The Silk Exchange, the most beautiful monument in Valencia

The Lonja de la Seda is the great Gothic masterpiece that we can find in the historic center of Valencia and that for many, us too, is the most beautiful building in the city.

It is also called the Lonja de los Mercaderes and was declared a World Heritage Site, forming a spectacular complex with the Central Market of Valencia and the Church of Santos Juanes.

You can take a guided tour of the Lonja de la Seda, which also includes a walk through the best things to see in Valencia.

History of the Silk Exchange

Valencia - Silk ExchangeThe history of the Lonja de la Seda dates back to the end of the 15th century, specifically to the year 1482 when its construction began, which lasted until 1548.

Since then it has witnessed the commercial transactions derived from the great prosperity that the Mediterranean city enjoyed at that time.

There, deals were made for the sale of all kinds of products of all kinds, but it was the silk trade that popularized it and gave it the name by which it is known today.

And it is that silk was the most powerful industry in Valencia until the 18th century, giving its name to a market built in the wake of the famous markets in Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca.

What to see in the Silk Exchange

Valencia - Silk Exchange - Orange Tree CourtyardThe first thing that attracts attention when we visit the Lonja de la Seda is, logically, its façade.

A large tower stands out from it, which overlooks the Plaza del Mercado, a square where the Central Market and the Church of Santos Juanes are also located.

The Lonja de la Seda Tower, which unfortunately cannot be visited, is also visible from the Patio de los Naranjos that is inside the building, a very quiet place and very well adorned with different sculptures.

Don’t miss the gargoyles on the façade either.

Valencia - Silk Exchange - Trading RoomOnce we have admired its exterior facades, we can access its interior and reach the Contracting Room, the most famous place in the building.

In this room, also known as the Column Hall, we must highlight its ceiling formed by ribbed vaults that support 8 spectacular helicoidal columns.

The Trading Hall was designed to pay tribute to commerce, considering that it represents paradise where the columns are the palm trees and the domes, which were initially painted blue with gold stars, were the sky.

Valencia - Silk Exchange - Sea ConsulateAnother important area of ​​the Lonja de la Seda is the Consulate of the Sea. It is accessed from the Patio de los Naranjos and is made up of two floors. On the lower floor different exhibitions are held and it stands out for its Renaissance ceiling.

But the most beautiful ceiling is the Golden Chamber, on the top floor, a golden ceiling that will make your eyes can not go anywhere else.

For those who do not know, the Consulate of the Sea was an institution created in 1238 where judges or consuls of commerce met to discuss commercial and maritime matters.

You can find more information on the official website of the Lonja de la Seda.

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