Iglesia de San Nicolás

Top choice in Valencia

Back entrance to Iglesia de San Nicolas.

©Penny Kidd/Lonely Planet

Recently reopened to the public after a magnificent restoration, this single-naved church down a passageway is a striking sight. Over the original Gothic vaulting, the ceiling is a painted baroque riot, with enough cherubs for a serious documentary on childhood obesity. The altarpiece is in similar style, with corkscrew (solomonic) columns framing the twin saints who share the church: San Nicolás saving boys from the pickling tub, and San Pedro Mártir with a cutlass in his head.

If baroque isn't your thing, you'll find some more sober pieces around the church, with Renaissance altarpieces by Juan de Juanes on either side of the altar and a Calvary that he completed together with his father Vicente Macip on the right. At the back of the church is another crucifixion scene, a fine late Gothic altarpiece by Rodrigo de Osona.