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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.

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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

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gloria-del-barroc

Neat place to stay in Valencia

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

Museo Artista Fallero

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fallas-1800

Not to be confused with the Fallas Museum near the Ciudad de Arte y Ciencas, the Museo Artista Fallero is dedicated to the craft of the artists who create ninots. Situated in the Ciudad Fallero — the neighborhood of workshops where the most important and largest figures are built — the museum gives the visitor an overview of their design and construction.

From the sketch, to the model, to the full life figure, you see every step of the process. There are photographs of all the winning figures, and probably about 100 ninots ranging, as usual, from mawkishly sentimental to incredibly raunchy. There’s no information about the event of Fallas or its history, which is something to be aware of before going.

The best reason to visit the Ciudad Fallero is to wander around the huge workshops where the artisans are engaged in their labor. If you’re lucky, you’ll be invited in to get a sneak peek at the figures before the plantà. They’re usually working Mon-Fri, regular business hours.

The museum is open from 10-14 and 16-19 weekdays, and just 10-14 on Saturdays. It costs €3 and will take about 30 minutes to see in full.

963 479 623
C/ S. José Artesano 17
Location on our Valencia Map

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Museo-Artista-Fallero
traditional-fallas

La Iglesia de los Santos Juanes

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January 11, 2010 at 12:52 pm Comments (0)

Palace of the Marquis de Dos Aguas

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Marquis-de-Dos-Aguas

One of Valencia’s most emblematic buildings is the Palace of the Marquis de Dos Aguas, dating from 1760, when the ancestral home of the family Rabassa de Perelló was reformed in Rococo style. At the time, the family held the marquisate and was one of the city’s most important clans. Today, the palace houses the National Ceramics Museum.

A confession. During our first year in Valencia, we lived 45 seconds from the palace, but never once set foot inside. Ridiculous. The palace is incredible, free on the weekends, and one of the must-see highlights for any trip to the city.

I’m not much of a ceramics fan, so the museum exhibits were of little interest to me, though there are some stunning pieces. More engaging were the architecture and beauty of the building itself. Reaching four floors, the palace is huge — much bigger than it looks from the outside. Visitors are allowed to see nearly all of it, from the ballroom, to an awesome smoking room, bedrooms and the kitchen. Really neat.

The most famous aspect of the building, though, is its marble façade, added in 1867. This is probably Valencia’s most photographed doorway (and the poor guard who eternally stands vigilant, its most photographed person). Massive in scale, and with no concern towards subtlety or restraint, the statues do not fail to impress.

Location on our Valencia Map

More pictures from the inside of the Marquis de Dos Aguas:

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Xativa History


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January 5, 2010 at 6:17 pm Comment (1)

Rodolfo Navarro at the Atarazanas

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In a new exhibition running at Las Atarazanas in the neighborhood of El Grao (location), the artwork of native Valencian Rodolfo Navarro is featured. Under the title “Plastic Interaction”, we’re introduced to the various facets of the artist’s work.

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Navarro’s most impressive achievement is his partial covering of the Great Wall of China with his cubist-type shapes and colors. He’s done the same in Valencia, Wolfsburg (Germany) and Fontainebleau (France).

The Atarazanas turns out to be a great location for Navarro’s work — over 200 pieces are on display. From portraiture to photography, to sculpture, el valenciano seems to dabble in everything. You have until January 17th to check it out.

Artist’s Webpage
Las Atarazanas Location on our Valencia Map

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Rodolfo-Navarro-China
wall-Rodolfo-Navarro

Visiting the Diocesan Cathedral Museum in Valencia


December 28, 2009 at 3:20 pm Comments (0)

Takashi Murakami: Japanese Pop Art

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Takashi Murakami
Photo Credit C-Monster

Takashi Murakami has reached incredible levels of fame for a Japanese pop artist, and his work has been shown in museums across the world. This isn’t heavy stuff which requires a lot of study and contemplation. Murakami’s paintings and sculptures are just indescribably cute.

Murakami is a sculptor, a painter, and a creator of marketable goods for the masses, but he’s most well-known for helping create the style known as Superflat, a term he defined to describe “flattened forms in Japanese graphic art, animation, pop culture and fine arts, as well as the ‘shallow emptiness of Japanese consumer culture'” (Wikipedia).

Years ago, we had the chance to see his work in Boston and now Takashi Murakami has arrived in Valencia. Until December 29th, you can see an exhibition dedicated to the Superflat style at the CAM Culture Room, near the Mercado Central (location). Opening hours are Mon-Fri, 10-13 and 17-21h.

More information: Obra Social CAM (in Spanish)
Location on our Valencia Map


December 22, 2009 at 10:15 am Comments (0)

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