To get a first impression of the city we will begin at the Serrano Towers (Torres de Serrano), one of the main entrance gates to the medieval city and site of the old Roman river port.
Climbing to the top of these fortified towers we get a privileged view and can begin to understand the urban development of the historical centre, within the old city walls. There are still remains of this inner city, such as the medieval Torres de Quart or the Hispano-Muslim trellis gates in the Plaza de Angel and the gallery of the Plaza del Tossal
Plaza de Almoina
Out history tour leads us directly to the Plaza de Almoina, where we can rediscover the Roman origins of Valentia thanks to the excavations which have taken place and which show us a great part of our Roman heritage, which can now be viewed in a huge glass cabinet. This site, which marks the foundation and creation and the first urban planning based on a central core ( cardo and decumano),is a compulsory reference point when considering the economic, religious and social centre of the old Valencia. The successions of different civilizations have left their marks with the creation of Roman temples, the old Visigothic cathedral and the main mosque of the Islamic era, which is now the site of the Gothic cathedral.
This great Episcopal city centre is an emblem of the Christian conquest and one of the most interesting examples of Gothic temples in the city, next to the church of Santa Catalina. Other buildings which chronicle the city’s history are to be found a few metres away, such as the building of the Generalitat, a royal institution of medieval origin, or the Almudi, an old warehouse for Valencia’s wheat supply and which now houses a museum.
La calle Caballeros
To finish our trip through Valencia’s past, let us go down calle Caballers, one of the basic centres of residential urbanism, defined by its palaces and the area of trade associations grouped around the plaza de Redona. Here, the names of the alleys harp back to former trades, (cobbler’s, tannery, clog-makers) and which were centred around the Silk Exchange (La lonja de la Seda), the architectural jewel of Valencian Gothic and emblematic of Mediterranean trade and commerce. Directly opposite, we find another place which shows the perpetuation of the city’s deep-rooted customs, the Central Market,(Mercado Central) a place to buy and sell which has existed since Hispano-Muslim times and which is now centred in one great, modernist building and forms an essential part of any visit..