Monday, July 07, 2008

Market District in Valencia

The miserable weather we are having, with the promise of worse to come, has driven me back to the pictures of my brief visit to Valencia.
I love markets and Valencia has a whole Market District. This is the Plaza Redonda (the 'round square'), with its central fountain surrounded by a ring of tiny stalls selling ceramics, haberdashery and clothes, including these colourful flamenco dresses.The streets are full of stalls selling everything from shoes and jewellery to paella pans.

The Mercado Central, built between 1916 and 1926, is a magnificent building, with more than 1,000 stalls selling local produce.
We settled for some beautiful apricots and peaches, bigger and tastier than any we have eaten in England.
These tomatoes, as big as oranges, are a local speciality.
I had to wait until the market closed and the crowds dispersed before I could get any shots of the outside of the building. My pictures do a disservice to this lovely city, which has really clean streets; the army of sweepers and cleaners was already at work behind me and the square was litter-free in minutes.

The Mercado Central is one of the biggest market halls in Europe, covering more than 8,000 square metres. In true Valencian style, it is grand in size and decoration, mixing art-nouveau design with traditional ceramics, wrought iron and stained glass.
Here is a close-up of that ceramic frieze.
I wanted to ask this young man if the pattern of his trousers was inspired by the ceramics but my ancient 'O' level Spanish proved inadequate.


  1. I must say that I've really enjoyed all your holiday photos. Especially as I don't know the region at all.

  2. m. I certainly understand your cabin fever from relentless gray skies. When we lived in Vermont, each year we'd spend two weeks in Florida during the "spring" mud season. We usually drove and it was fun watching the countryside go from frozen to green as we headed south and depressing to experience the reverse on the way back. Now, we kinda look forward to a rainy day both for the plants and for ourselves.

    Your pictures are wonderful.

  3. These are such atmospheric photos, M. It's a wonder you managed to drag yourself back home again. Did you buy anything for yourself in the flamenco shop?!

  4. cath: I confess to knowing nothing at all about Valencia prior to our visit. I was too busy beforehand to do any research and was just looking forward to a few days away. I was bowled over by the architecture and the spirit of the place - small, friendly population, lots of room to move and such clean streets, what a contrast to London!

    If I were to go back it would be in February when the festivals and the oranges are in season.

  5. e, I don't cope very well with hot weather, so I spent the afternoons hiding in my air-conditioned room. However I do enjoy sunshine and a hint, at least, of summer weather. The perfect English summer is sunny days and rainy nights but I suppose everyone in the world would like that kind of climate!

  6. Thanks, J. You can see that I didn't join the beach party! I was in heaven wandering around those beautiful buildings. Flamenco dress? You'll just have to come and see!

  7. I'm expecting nothing less than a flamenco display tomorrow, M.

  8. Okay, D, but you'd better come prepared in your head-to-toe oilskins because it is going to splash!


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