8 Of The Oldest Churches In Valencia

Travel back in time to the 12th century by exploring the eight oldest churches in Valencia.

For travelers in search of a place to bask in spiritual serenity, check out these eight historic churches in Valencia. With majestic medieval architecture and captivating ancient stories, these buildings transport guests back to the time period it was built. Valencia is a city proud of its history and millennia-long traditions, and it is shown by the way all of these churches are still in great condition.

Valencia Cathedral (Catedral de Valencia)

Pl. de l'Almoina, s/n, 46003 València, Valencia, Spain

The Catedral de Valencia is an impressive Gothic-style Cathedral that dates back to the 13th century. For €10, travelers can listen to various numbered audio recordings explaining each sight within the Cathedral and historic events that took place. For €2, visitors can climb La Torre del Micalet for a panoramic view of the city. The tower started construction in 1381 and finished in 1429. One of the building’s treasures is the Renaissance frescoes of the main altar. The entrance door is Baroque-style which dates back to the 16th century and the Chapel of the Holy Chalice can be found inside this world-renowned building.

Cathedral of Valencia on Pexels
Photo by Erika Lopez on Pexels

Església de Sant Joan del Mercat

Pl. del Mercat, s/n, 46001 València, Valencia, Spain

The Església de Sant Joan del Mercat is located next to the Mercat Central and the Lonja de Seda. It was built in 1240 on the site of a former mosque, however, this church was reconstructed twice in the 14th and 16th century due to fire damage from the Spanish Civil War. The church is classified as a National Historic and Artistic Monument. Inside visitors will find impressive frescoes from the 16th century which depict various religious scenes. For €7 travelers can listen to the detailed history of this long-standing church.

Iglesia San Juan del Hospital

C. del Trinquet de Cavallers, 5, 46003 València, Valencia, Spain

Sant Joan de l’Hospital was built around 1261, it is considered to be the first church built after the Christian conquest. The building contains various pieces of artwork from the 16th century, including sculptures of Saint John and Jesus Christ. As mentioned on the Sant Joan de l’Hospital website, “We can see the Romanesque style in its side doors, formed by a semicircular arch and tympanum bounded by smooth voussoirs.” The church’s design was influenced by Arabs, Incipient and Cistercian Gothic, and Baroque styles.

Sant Joan de l'Hospital by Natalia Guerra
PHOTO by Natalia Guerra

Real Basílica De Nuestra Señora De Los Desamparados

Plaça de la Verge, s/n, 46001 València, Valencia, Spain

Basílica de la Mare de Déu dels Desemparats, or Basilica of Our Lady of the Desperate, is a Baroque-style church that dates back to the 16th century. This building features a facade adorned with intricate sculptures and frescoes. Inside this beautiful church, visitors can find several oil paintings from the 16th century. As mentioned on the Visit Valencia website, “Built between 1652 and 1667 by Diego Martínez Ponce de Urrana, it has three significant aspects: it is the only church in the historic center that does not rise above old parishes or convents, but is a new work; the dome is not located in the center but is displaced, approaching the cathedral; the presence of the cambrillo, a highly significant element of the Baroque and one of the first known in Spain.”

Basílica de la Mare de Déu dels Desemparats by Natalia Guerra
PHOTO by Natalia Guerra

San Nicolás de Bari y San Pedro Mártir

C/ dels Cavallers, 35, 46001 València, Valencia, Spain

Sant Nicolau de Bari i Sant Pere Màrtir is another beautifully preserved church in Valencia. This building dates back to the 12th century and includes a unique blend of Gothic and Renaissance architecture. As mentioned on its website, “Erected as a parish church around 1242, it was remodeled at the initiative of the Borja family in the Gothic style between 1419 and 1455, with the Gothic rib vault contracting in the central nave. Between 1690 and 1693, the interior was recoated with Baroque decoration and fresco paintings of scenes of the life of Saint Nicholas and Saint Peter Martyr, designed by Antonio Palomino and painted by Dionis Vidal.” The Sant Nicolau de Bari i Sant Pere Màrtir was one of the first 12 Christian churches to be built in Valencia.

Sant Nicolau de Bari i Sant Pere Màrtir Facebook
Photo by Church of San Nicholas Facebook

Church of Santa Caterina

Pl. de Santa Caterina, 8, 46001 València, Valencia, Spain

The Church of Santa Caterina is a Gothic-style building that was built in the 14th century. This church contains several stunning works of art from the 16th century, including impressive reredos crafted from marble and intricate paintings adorning the walls. As mentioned on its website, “The eighteenth century Baroque tower housing the belfry is possibly the most notable element, standing out from the rest of the building. The church is composed of three naves with side chapels, crosspiece domes and the apse which includes a chapel. The beautiful and graceful tower offers one of the most picturesque sights in the city. Viewed from the elegant Calle de la Paz, one can admire the five story construction crowned by a small dome-covered temple. The tower of Santa Catalina is a landmark in Valencia, as well as being the entrance to the popular Barrio del Mercat.”

Oldest Churches in Valencia
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Parroquia de Santa Catalina y San Agustín

Pl. de Sant Agustí, 5, 46001 València, Valencia, Spain

Sant Agustín is a small church that was constructed in the 14th century. Inside this building, visitors will find beautiful Baroque-style frescoes and sculptures from the 14th century. The entrance door is adorned with stunning Gothic carvings, making it one of the most unique churches in Valencia. As mentioned on its website, “At the moment only the church remains, and it was remodeled in 1940 by the architect Javier Goerlich Lleó. The façade and the tower looking onto Guillem de Castro street derive from these transformations. The church is built in Gothic style and is composed of a single nave with side chapels and choir. The five large pointed arch windows of the presbytery create a sensation of lightness.”

Basílica San Vicente Ferrer

C/ de Ciril Amorós, 56, 46004 València, Valencia, Spain

Basílica Sant Vicent Ferrer is a neo-Gothic style building that began construction on March 7, 1906 and it was blessed on October 12, 1916 and in 1921 it was fully consecrated. As mentioned on its website, “In the windows at the top, the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary were represented, several of which were destroyed by the bombing that took place in the city in 1936 in Bohemian stained glass windows. In the central nave, another five stained glass windows per side represent scenes from the life of San Vicente Ferrer. All the stained glass windows are beautiful creations of the Maumejean Brothers Workshop.”

Basílica Sant Vicent Ferrer Facebook
Photo by Sant Vicent Ferrer Basilica Facebook
Natalia Guerra

Contributing Editor

Natalia Guerra was born in Miami and comes from a Cuban background. Aside from her passion for travel writing and culinary arts, she also loves to step out of her comfort zone to live life to the fullest. Her lifestyle is being a digital nomad, working remotely as she travels the world one city at a time. Her favorite country has been Spain for its beautiful architecture and food, which reminds her of her Cuban culture.

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