towers of serranos valencia
The Serranos Towers are considered to be the largest Gothic city gateway in all of Europe, and were constructed at the end of the 14th century by Pere Balaguer as part of the city’s fortification. They provisionaly housed prison cells and served as a triumphal arch on many festive and solemn occasions. You can enjoy splendid views of the city and the river Turia from its terraces.
Construction on these large guard towers was finished in 1391. They were once the main entrance to the city in the long-since destroyed wall. From an architectural point of view, they are both pentagon-shaped, connected by a common gallery, and decorated with gothic designs on the borders. On the top there are parapets, and, around the entire structure, you can see the remains of the old moat.
It is an important landmark and one of the best preserved monuments of Valencia. Of the ancient city wall, which was pulled down in 1865 on the orders of the provincial governor Cirilio Amorós, only the Serranos Towers, the 15th century Cuart Towers, and some other archaeological remains and ruins, such as those of the Jewish Gate (Puerta de los Judíos), have survived. The Torres de Serranos were built in the 14th century, 1392, by Pere Balaguer. It was the main entrance of the city and it was originally build with a defensive function. From 1586 until 1887 the towers were used as a prison for nobles.
For a long time, its main purpose was to defend the city in the event of a siege or attack, but it was also regularly used for ceremonies, such as official welcoming ceremonies for ambassadors and kings, as is was (and still is) deemed to be the main entrance to the city.
After one of the main prisons of Valencia burnt down in 1586, the towers were turned into a prison for knights and the nobility until the prisoners were transferred to the monastery of Saint Austin in 1887. Since then, they have been used for different purposes, for instance for a wide range of official ceremonies and as a museum.
During the Spanish Civil War, works of art from the Prado Museum were stored in the building, which made a number of modifications necessary; in December 1936, a 90-centimeter layer of reinforced concrete was laid on the first floor in order to protect the pieces of art, stored on the lower floor, in case the towers were damaged or destroyed in a bombing raid. The reinforced concrete was covered by a one-meter layer of rice husk (to cushion the impact) and a one-meter layer of soil. Another one-meter layer of soil was laid on the second floor, and the terrace was covered with sandbags.
Plaza de Fueros, Valencia 46003.
Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 to 14:00 h and from 16:30 to 20:30 h.
Sunday and public holidays from 10:00 to 15:00 h.
Fee: 2 Euros
For children from 7 to 12 years, groups, pensioners and students with Youth Card: 1 Euro.
Sundays: Free entry.