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“A bit of calm in the hustle bustle”

Iglesia de San Juan del Hospital
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$792.20*
and up
Valencia Holy Grail Tour Small Group Bus Tour
Ranked #52 of 277 things to do in Valencia
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed October 16, 2013

We loved this church! It is the oldest church in Valencia founded after the re-conquest in 1238. Since mass was going on,we began our visit in the museum and were studying the photos of some of the restoration. The lady who staffs the museum started explaining the work to us. The church survived the Arabic influence, the Romanesque and Gothic changes and the Baroque refurbishments but the Civil War was very hard on Spanish churches. Many were burned. And that meant that the priceless and irreplaceable works of art also burned. In 1943, the church was declared a National Heritage Monument but used for non-religious events such as a cinema. The priests of Opus Dei reconsecrated and began its restoration. Some of the 12th century statues on view in the side chapels were found in art dealers' shops and purchased for placement in St John's. Since the Baroque decoration had been burned away, some of the whitewash was stripped and frescoes discovered. The altar pieces in the side chapels are what you see in the art museums. And you can see them in the place where they are meant to be. Our personal guide explained the iconography of the palm frond in Santa Barbara's hand (She was martyred.), why she has a tower next to her(Her father locked her in a tower to force her to marry an infidel.), why St James holds his head on one hand (The pain and grief he suffered for Christ's agony.), and other uses of symbols. Very informative tour for a very special place.

3  Thank Beth T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 4, 2013

San Juan del Hospital stands somewhat aside from the main attractions of Valencia and so is an all the more satisfying discovery.

With roots dating back to the conquest of Valencia in 1238 and the Knights Hospitallier, it has a long and chequered history, including a period of dereliction that almost lead to its complete destruction. Now a ‘Historic-Artistic Monument of National Character’ and is run by priests of the Prelature of Opus Dei as a centre for worship.

Behind an almost blank facade the entrance court is a delight, quiet and peaceful with tiled decorations marking the Stations of the Cross. The simple nave terminates in six soaring arches coming together in an elegant apse softly lit by windows of thin sheets of alabaster (notice how on the outside they don’t look like windows at all).

A baby was being christened when we visited – a lovely way to experience a religious building.

3  Thank Brian_Human
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Reviewed 3 weeks ago
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Reviewed 4 weeks ago
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Reviewed 4 weeks ago
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