Impressive buildings full of history and art, ranging from the 14th century through the Belle Epoque until our times, delighted us on a beautiful day in Valencia.
Another day, new things to explore — at this point, we started to like Valencia more and more. We woke up early in the morning, filled with energy, eager to spend another day in this beautiful city and visit three of Valencia’s museums. We could hardly wait to get out of our room, roam around the locals and just inhale the energy of the city.
But first, we ate a healthy breakfast, got ready for the day and left our apartment. As always, the bus was our first choice to get quickly to the city centre. Because it was quite early, we walked to our first of the three museums we had chosen.
Museo de Bellas Artes
The Museum of Fine Arts of Valencia is situated on the opposite of Turia Park (one of the three parks we recommend visiting in Valencia), right between the bridges Trinidad and Real.
The Baroque building, in which the museum is housed, had originally been a theology university named Colleague San Pío V. It was founded in 1683 by the archbishop of Valencia, Juan Tomás de Rocabertí. Through the years, the building had also been a military academy, a charity centre, a deposit for military rations and a military hospital. In 1946, it had finally been chosen to be transformed into the Museum of Fine Arts of Valencia.
Inside the museum, you can find permanent collections of paintings from the 14th to 19th century. From time to time, the museum also houses temporary expositions. The vast majority of the museums offer consists of iconography from the 13th, 15th and 17th century; there are also works from the Renaissance. Some of the most famous paintings are from Valencia’s finest artists like Francesc Ribalta, Vicente López, Joaquín Sorolla with his well-known paintings along the cities coast line, Ignacio Pinazo Camarlench and Espinosa. There are also works from Murillo, Diego Velazquez, El Greco, Francisco Goya and many more. The museum also has famous works from Mariano Benlliure (drawings, engravings, sculptures), archaeological pieces, architectural fragments and a few examples of portable art.
If you get hungry or thirsty during your stay, visit the café in the museum. Also, take a look inside the souvenir shop in case you want to take something home with you to remember this museum.
I really liked to look at suits, dresses, accessories, even furniture from that beautiful time period.
Sadly, we didn’t take many pictures in this museum because we forgot to charge our battery the night before; so photographed what we saw in our mind and moved on to the next museum.
The entry to The Museum of Fine Arts of Valencia is free; the museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from ten o’clock in the morning until eight o’clock in the evening; it’s closed on Mondays. The visitation will take around two hours.
Museo Nacional de Cerámica y Artes Suntuarias González Martí
The ceramics of Valencia are known around the globe and this museum is the best place if you want to find out more about the history and fabrication process.
The National Museum of Ceramics and Decorative Arts González Martí is situated in The Palace of the Marquis of Dos Aguas1. This superb building from the 15th century was once owned by the Marquis. The museum was founded after the ceramic collection of Manuel González Martí had been donated. After a few renovations, the building was declared a historic monument in 1941 and bought by the state eight years later to house the ceramic collection.
Unsurprisingly, the focus in this museum is the ceramic of Valencia but also from other parts of the world. Another highlight is the beautiful interior of the palace and its furniture from long forgotten times.
- On the ground floor, you can lay your eyes on a beautiful carriage used for transportation back then.
- On the first floor, you will find the private rooms of the Marquis which are decorated with paintings and marble flooring in different colours. The living room with porcelain, ornaments, lamps and clocks is a sight to behold — everything you can see here really represents the time the Marquis lived in.
- The second floor is dedicated to the ceramics collection which is divided into multiple rooms, one of which replicates a traditional kitchen made by González Martí.
Besides the beautiful ceramic from local cities like L’Alcora, Manises and Paterna, you can also admire the superb collection of paintings, clothing and decorative objects.
The museum is open from Tuesday to Saturday from ten o’clock in the morning until two o’clock in the afternoon; it’s closed until four o’clock for siesta and opens for another four hours. In July and August, Museo Nacional de Cerámica y Artes Suntuarias González Martí is also open at night but only Saturdays from eight o’clock in the evening until midnight. The entrance fee is three Euros; if you have a Tourist Card you pay 50 percent less; Saturdays and Sundays, you can even enter the museum for free. Visiting this museum will take some time; we estimate around 90 minutes.
Las Fallas de Valencia is a unique festival that is being held yearly every March. For five days, people from and around Valencia but also tourists can experience this special festival.
A falla is a satirical figurine built from inflammable materials like cardboard, paper, styrofoam, wood and fibreglass. For many years, groups of people of every neighbourhood have built these figurines which are set on fire on the evening of Saint Joseph.
A few weeks before the figurines are displayed on the streets, they are carefully selected for an exposition; the grand price is the salvation of the figurine. Every year, two figurines are selected: One made by adults and one by children — both are added to a collection in the museum.
The museum has been open since 1971; the building, however, had served other purposes before: It was a monastery, military prison, a deposit and later a museum. After a renovation in the 1990s, it reopened in 1995. Today, the building is owned by the Fallas Committee. In 2016, it finally became an official museum of Valencia.
The big collection consists of figurines built by adults starting in 1934 and by children since 1963. There are also lots of posters and also paintings of the fallas princesses. If you want to visit this museum, it’s best to do so when you visit The City of Arts and Sciences (La Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias). The entrance fee is really cheap: only two Euros.
The opening hours are from Monday to Saturday from 9,30 o’clock in the morning until seven in the evening. Sundays and during holidays, the museum closes at three o’clock in the afternoon. Visiting will only take around 30 to 40 minutes.
- Marquis is a title of nobility superior to the Count. ↩︎