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Valencia and its old city: El Carmen, el Mercat and la Xerea

Amparo and Richard came into our offices in Paz Street with the sole clear idea of changing their way of life. They are living in the outskirts of a small village on the coast in Belgium. Life is idilic in their home, large Green áreas, lots of nature and quiteness overall. But briefly Amparo will be able to achieve her deepest desiree: come back to the land where she was born, because the Company where both of them are working for, is sending them to their new offices in Valencia. She has it very clear, so does Richard that already knows the city very well, they want to buy an apartment in the old city. She was born in the very typical Plaza del Arbol and she reminds all her childhood playing in the very close Plaza de la Santa Cruz with the rest of the children in the neighbourhood. The, now recently renovated, market of Mosén Sorell was the place to meet other children when their mothers asked them to buy what it was needed for the dinner or next day lunch and the opened áreas surrounding the very few rests of the arabic Wall that closed the old city were the perfect places to hide when fathers were calling them to go back home for dinner in the hot summers…

I thought I could offer them by its location a very cosy penthouse in the Mercado de Mosén Sorell (1)

Valencia - Valencia y su casco antiguo: El Carmen, el Mercat y la Xerea

or another penthouse with more modern lines very close to Plaza del Tossal (2) that has been, is and will probably be the neuralgic centre of the Barrio del Carmen. Traditionally the romans when creating a new city they were doing it through two main streets, one facing north/south and the other one east/west, they were called the Cardo and the Decumana that in Valencia are calle Caballeros and Quart on one side and Bolsería and Alta streets on the other; and they cross is where Plaza del Tossal is located and the reason of being such an important location.

Valencia - Valencia y su casco antiguo: El Carmen, el Mercat y la Xerea

Richard lets me know that these properties are very interesting but they have a large family and therefore they look for something bigger that could be in a modern and minimalist style or also something more traditional and cosy. They look for an apartment in a nice building, they don´t want bricks, Stone blocks or marble covering the façade, they also want a terrace to enjoy meals and therefore I offer them two new options, one in front of the old Turia riverbed gardens piso (3) and a second one very close to the Central Market, one of the most interesting buildings in the city with its famous “cotorra”(parrot) and its really postwar sad stories (4).

Valencia - Valencia y su casco antiguo: El Carmen, el Mercat y la Xerea

Trying to help them I explain them that the área surrounded by the Virgen, Reina, Ayuntamiento and the Central Market squares continues being the neuralgic centre of the city. Life walks on the narrow sidewalks with a very interesting mix of people: toursits looking for monuments to picture, others looking for the bus turistic that allows them to rest a Little bit while visiting the city, together with people living there all their lives that go to take a tapa of “puntillas”, “bravas” with a “caña” in front of the Central Market, or the neighbours that área learning to embroider and sew in the recently renovated and unique Plaza Redonda together with the suited business men and agents that quickly cross the sidewalks in Plaza del Ayuntamiento looking for the Banks buildings and the offices of the most important companies

Valencia - Valencia y su casco antiguo: El Carmen, el Mercat y la Xerea

In this área the traditional commerce and shops still survive to the new franchises and international shops. Some time ago, the profesionals were located in the streets with their name but nowadays there are no shoemakers in the Zapateros street and no one working with leather in Correjería street. You won´t find any shop selling house clothing in Mantas street and it will totally imposible to buy “espadenyas” in Esparto square. Embroiders disapeared some years ago of Bordadores street and in Cerrajeros street there are no more shops woking with keys. It is a shame, it was easy to find these Jobs and professionals by the streets.

Valencia - Valencia y su casco antiguo: El Carmen, el Mercat y la Xerea

Trying to really find what my clients are looking for, even knowing that some of them don´t even have it clear, I want tooffer them two of our most special properties. They are located very close, but now out of the Carmen, Seu or Mercat districts; now we go to La Xerea, the noble área of the city centre, where the wealthy families of the 50 s were located with its noble buildings with shields in the entrance, small palaces, churches and public offices buildings. These two properties are really special: (4) this penthouse located in a recently built building with luxurious materials is placed very close to la Glorieta gardens , the entrance to the most beautiful street in Valencia, Paz street and this other one (5) that is one of our jewels only available for the most special clients and that is located very close to another very traditional square: Nápoles y Sicilia.

Valencia - Valencia y su casco antiguo: El Carmen, el Mercat y la Xerea

It is the quietest área in the city and its location is unique only a few meter from Paz street, the Cathedral, the Glorieta gardens or the old Turia riverbed gardens. I truly know that Amparo and Richard really appreciate the convenience of living in the old city, they enjoy taking their children to play to the Glorieta under the shade of the huge magnolias, natural and Green monuments that locals are used to see but that wonder all that see them first time.

Valencia - Valencia y su casco antiguo: El Carmen, el Mercat y la Xerea

Many of our clients come to us looking for a wonderful apartment, a very cosy house, a modern design holidays home, a villa in front of the see or an amazing penthouse in the city centre, without realizing that what they really want to buy is a nice remind of their childhood, and illusión of their youth or even a pleasure feeling like the shade of a centenary pine in summer.

Valencia - Valencia y su casco antiguo: El Carmen, el Mercat y la Xerea

Text: Juan Ferrando (Real Estate Agent MMC Valencia)

Photos: Raquel Moreno

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