Exploring Valencia’s Architectural Jewel: Free Guided Tours of Lonja de la Seda Tower

Embark on a cultural odyssey through Valencia as the Council for Cultural Action opens the doors to the historic Lonja de la Seda tower, offering free guided tours in celebration of the World Heritage Day. 

Valencia, a city steeped in cultural richness, invites citizens on a journey through time with free guided tours of the iconic Lonja de la Seda tower, courtesy of the Council for Cultural Action, Heritage, and Cultural Resources. Commemorating World Heritage Day on November 16, these tours, led by authorized guides, promise an immersive exploration of the historical-artistic monument that has stood as a symbol of Valencia’s heritage since 1931.

Starting from Thursday until June 2024, visitors can partake in these complimentary tours three days a week—Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday—unveiling the captivating tales encapsulated within the Lonja de la Seda. The tours, lasting approximately 30 minutes, provide a unique opportunity to delve into the architectural marvel that holds the distinction of being the only Valencian monument declared a World Heritage Site in 1996.

To participate in these enlightening tours, enthusiasts must secure a prior appointment by calling 695 500 290. Operating from Monday to Friday between 9 am and 6 pm, the telephone service accepts up to four registrations per call. The tours, conducted in Spanish, Valencian, and English, offer a diverse linguistic experience for a broader audience. Registered participants are requested to present themselves at the Llotja reception ten minutes before the scheduled entry time.

In celebration of World Heritage Day on November 16, the Lonja de la Seda will host five special tours, enhancing the opportunity for more individuals to explore its historical wonders. These additional tours will commence at 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 4 p.m., allowing an extended celebration of Valencia’s rich cultural heritage.

The Lonja de la Seda, or Valencia Silk Exchange, stands as a testament to the city’s architectural prowess, with its roots embedded in the Valencian Gothic style. Recognized as a masterpiece, UNESCO honored it with World Heritage status in 1996. Nestled in Plaza del Mercado, facing the Church of Santos Juanes and the Central Market of Valencia, the Lonja de la Seda continues to captivate visitors, making it a prominent attraction in the city’s historic center.

Designed by Francesc Baldomar, the original project of the Lonja de la Seda took shape between 1470-1471. Following Baldomar’s death in 1476, his disciples Joan Ivarra and Pere Compte undertook the task of completing the project, adhering to the magnificent plans envisioned by the master architect. 

Modeled after the Palma de Mallorca Market, the Lonja de la Seda emerged as an emblem of Valencia’s Golden Age, showcasing the prosperity of the 15th century, the commercial revolution during the Late Middle Ages, and the social development and prestige achieved by the Valencian bourgeoisie.

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This unique architectural gem, with its columnar hall, tower, Consolat del Mar pavilion, and the patio of the orange trees, narrates a tale of Valencia’s cultural evolution. 

The tower, a distinctive element of the Lonja de la Seda, offers a mesmerizing view of the cityscape, including the vaults of the Central Market and the façade of the church of Sant Joan del Mercat.

As Valencia extends an invitation to explore the Lonja de la Seda, these guided tours promise to unravel the layers of history, architecture, and cultural significance embedded within this World Heritage site. A journey through time awaits those who seek to immerse themselves in the allure of Valencia’s architectural jewel.

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