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The Jail of San Vicente Mártir

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After leaving the Baños del Almirante somewhat disappointed, we decided to try our luck at the nearby Carcel de San Vicente Mártir, in the Plaza de la Almoina. And we found it a lot more interesting.

The building is near the cathedral, in one of the historical focal points of the city. Remains of civilizations stretching back to the Romans can be seen in this area, and the crypt contains an intact Visigoth chapel from the 6th Century. This basement is supposedly where San Vicente was held captive prior to being martyred in 304 AD. Although, when I pointed out to the guide that there’s another spot in Valencia that claims to be his jail, he readily admitted that no one really knows “for sure” where the jail was… but it certainly could have been here.

The basement ruins are interesting enough, but the best part of the experience is a very cool audio-visual guide that leads you through Valencia’s early history, from the Visigoths to the Moors, to the arrival of Christianity. It’s available in English and provides a fascinating glimpse into the city’s early days.

We loved this exhibit, and were shocked to be the only visitors at 18:30 on a Saturday evening in May. The entrance is free and well worth your time. You can probably get lucky with an English tour, like we did, but you might want to call ahead to make sure.

Archaeological Crypt of San Vicente Martír
+34 96 394 14 17
Location on our Valencia Map

Vicente Mártir Procession

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July 5, 2010 at 4:09 pm Comments (0)

Festival of San Vicente Martir

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San Vicente Martir is the patron saint of the city of Valencia, and stores will be closed tomorrow, January 22nd, for the public holiday in his honor.

Vicente’s story dates from the 4th century, when he was tortured to death by an imperial anti-Christian campaign. He was since martyred, and has become one of Valencia’s main historical heroes. His arm has been recovered and is preserved in the city Cathedral. This morbid little icon will be paraded around the city in its urn, as part of the public holiday.

Here’s the schedule of events. This isn’t one of the city’s most well-loved festivals, but with the stores closed, might be worth a look!

San Vicente Mártir, patron saint of the city of Valencia

10:30 Solemn Mass in the Cathedral
12:00 Procession through Pl. de la Reina, C/ Mar, C/ Avellanas, C/ Palau, and Pl. Almoina
14:00 Mascletà en Pl. de Espanya (location)
20:00 Mass in Spanish-Mozarabaic rite in the Basilica de San Vicente de la Roqueta, Pl. de Espanya
All Day Visits to the chapels of the Pl. Almoina and C/ de la Carcel de San Vicente
Information from Valencia’s Tourist Office

I plan on at least getting a glimpse of the martyr’s arm. Wicked. We’ll post any pictures that we manage to get.

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January 21, 2009 at 2:50 pm Comment (1)