Catedral de Valencia

Top choice cathedral in North Ciutat Vella

Valencia’s cathedral was built over a mosque after the 1238 reconquest. Its low, wide, brick-vaulted triple nave is mostly Gothic, with neoclassical side chapels. Highlights are its museum, rich Italianate frescos above the altarpiece, a pair of Goyas in the Capilla de San Francisco de Borja, and in the flamboyant Gothic Capilla del Santo Cáliz, what’s claimed to be the Holy Grail from which Christ sipped during the Last Supper. It's a Roman-era agate cup, later modified, so at least the date is right. Admission includes an audio guide.

Various relics and a beautiful transitional altarpiece in the Capilla de San Dionisio are other noteworthy features.

Left of the main portal is the entrance to the bell tower, El Miguelete. Climb the 207 steps of its spiral staircase for terrific 360-degree views.

As done for more than a thousand years, the Tribunal de las Aguas (Water Court) meets every Thursday exactly at noon outside the cathedral’s Puerta de los Apóstoles. Here, Europe’s oldest legal institution settles local farmers’ irrigation disputes in Valenciano, the regional language.


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