Gothic route through the Valencian Community

Gothic style in the Valencian Community is present in many places. Together with Catalonia and the Balearic Islands, this region shares the splendour of the so-called “Mediterranean Gothic“. This style has a strong personality that differs from contemporary Castilian Gothic.

This type of architecture shares with the European Gothic the ribbed vaults. However, the distribution of space is very different. Also the climate and the Roman influence played their part. This style is much more luminous and fresh due to the influence of the Mediterranean and the sun, in contrast to the classic French Gothic, which is associated with more northern and less luminous environments.

We will begin the route of the Gothic in the Valencian Community through the province of Castellón:

Santa María Co-cathedral

gótico en la Comunidad Valenciana

In the Plaza Mayor, next to the Castellón de la Plana Town Hall, is the Santa María Co-cathedral, another example of Gothic in the Valencian Community. In this construction, the bell tower of El Fadrí is separated from the Co-cathedral, which is somewhat unusual. Although its construction began at the end of the 13th century, the temple was destroyed by a fire. Work was resumed in the mid-14th century, and was extended in the early 15th century by the master builder Miguel García de Segorbe, and the temple was consecrated in 1549.

Basilica of El Salvador

gótico en la Comunidad Valenciana

In the Plaza de la Iglesia in Burriana is the Basilica of El Salvador, which began to be built at the end of the 13th century. During the following centuries, the basilica underwent great changes: in the 17th century it underwent a baroque intervention that modified the image of the church; in the 18th century the Communion chapel was built; and in the 19th century the nave was extended with two sections. After the Civil War, the original Gothic appearance was restored to the head of the church.

The temple was built to commemorate the first great victory of James I in the conquest of the Muslim kingdom of Al-Balensiya. The construction was based on a sense of propaganda, giving the temple a magnificence and a monumental air that will have no point of comparison with the humble mosques of the rural medinas of the area.

We follow the route of the Gothic in the Valencian Community through the province of Valencia:

Lonja de la Seda

gótico en la Comunidad Valenciana

Among the civil architecture of the Gothic in the Valencian Community, the Lonja de la Seda (Silk Exchange) stands out. It is located in the old town of Valencia; and is a masterpiece of this style declared, in 1996, World Heritage by UNESCO.

It was built between 1482 and 1548, and its first builder was Pere Compte, who worked on the model of the Lonja in Palma de Mallorca, making it an emblematic building of the wealth of the Valencian Golden Age (15th century). The Lonja de la Seda is a good example of the commercial revolution during the late Middle Ages, of the social development and prestige achieved by the Valencian bourgeoisie.

Puerta de los Apostoles and Miguelete in Valencia Cathedral

gótico en la Comunidad Valenciana

The next stop on this Gothic route in the Valencian Community is Valencia Cathedral. Specifically, the Puerta de los Apostoles and the Miguelete. The Gate is so called because the 12 apostles are represented in sculptures in the Mediterranean Gothic style. During the 1960s it was restored and some of the pieces were replaced by copies; since the author did not use good stone and almost every year it had to be repaired.

The Miguelete (or Torre del Micalet in Valencian), the name adopted by the bell tower of the Cathedral, also deserves our attention. Its construction began in 1381 and ended in 1429. It is 70 metres high and has 207 steps. It is one of the most visited monuments in the city.

We conclude the route of the Gothic in the Valencian Community in the province of Alicante:

Basilica of Santa María

gótico en la Comunidad Valenciana

The Basilica of Santa María has the honor of being the oldest church in the city of Alicante. It was built in the Valencian Gothic style between the 14th and 16th centuries on the remains of the city’s old main mosque, built during the Muslim domination. It consists of a single nave, has no transept and has side chapels between the buttresses. After a fire during the 15th century, the Basilica of Santa María had to be rebuilt, hence its baroque façade.

Orihuela Cathedral

gótico en la Comunidad Valenciana

The Holy Cathedral of El Salvador in Orihuela, capital of the Diocese, is built on Visigoth, Hispano-Arab and Mudejar remains, visible in recycled materials. The cathedral began to be built at the beginning of the 14th century. Without being a large and light Gothic building, it has beautiful proportions. It is in a style similar to that of the Lonja de la Seda in Valencia.

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