Spain Snapshots: The Lonja de la Sede, Valencia

The Llotja de Sede was once the Valencia’s major trading post, leaving behind a legacy as a great merchant city on the Mediterranean. Named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the late 1990s for its late gothic architecture and impact on commerce, the museum was crowned with gargoyles and inlaid iron and gold work.

Thanks to the wealth that Valencia once enjoyed as an important port and commercial city, the entire structure was built with no expense spared with the purpose of not only housing trade and tribunals, but also to show off the money the city brought in.

Having already been to Valencia several times each, Kelly and I beelined straight from our apartment near the Quart Towers to the Lonja, as it’s known in Castillian Spanish. After seeing where merchants once bartered and traded, we did a little but of our own shopping through Carmen’s boutiques and whimsical shops. Valencia had never really done it for me on my two previous visits – it seemed too brash with its nightlife and as if the Arts and Sciences complex had taken all the fun out of exploring the old city.

Being able to explore the grandiose halls and chapel of the Llotja and realize its impact on the city’s wealth and history made Valencia a little more humanized for me.

If you go: The Lonja de Sede is located in front of the Mercat Central in the Barrio del Carmen. The cost for non-students and non-residents is 2€, and you can visit between 1oam – 2pm and 4:30 – 8:30pm Tuesday – Saturday and from 10am – 3pm on Sundays. Plan about three-quarters of an hour to see the Great Trading Chamber, courtyard and tower.

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About Cat Gaa

As a beef-loving Chicago girl living among pigs, bullfighters, and a whole lotta canis, Cat Gaa writes about expat life in Seville, Spain. When not cavorting with adorable Spanish grandpas or struggling with Spanish prepositions, she wrangles babies at an English Language Academy and freelances with other publications, like Rough Guides and The Spain Scoop.

Comments

  1. You know, for all the Lonja de la Seda is cracked up to be—World Heritage Site, beautiful Gothic architecture, a symbol of Valencia—I was a little underwhelmed when I visited it in March. I was like, “this is it?” after I had explored everything, and was a little frustrated that the upper levels were off-limits. Still, I was REALLY wow-ed by those amazing columns inside the main hall, the columns with grooves that spiral up as if they were threads being twisted by God or something. And then they branch out or flare at the ceiling—simply fabulous. Yet another reason to visit Valencia, which is sorely overlooked by most tourists on their way from Barcelona to Granada! :(
    Trevor Huxham recently posted..An Homage to Úbeda, My Pueblo in SpainMy Profile

    • Sunshine and Siestas says:

      I don’t love Valencia, truth be told, but I really enjoyed it this time around! I thought that it was a great example of what the city had been with the Borgia influence and all.

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