Built between 1483 and 1548, this impressive building was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. The Lonja serves as an iconic symbol for the city and its rich history.
The Lonja was originally constructed to serve as a trading centre for merchants from all over Europe who came to buy and sell goods such as silk, spices, grain and other commodities. This bustling marketplace soon became known as one of the most important trading centres in Europe during the Middle Ages. It was also used as a courthouse where disputes were settled and contracts signed by traders from around the world.
The design of The Lonja is remarkable; it features several large halls connected with soaring arches supported by intricately carved columns made out of marble and granite. These arches create an awe-inspiring atmosphere within each hall that is further enhanced by stained-glass windows depicting religious scenes, along with vibrant frescos painted on walls depicting daily life at that time period.
One of the main attractions inside The Lonja are two incredible wooden sculptures dating back to 1490 which are considered masterpieces among Spanish artisanship – La Sala de Contratacion (Contract Hall) which contains four grandiose pillars supporting an impressive vaulted ceiling adorned with intricate carvings; La Casa de la Seda (Silk Exchange House) which includes three-story galleries filled with amazing artwork including paintings, sculptures, tapestries and more; El Patio del Consulado (Courtyard), where merchants gathered to discuss business deals or just relax after long days spent trading goods; y El Corral dels Llops (Lion’s Courtyard), named after two stone lions guarding its entranceway leading up to breathtaking bell tower topped off with golden spires reaching up towards blue skies above Valencia’s historic skyline.
Today, visitors can take guided tours through The Lonja while learning about its fascinating past or simply admire this architectural masterpiece without any distractions from modern day life thanks to its well-preserved condition since it first opened centuries ago.