If a monument shines in Valencia is La Lonja. Known initially as The Lonja of the Merchants, with the prosperity of the silk trade in the city was renamed as we know it today. It was declared National Monument in 1931 and Unesco declared it World Heritage monument in 1996.
It is a building built in 1482 by the master Pere Compte. The style in which it is built is late Gothic and consists of 4 parts:
- Tower: space where rogues, thieves and dishonest people were kept. It consists of cells; a chapel and a spiral staircase. It currently cannot be visited due to bad conditioning.
- Recruitment Room: As its name suggests, was the room where the transactions took place, was trading and closed trade agreements. It is the largest room of La Lonja, the most famous for his majesty, light and splendor, the 8 Solomonic columns and the inscriptions found on the roof. The following inscription was intended to persuade rogues:
“Incita domus sum annis aedificata quindecim.
Gustate el videte concibes quoniam bona est negotiatio,
quae non agit dolum in llingua,
quae jurat proximo et non deficit,
quae pecanium non dedit ad usurum eius.
Mercator sic agens divitiis redundabit,
et tandem vita fructur aeterna”
- ‘Patio de los Naranjos’: It is a garden with oranges trees, ornamental details, benches and a shaped 8-pointed star central fountain. It is a space where you can relax and admire the building sitting on a bench with running water and music.
- Consulate of the Sea: room where city commerce issues were dealt. He stresses the Golden Chamber and its roof made of wood and polychrome gold that gives the room a particular splendour.
The attractiveness of the gargoyles of La Lonja
All visitors are amazed once they visit La Lonja, but if there is something that often draws their attention are the statues that decorate the monument. There is not too much known about the real intention of the gargoyles but the popular belief associate them with moral lessons to the population and keeping away the evil trades and playfulness from the good path of honourable men.
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