Built between 1482 and 1548, “Lonja de la Seda” (silk market) is one of the most important and characteristic monument of Valencia and represents the golden age of this city.
The structure is divided into four differents parts: the first one is its main hall where many merchants used to negotiate buying and selling silk. Nowadays, every sunday, stamp collectors gather here to celebrate this place’s tradition.
Another part is the side wing, named “Pavilon of the Consulate”, the seat of the first marine merchant tribunal in Spain: Tribunal del Mar.
The first two floors were the main function rooms, with the upper one hosting an amazing decorated ceiling. As you can see in this picture, this ceiling still maintains the original furnishings.
Then, we have the central tower, where silk thieves or unfair traders were imprisoned till the Authority’s decision.
Once in the main room, you’ll be surpised by these huge columns and the high ceilings.
Big chandeliers light the attractive dimness inside.
Tall and imposing doors and windows decorate the thick walls.
This structure is considered one of the most brilliant examples of European civil late Gothic.
The style of the roof and columns of the main hall has a definite logic: they are supposed to represent paradise, the columns are palm trees and the ceiling represents the sky. Before the vault was blue with small stars, but a few centuries later colors were removed.
The 28 gargoyles of the Lonja, that had the task of draining water from the roof, are really strange. We can note in them satirical scenes and an eroticism even unpleasant: men covered with hair, men and women with strange faces touching their genitals.
Before entering in the building, you’ll walk through a little green garden with many orange trees and, from here, you’ll be able to observe the Lonja sorrounded by nature.
If you plan to visit Valencia, you can’t miss this beautiful place! About 1500 tourists visit it everyday! It’s very cheap and located in a central position!
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