The president of the Port Authority of Valencia, Joan Calabuig, stressed that “the Port of Valencia assumes the role of a tool for trade, innovation and culture to make Valencia more open and tolerant”.
The head of Valenciaport toured the exhibition ‘El Port de València al Segle d’Or. Prosperitat comercial i esplendor cultural” which is on display until 11 June in the Clock Building.
He stresses that “the Valencian Community is in a phenomenal position and is a world reference point for modernity and attracting investment. The Port has made Valencia one of the best cities in the world”.
The exhibition presents maritime articles from the 15th century, the trade routes, the structure of the Port, the art of the period, the main merchandise and emblematic buildings linked to trade
The Clock Building of the Port of Valencia has opened its doors to the Segle d’Or Valencià with an exhibition that takes visitors on a journey through the social, commercial and artistic life of one of the most brilliant and progressive periods of the Cap i Casal. The president of the Port Authority of Valencia (PAV), Joan Calabuig, thanked the work and collaboration of the people and institutions that have made possible El Port de València al Segle d’Or. Commercial prosperity and cultural splendour. For the head of Valenciaport, “this exhibition is a good example of our history. A history that must be borne in mind in order to understand the present day. The Port contributes to the city of Valencia being, according to many international reports, one of the best cities in the world to live in”.
Along these lines, Calabuig emphasised that “the Valencian Community is at a phenomenal moment, with important investments and being a world enclave of initiatives, modernity and progress which, as in the Segle d’Or, is a point of reference throughout the world”. Calabuig, accompanied by the exhibition curators, Ester Medán and Andrea Ortiz, toured the exhibition, which will remain open in the Clock Building until 11 June.
During his visit, the head of Valenciaport stressed that “the Valencian Golden Age was a period between the 14th and 15th centuries. During that time, the Kingdom of Valencia, and more specifically, the city of Valencia, experienced a period, as the title of the exhibition says, of commercial prosperity and cultural splendour. In that València, artists, merchants, architects, writers and poets from all corners of the world lived together. The Cap i Casal was an open city that attracted traders from other areas willing to do business in a safe city in the face of the conflict in its territories”. In fact, Valencia, which at that time had 75,000 inhabitants, had 4,000 silk looms in the Velluters district alone.
And in the midst of all that effervescence,” Calabuig continued, “was the port: El Grau. The place of arrival and welcome of cultural movements, of new silk weaving techniques. The gateway for Valencian fabrics, sultanas and wine, the products of the Valencian market garden. In those days, the Port of Valencia was a ‘slipway’, hence the name Grau; a wooden jetty that went into the sea to make it possible to unload and load the goods that were beginning to move around the world”.
The president of the PAV pointed out that at that time “the
Regne de València was the spearhead for the expansion of the Crown of Aragon around the Mediterranean; and as can be read on the posters in the exhibition, around the year 1400 València began an unstoppable commercial and economic growth, thanks to the strategic location of its port”.
Calabuig, who reviewed the history of València and its port, emphasised that “in the Segle d’Or the international projection that the port gave it in the capital made València a cosmopolitan city; and the city and its merchants, aware of the wealth that trade brought, fortified the port, built the Llotja and created institutions such as the Consulate of the Sea to establish legal guarantees in maritime trade. That was centuries ago and we are still very much aware of it. The port was present at that time of commercial and cultural splendour. Valencia and the port went hand in hand. It is a fruitful relationship which historically has always benefited us”.
Today,” he continued, “the Port of Valencia continues to carry out its function, just as it did in the Segle d’Or. Assuming the role of a tool for trade, to make València a tolerant and open city in the world, to innovation and culture. The short-sea-shipping, the motorways of the sea, the foreland, the hinterland… seem to be current concepts, technological discoveries and technicalities of our time”. “Nothing could be further from the truth: these are seafaring practices as ancient (and at the same time as current) as the 15th century astrolabe or the miniature replica of the Coca de Mataró that we can see in the exhibition. In the Segle d’Or, the hinterland was the Crown of Aragon; and the foreland was the whole Mediterranean and the Atlantic coast of Europe. Today, the hinterland of the Port of Valencia is the whole of the Peninsula; and the foreland is the whole world”, concluded the head of Valenciaport.
Four sections to explore the València of the Golden Age
In the exhibition ‘El Port de València al Segle d’Or’, visitors will discover the trade routes of the time, the situation and port infrastructures, the main goods that entered and left Valencia by sea, emblematic buildings of the city from this period, artistic trends, etc. The exhibition is divided into several sections that take us back in time to place us in the middle of medieval València.
The free exhibition, which has already been visited by 1,500 people, will remain open until 11 June, weekends included, between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. in the Clock Building of the Port of Valencia.
The exhibition also has a space dedicated to activities and workshops so that children can interact with gadgets and make drawings related to the articles and commercial activity of València in the Golden Century.