City Hall of Valencia!

Ok ok please please I know its a government building but you can go inside and see it as well as a museum. It is impressive caught our attention and we went for it. Written briefly on it in my blog in the past but again, feel needs more. Therefore, here is my take on the City Hall or Ayuntamiento of the city of Valencia, Spain.

Government buildings are dull except the city halls of Europe that can be rich and ornamental sometimes former palaces and manor houses; this is no exception in Valencia where on the Plaza del Ayuntamiento (city hall square) you have a beautiful city hall building before you.  The City/town hall (Ayuntamiento)  of Valencia , and the building body of the main façade was made between the second and third decades of the  20C in a marked modernist style.

Valencia

Let me tell you more on the history I like and a description

The old City House (City/Town Hall) was located in the square that today occupies the garden of the “Palau de la Generalitat“, in the Plaza de la Virgen. In 1854, due to the dilapidated state in which it was found, it was provisionally decided to transfer it to the old Casa de la Enseñanza (Teaching House), in the current Plaza del Ayuntamiento, then Plaza de Isabel II. The building was built between 1758 and 1763 on land of the now-defunct Archicofradía de la Sangre or arch confraternity of Blood. The Casa de la Enseñanza was a teaching center for girls without resources.

The current City Hall occupies a 6,173 m2 block and has facades on four streets: the main one falls on the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, the rear one on Calle Arzobispo Mayoral , the one on the left located south on Calle Periodista Azzati and the one on the right located to the north, to the Calle de la Sangre (blood) that receives its name from the aforementioned Arch confraternity. to which various dependencies were added between the years 1901 and 1904. The area that belongs to Calle Arzobispo Mayoral and Calle de la Sangre, integrates, although with important modifications, what was the old Colegio de Enseñanza or college of education. The Real Casa de Enseñanza revolved around a three-story neoclassical Tuscan cloister courtyard. Eight spans per bay on the first two floors and twice as many windows on the third. On the corridor that surrounded the cornice of the cloister on the first floor, an iron railing formed a flown gallery; north of the cloister stood the Church of the Arch confraternity of the Blood.

The main facade is the most visible and impressive part of the reforms carried out in the Teaching House. The first stone of this façade was laid in 1906. Its current configuration gives it the appearance of a full-blown palace, with architecture with classic elements a little out of date at the time it was made. It consists of a central body crowned by the clock tower, and on each side and in perfect symmetry, a square tower, the facade with windows and balconies and at the end of it a circular tower with a dome and lantern. The building is basically made up of a ground floor and two floors, perfectly delimited by the balconies and windows that overlook the facade. In the central body we find a large stone balcony made between 1965 and 1967 that is supported by four columns.

Valencia

On the first floor and at the height of the balcony a wooden door with a semicircular arch gives access to the balcony. The square towers that flank the central body are made up of three bodies. The first body is occupied by the ground floor. A lintel door allows access to the interior. The second body is formed by a balcony at the height of the first floor and a smaller balcony window at the height of the second floor, the latter forming a semicircular arch. Both balconies are flanked by two large Corinthian columns with smooth shafts, in the lower third of which we find relief’s of sweethearts and cartouches between garlands of fruit. In the third body that stands out on the cornice, two large free-standing marble sculptures stand out, representing the four cardinal virtues “La Justicia” justice “La Prudencia” prudence “La Fortaleza” strength and “La Templanza” temperance. In the center of these figures a window with a column on each side it overlooks the square or plaza del Ayuntamiento. This body is crowned by a balustrade topped by pinnacles at the ends and in the center the stone coat of arms of the city on a split pediment. Finishing off the central body of the building is the clock tower, made up of three floors, one of them with a balcony topped by a classical pediment, the clock follows and finishes off a metal chime placed in 1930. The cubic towers at the ends are made up of like the rest of the building with a ground floor and two floors, but here, just as in the square towers, you find a third floor that protrudes above the cornice. Large number of balconies and windows surround the entire perimeter of the tower. These are crowned with coppery scale domes of metallic reflection topped by a lantern. The streets facades around it are the Calle Arzobispo Mayoral on the right you find the cover of the old school church. Calle de la Sangre facade stands on a high stone plinth, six pilasters rise from top to bottom along the façade ending in a denticulate cornice. The side of Calle Periodista Azzati facade has an entrance that gives access to municipal offices in use.

Once inside the City Hall building, entering through the main façade, the first thing that catches your attention is the large neoclassical marble staircase that accesses the upper floor. It is a work of 1924, and rebuilt after the Spanish Civil War, while the high-relief located on the landing of it and representing the Sacred Heart of Jesus is from 1941. The Salón de Fiestas or Feasts hall, also called de Cristal or Mirrors, was opened in 1929 by King Alfonso XIII. It is a large room of 22.60 meters x 10 meters wide, which is covered with a lowered barrel vault with holes. It has natural lighting through stained glass windows and two large Bohemian crystal chandeliers for spiders calls. On the ceiling three oval ceiling lamps with oil paintings, representing allegories of the Earth, the Sky and the Valencian Sea made in 1927. The Hemiciclo o salón de plenos or Hemicycle or plenary hall is a semicircular room. In the front wall behind the presidency, a painting of 1976 with King Juan Carlos I presides over the room. On the doors that allow access to the room and that are on the sides of the presidency, art deco paintings with allegories of Valencia are shown.

Inside the City Hall, there is the Municipal Historical Museum created in 1927, although its current configuration dates back to 1935 after a profound transformation of the former Chapel of Santa Rosa de Lima (Church of the House of Education). In its four rooms, capital works of the history of the city and especially emblematic pieces of the foral history. The most important Hall of this Municipal Historical Museum is the so-called Foral Hall that corresponds almost entirely to what was the church of the Teaching house, the so-called Chapel of Santa Rosa de Lima. I have not been to the museum , noted next trip ::)

The city of Valencia on contact info for the City HallCity of Valencia city hall contacts

Tourist office of Valencia on the City Hall in English: Tourist office of Valencia on City Hall

And there you go, see a beautiful city/town hall for all to see and enjoy. Also, a very good area for walks in Valencia even in the traffic we walk the beat and was nice. Hope you enjoy the architecture and history of the City Hall of Valencia.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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