Valencia is a historic city, which still has two entry towers. One of them is Torres de Serranos. The location of the tower is very close to the city centre, on the border of the El Carmen neighbourhood. Visiting the Torres de Serranos is really worth it.
Torres de Serranos as main entrance
In the 14th century a city wall surrounded Valencia. Twelve official entries to the city were built and Torres de Serranos was one of them. The only way to enter Valencia was to use the entry towers.
The name of the tower, and the bridge which you will see when you climb the tower or walk through the towers, has a special origin. It has everything to do with the geographic location of the tower, at the north of the city. All the travellers and visitors from the northern region, the Serranía area, entered the city via this tower. Those people were called ‘los Serranos’. Another story says that there used to live a very rich family in the street next to the tower. The name of that family was ‘Serranos’ and supposedly the tower is named after them.
Torres de Serranos is the name of the tower, which used to be considered the main entrance of Valencia. Through its gates, up to 95% of the visitors entered the city during the time walls surrounded the centre. Because of this, Torres de Serranos is still one of the most important monuments of Valencia. You find Torres de Serranos close to the city centre, next to El Carmen.
From a prison to storage facility for Prado paintings
For a while the tower was used as a prison, after a fire made it impossible to keep all prisoners in the actual prison. The noblemen and knights were locked away in Torres de Serranos. Eventually, the inhabitants of Valencia protested a lot, because they didn’t like to see their beloved tower being used as a prison. After the tower was used as a prison for more than 300 years the decision was made to restore the Torres de Serranos and move the convicts to other prisons.
During the Spanish Civil War in 1936 Torres de Serranos was used as storage for more than 500 paintings from the Prado Museum. This museum is located in Madrid and it is one of the most famous art museums worldwide. A lot of famous paintings were stored in the tower, for example some works of Francisco Goya. Considering the fact that the tower would not be destroyed by bombings made it the ideal place to store the expensive pieces of art. Some extra measures were taken, such as an extra 90 centimetres thick layer of concrete, which was applied to the ceiling. As well as bags filled with rice, sand and soil to keep the humidity as best as possible.
Scenery for festivities
Nowadays the tower is the centre of several festivities. For example during Día de la Comunidad Valenciana – when Valencians celebrate the foundation of its city – a medieval festival takes place in the surroundings of the tower. And of course, ‘La Crida’: the biggest event which takes place with the Torres de Serranos as scenery. This is the start of the famous ‘Las Fallas festival’. This is the biggest festival in Valencia and maybe even in Spain! The mayor of Valencia and the ‘Fallera Mayor’ will speech and an amazing pyrotechnic show will be the take off for a period of three weeks partying.
Nowadays you can walk in and out of these beautiful gothic towers and you can climb them as well. From the top you will have a spectacular view over Valencia city.
Plaça dels Furs
Adults: € 2
Students, children (age 0-16) and 65+: € 1
Free entry on Sundays and public holidays