Central Market (Mercado Central)
Even today, it is still a landmark when we mention town markets. It still bears the charm and colour of the old market places where the relationship between stallholder and customer is an added value factor as the tradesmen usually treat those interested in their products with kindness and professionalism.
The market is a superb, modernistic building, opened in 1928, where up to this very day, you can still find fresh vegetables from the huerta, eels from the Albufera and other local products almost exclusive to this area, making it the domestic consumer’s cathedral for quality products.
As for its decoration, the highlight is the luminosity of the ceramic tiles from the Ceramo factory and the lively colours of the stained glass partitions as well as the roof, resolved by means of innovative domes and different slanted coverings.
Colon Market (C/ Conde de Salvatierra 9)
This is one of the most emblematic, modernistic buildings in the city, which curiously enough, is neither in Colon nor is it a market. The reforms which it underwent in 2003 have transformed it into a splendid shopping and leisure centre where its metallic structure blends in with a wonderful stone, mosaic decoration.
The most outstanding quality of this place is its open structure which permits total vision, thus creating a diaphanous, transparent space. The building is considered as a national monument and is symbolic of the new amplitude of the city on the River Turia, having all those qualities to turn it into a tourist attraction.
La Plaza Redonda (Confluencia Calles Pescaderia – Vallanca – Síndico)
As its name indicates. this is a unique circular space which has undergone several changes over the years. In this square, we find one of the most charismatic places in the city, a must to visit on any tour itinerary of the centre.
Set apart from the urban development around it, access is gained via one of the small arcades that lead to the interior. In the centre, we find an original fountain from the 1850’s, surrounded by a wooden platform to increase commercial activity.
Daily, in this peculiar square, small shops full of Valencian artisan work are open and you can buy high quality porcelain and typical hand-painted fans, lace and embroidery; in all, varied and original souvenirs.
For years, its decadent looks have accompanied Valencians on their Sunday walks as it is on this day that a street market is set up around here, a multi-coloured, hurly-burly where you can buy anything from small pets to old comics as well as posters, clothes, pots and pans and assorted bric-a-brac.
Currently there are plans to recuperate this space, which is so loved by all Valencians and years of reform lie ahead to restore the square to its original splendor.
Mercado de Ruzafa (Plaza Barón de Cortes de Pallás
Of all the above -mentioned markets, this is the most typical and even today, carries out its function in the historic quarter of Ruzafa. Walking through its arches, you can see a varied selection of the finest products from the huerta of Valencia.
A great part of neighbourhood life here takes place in the street. This vibrant quarter has been revitalized in recent times as regards commerce, cultural activities and leisure, which makes it a very interesting visit, both by day and by night. There is always something new to be found in its streets
Mercado de Abastos Supply market (C/ Alberique 18)
As its name implies, this is the market which for many years, supplied the city’s retail outlets with the necessary raw materials. But not only that, for this trading activity shared the premises with administrative departments – weights and measures office, veterinary control and other uses – necessary for the smooth functioning of the city.
Over the years, this part of the market, in accord with its multi-functional nature, has been reconverted for other uses, becoming the maximum exponent of how a most singular building can respond to the needs of an ever-demanding society.
Nowadays, this building houses a secondary school and a modernistic sports centre with pools, solarium, physiotherapy clinic, library, exhibition rooms …..
In the Valencia of today, as in other cities, there are still markets with a nomadic spirit, traveling around the city, setting up their stalls once a week in the most popular quarters – Benicalap. Cabanyal, Ruzafa, Monteolivete.
The new version of the old markets are the enormous malls or shopping centres, which this city, like most other capitals, certainly has – perhaps more than are necessary.