ceramics and a set that Picasso dedicated to the museum in 1954. This, together with a visit to the lounges located on the first floor, allows you to get familiar with a palatial culture and, on the ground floor, it houses a carriage exhibition. It´s a tour through the Valencian history, but also through the delicacy of a profession of artisans, or in other words, authentic artists.

Location: Poeta Querol, 2.Timetable: from Tuesday to Saturday, from 10:00 to 14:00 h. and from 16:00 a 20:00 h; Sundays and holidays from 10:00 to 14:00 h. Night visits are available during July and August

The silken thread

Colegio del Arte Mayor de la Seda
The Lonja de la Seda (The Silk Exchange) of Valencia, is a masterpiece of the civil Gothic architecture situated in the heart of the historical centre that was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1996. Having said that, the establishment most accountable for protecting the culture of this material is the Colegio del Arte Mayor de la Seda (College of High Silk Art), which from the 15th century has its own building in the Velluters neighbourhood. It is a temple where all the secrets are kept, from when Valencia was, not only a compulsory stop on the route, but a worldwide producer from the sewing factory, which is located in El Carmen neighbourhood. Currently, is it possible to visit its Hall of Fame, chapel and archive, composed of endless documents that have been kept over five centuries which allows us to better understand the Valencian economic history, closely linked to the silk.

Location: C/ Hospital, 7. Timetable: from Tuesday to Saturday, from 10.00 to 19.00 h; Monday to Sunday, from 10.00 to 15.00 h. Book an appointment for a guided tour

Fire, always fire

Museo del Ninot
The best way to get inside the Valencian idiosyncrasy will always be to go with the flow of the strength of the flame. Las Fallas is, more than a celebration, it’s a way of life. The aforementioned Valencian elements, such as the silk or the craftwork, merge together in a tradition that has been acknowledged by the Unesco. During the month of March, the streets of Valencia are bursting with monuments, and all of them are burnt. There are some exceptions, as the Museo Fallero (Fallas Museum) houses a collection comprised by the Ninot (papier-mâché figures)that each year, since 1934, has been save from fire by popular vote, in addition to posters and photographs. Art flows around this celebration, and it is necessary in order to understand the the heartbeat of the city.

Location: Plaza Monteolivete, 4. Timetable: from Tuesday to Saturday, from 10:00 to 19:00 h; Sundays and holidays, from 10:00 to 15:00 h.
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