Please see the separate post for eating in St Francesc.
Just around the corner from the Hotel Catalonia is the National Ceramics Museum
The alabaster front entrance, done in the florid Rococo style, is just stunning. The eyes of the two male statues either side of the door stare at you piercingly if you view them from immediately below.
The palace was first constructed in the 15th century but was given a Baroque makeover in 1740. I’ve never actually been in to see the ceramics exhibitions, but have made it through the first front door to see the funny little statue of a child sitting on a goose.
Please click on these images to see them in more detail.
Also near the hotel in the Plaça de l’Ajuntament is the Art Deco central Post Office or Palau de los Correos. It’s worth popping in for a view of the nice elliptical glass dome but my favourite features are the lion head post boxes outside.
The Plaça de l’Ajuntament is where people also come to view/hear La Mascletà, a deafening barrage of fireworks and crackers, which is held at 2pm each day of the five days of the famous Falles festival. Pyrotechnicians compete for the honour of conducting the final Mascletà on the last day of the festival (March 18th). The mayor gives orders and judges the competition from the viewing balcony of the town hall opposite the display.
My friend Angie brought me here to experience the truly deafening din in 2014. The square was packed but we still got served easily at one of the bars. I needed a glass of Turia beer to steady my nerves!
There are lots of other nice buildings around this part of town. The old Banco de Valencia on the corner of Career del Pintor Sorolla and Career de Don Juan de Austria is quite impressive. The latter street is a pedestrianised shopping area where you’ll find the ubiquitous but very useful El Corte de Ingles. Lots of other big brand shops can be found in St. Francesc if shopping is your thing.
Just down the road is the at 4 Carrer de les Barques is the Hotel Palacio Reina Victoria which I believe is the city’s oldest hotel.
Wish I could remember where these two buildings are…
Check out my La Seu – Stuff to See and Mercado de Colon posts for more nice architecture.