After our classes, we met up with José outside the academy in Benimaclet to go on an Architecture tour of the city to see the important historical buildings in Valencia. We went by Tranvia to the city centre where we were shown a set of towers which used to be part of a wall that surrounded the city, I think they were called the ‘Torres de Serrano’ and they were incredibly large and well maintained.
We headed deeper into the city and saw a water fountain which I believe represented the Rio De Valencia. We had seen this fountain on our first day and it has a monument of a man surrounded by seven (I think) women; the man represents the Rio Turia and the women represent each of the river’s tributaries. We saw the Miguelete (which we had climbed on our first day) and the cathedral before heading to see the Ayuntamiento (town hall), where José informed us of the former local government of Valencia! He explained the reason behind the city’s crest which has a crown and a bat. Seemingly the bat represents a time in the past when a king recognised a bat landing on his crown to be a sign of good luck before leading his army to a victory.
After that, we saw the Estación Del Nord and the Bull Ring. We learned here that traditional bull fights do not take place in Valencia and instead, the bull ring is sometimes used for events such as concerts! Another interesting thing about Valencia is that it has its own language! It is Spanish but a different Spanish to what we are learning, however, it has similarities. All of the signs around the city are in Valencian so it is fun to try and guess what they mean using our knowledge of Castellano (the traditional Spanish used all over Spain).