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Fiesta de San Antonio Abad

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Let’s see — I really don’t know much about this one, so any help I can get from the readers of Hola Valencia, I’ll appreciate!

San Antonio Abad, or Anthony the Great in English, was a 3rd Century Catholic monk from Egypt, who’s venerated for spreading the idea of monasticism. He’s especially famous as the first religious figure to retreat into nature as a way to “reconnect”, and is the patron saint of animals. His Saint’s Day is January 17th, and is celebrated here in Valencia, in the neighborhood which takes his name.

The festivities began this week, with equestrian exhibitions from the 13th to the 16th. On the evening of Saturday the 16th, at 21h, there’s a street bonfire. The next morning, there’s a crazy parade.

The parade might be a lot of fun. Ole St. Tony is the patron of Animals, and loads of people bring their pets to get blessed. The benediction and parade of animals begins at 11am in the barrio de San Antonio. I think we’ll be there with our rotten little devil, Chucky. I wouldn’t be surprised if she bites a priest.

Full List of Events (Spanish)

Parroquia de San Antonio Abad
Calle de Sagunto, 188
Location on our Google Map

Design Hotel in Carmen

January 15, 2010 at 5:14 pm Comments (2)

Valencia Out of the King’s Cup

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After a 1-3 loss to Deportivo La Coruña at the Mestalla, Valencia had a difficult task in front of them on the away leg, and were not able to step up.

Zigic is… big (Pic: EFE)

Things started good last night, with an early 2-0 advantage for the good guys… Monster Serbian Zigic netted both. But in the 2nd half Los Ché were completely listless. It was like a different team playing, and soon enough Depor evened the score and pretty much put it out of reach. Suck.

Oh well… at least VCF is (currently) doing well in the league. Champions League bound!

Flamenco Dinner in Valencia

January 14, 2010 at 11:00 am Comments (0)

A UFO in Xàtiva?

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We’ve been telling you about the history of Xàtiva and taking you up to the castle and now we will bombard you with photos taken shortly before Three Kings Day. A medieval festival during our visit added a lot of flair to the city, but still doesn’t explain the mysterious presence of a UFO (check out the last picture, ye of little faith!)





























Cute Little Hotel in Xativa

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January 13, 2010 at 6:39 pm Comment (1)

Historic Valencian Neighborhood to Be Destroyed?!

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It seems as though the city government has plans to extend a huge boulevard through the historic Valencian neighborhood of Gran Via. Over 400 buildings will be torn out of the ground and the area left unrecognizable.

Oh… wait a second. Gran Via is the home of Valencia’s wealthy elite, and the destruction of their neighborhood to improve transit would be absolutely unthinkable. I must have my facts wrong… let’s see…


Ah yes, here it is. It’s the historic neighborhood of Cabanyal which is to be gutted for the extension of Boulevard Blasco Ibáñez. The Ayuntamiento is planning to rip up hundreds of houses apartments (thanks ReinderVLC), in order to speed access to the sea. Yes, yes, all in the name of progress. Only poor people actually live in Cabanyal, so who cares?

Turns out a lot of people do. Cabanyal is one of Europe’s most unique and important seaside neighborhoods. The battle over its future has been going on for about a decade. Recently, further development has been blocked by the Spanish Ministry of Culture, which recognized Cabanyal as a site of cultural heritage.

As you can guess from the tone of my writing, I’m opposed to the extension of Blasco Ibáñez. In the past, it’s been suggested that I “keep my mouth shut” on political matters, since I’m a foreigner. But tough. Especially because I’m a visitor, I’m well aware that the historic district of Cabanyal is one of the city’s top highlights. The government doesn’t seem to recognize the treasure right under its nose. They should be restoring the neighborhood, not destroying it.

Events in and around Cabanyal: Semana SantaBeach ProcessionMascleta Napolitana

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January 13, 2010 at 11:16 am Comments (6)

The Glory of the Baroque: The Church of Saint Martin

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A Valencian foundation called The Light of the Images was created in 1999 with the mission of restoring and exhibiting aspects of Valencia’s rich cultural heritage. Their latest project is called The Glory of the Baroque — an exhibition which runs through three of the city’s oldest churches.


On Sunday, we went to the Church of Saint Martin, which had been under renovation for a very long time. The church dates from the 14th Century and its restoration is, indeed, glorious. White and gold dominate the interior; marvelous, bright golden designs cover the ceilings. The paintings, sculptures and walls have all been renovated or restored and the church almost feels as though it had just been built. Literally breathtaking: both Juergen and I gasped upon entering.

The church has been converted temporarily into a gallery, with centuries-old religious ornaments and curios on display alongside intricate garments. You can even ascend a terrace in the main chapel and look down on the church from above.

The Light of the Images is doing fantastic work, and you have plenty of time to enjoy it; the Glory of the Baroque runs through September, 2010. If you’ve walked around the city center recently, you’ll have noticed a baroque white path on the sidewalks. It leads to the different churches in the exhibition.

Yet another must-see in Valencia!

The Glory of the Baroque, Website
Location of the Church of San Martin


Neat place to stay in Valencia

January 12, 2010 at 11:07 am Comment (1)

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