Lonja was delared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996 for being one of
the most stunning, most important and best preserved examples of Late
Gothic architecture in entire Europe. Built in the beginning of XVI century,
La Lonja (Silk Exchange) is the real emblem of the Golden Age of Valencia
- the times when this city was one Europe's main cultural and economic
centres - and this is precisely why La Lonja was built. As such, no expense
was spared on the lavishness and luxury of the architecture here.
It is impossible to be unimpressed by La Lonja and that is why it is a
must on any travel itinerary. La Lonja is a dramatic and ingenious blend
of medieval castle mounmentalism and an exquisite sophistication of the
epoch art. It both inspires awe with its imposing glamour, and seduces
you with its elaborate playful ornaments. It is both powerful and light-hearted,
both solemn and sparkling with life.
La Lonja is composed of three parts (plus the Orange Garden - a walled
court-yard). The main hall, Sala de Contratacion (The Contract Hall) is
an enormous, lavishly decorated space supported by gorgeous twisted columns.
This was the centre of life in La Lonja, the place where the merchants
would meet, deal and sign. The side-wing is named the Pavillion of the
Consulate, and this was the seat of the Tribunal del Mar - the first merchant
tribunal to ever be formed in Spain. The first two floors were the main
function rooms, with the upper one hosting a richly decorated ceiling
- a masterpiece of medieval art which had the King ride out of the capital
just to see it. These rooms are still authentically furnished. On occasions,
the Tribunal would imprison merchants for debts in the central tower of
La Lonja - the third part of the structure.
Free guided tour (30 min,
Tue-Sat: 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 6pm, 7pm
Sun, Hols: 11.30am, 12.30pm, 1.30pm
Plus an audiovisual presentation on a screen in the Pavillion of Consulate,
explaining the architecture and history of La Lonja. Constantly restarting,
in Spanish, duration 20 min.
Pz del Mercado
10am - 2pm
4.30pm - 8.30pm
Sun+Hols: 10am - 3pm
free entry (!!)
Signs / Content:
of Central Sights
Map of Central Walks