It was time to board the train from Madrid to Valencia.
The anticipation was great, as we were going to visit The Chapel of The Holy Grail, something I had been looking forward to on this trip. I could hear the music from the Indiana Jones movies playing in my head, as the train was zipping through the countryside of Spain.
We arrived at Estacio del Nord in Valencia and began our quest for the Holy Grail…
First a bit about this special city; Valencia was founded as a Roman colony in 138 BC.
The city is situated on the banks of the Turia river, on the east coast of the Iberian Peninsula, fronting the Gulf of Valencia on the Mediterranean Sea.
Major monuments include Valencia Cathedral
the Torres de Serranos,
the Torres de Quart,
the Llotja de la Seda declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996
and the City of Arts and Sciences, an entertainment-based cultural and architectural complex designed by Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela
The Museu de Belles Arts de València houses a large collection of paintings from the 14th to the 18th centuries, including works by Velázquez, El Greco, and Goya, as well as an important series of engravings by Piranesi
The Metropolitan Cathedral–Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady of Valencia was consecrated in 1238 by the first bishop of Valencia after the Reconquista, Pere d’Albalat, Archbishop of Tarragona, and was dedicated by order of James I the Conqueror to Saint Mary. It was built over the site of the former Visigothic cathedral, which under the Moors had been turned into a mosque
The cathedral contains numerous 15th century paintings, some by local artists (such as Jacomart), others by artists from Rome engaged by the Valencian Pope Alexander VI
who, when still a cardinal, made the request to elevate the Valencian See to the rank of metropolitan see, a category granted by Pope Innocent VIII in 1492
Here are a couple by Goya….
On our way to find the Chapel of the Holy Grail we stumble upon a mummified arm in a glass case…….yikes!
Turns out it is that of Saint Vincent, the Patron Saint of Valencia.
Tthe story of Saint Vincent the Martyr begins (ends) when they tried to burn him but his body wouldn’t burn so they tied 4 horses to each of his limbs, whipped the horses and let them run, tearing him apart in the middle of the city, so today one of his arms rests in the Cathedral.
Okay, past the arm and ……..hello …….tombs…
Okay, move on, it is time to find the Holy Chalice the most revered in the world right here in one of this cathedral’s chapels; this chalice has been defended as the true Holy Grail
………and there it is! The Chapel is filled with the smell of incense that has been burning for hundreds of years…..
Most Christian historians all over the world declare that all their evidence points to this Valencian chalice as the most likely candidate for being the authentic cup used at the Last Supper
It was the official papal chalice for many popes, and has been used by many others, most recently by Pope Benedict XVI, on July 9, 2006
This chalice dates from the 1st century, and was given to the cathedral by king Alfonso V of Aragon in 1436.
It was quite exciting to be in this place and be in the presence of this acclaimed artifact (by now the music score from the Indiana Jones Movies was BLARING inside my head)…..time to move on..
We visited the rest of the Cathedral, which was quite beautiful and filled with amazing artifacts…
……wow that was a most exciting and interesting visit…now off to explore the city….
We found Valencia to be incredibly clean and well kept. The people were so helpful and friendly!
We had heard about Canela, a most well respected and sought after restaurant….
We arrived when the owner was closing and locking the door…………..NO, please let us in, please……guess what …….. he said yes!!
We went upstairs and the art was amazing…
The meal was the BEST of our entire lifetimes! A seven course delight…
the final course ….. Paella con Arroz Negro…..Paella with rice made with squid ink
Over the Top AMAZING
If you are ever near Vallence….you MUST eat at Canela
But you know the Tin Man………it is now time to search out the sweets Valencia is known for …….CHOCOLATE
We found it at Valor, known for their outstanding Chocolates….right on the Plaza de la Reyna…
Of course we had the Chocolate Flight with Churros…..
What experiences and delights we enjoyed in beautiful Valencia….but now it is time to move on…until next time…Adios