Annika Schunn is a UVA student who spent this past summer studying abroad in Valencia. Below are some of the pictures from her travels throughout Spain.
Many of the larger avenues in Valencia have broad medians used as parks or green space, such as this one in the Carrer de Manuel Candela, near my host parents’ apartment.
A typical, light Spanish breakfast of biscuits (galletas), tea, juice, and mildly sweet Valencian cakes named after their region of origin, valencianas.
One of the many bridges crossing “El Río,” which used to be an actual river, River Turía, running through the city. After a great flood in the late 50s, the river was diverted out of the city and the empty riverbed was converted into a park.
A mosaic in the historical city center depicting La Virgen de Los Desemperados, Valencia’s patron saint. Though this mosaic is not particularly old, these mosaics are a traditional presence in Spanish public spaces, serving as memorials to important religious and public figures.
La Mestalla, the stadium of the professional Valencian soccer team, with greetings written in Valencian and Spanish, a visible manifestation of Spain’s multilingualism.
Script on the side of what used to be an old hospital in the city of Xátiva, nearby Valencia. I noticed similar faded, cryptic typography on the sides of old churches.
The influence and importance of Catholicism is ever present in Spain, shining through even the tightest streets in old city quarters, like this one in Xátiva.
The ceiling of la nevera, a centuries-old refrigerator outside of a castle in Xátiva, accessed through a tunnel dug through the mountainside.
An example of Muslim influence in the castle garden; the importance of water and the aesthetic of geometry married together in a typical Muslim-Spanish fountain.
Typical Valencian ceramics, sold as tourist souvenirs in the Plaza de la Reina in Valencia.
Valencia’s two most important churches, La Cathedral and La Iglesia de la Virgen, sit right next to each other, providing an interesting contrast between gothic and baroque architectures.
The cup that is believed to be the Holy Grail itself, though the evidence is tenuous, is on exhibit in Valencia.
A glimpse of La Politecnica, Valencia’s largest university.
The statue of a pope scrutinizes tourists as they enter the castle at Peñíscola.
A view of the Mediterranean and typical white-washed houses clinging to land from the
castle of Peñíscola.
Though very few cities in Spain maintain their medieval walls, Valencia has hung onto two sets of its original gates. This is one of them, the Torres Serranos.
Soccer is an important pastime in Spain; my roommate came across this community soccer game in the river park one Sunday afternoon.
A typical tile, used to mark and memorialized, spotted in the grounds of La Alhambra in Granada.
An example of exquisite Muslim geometric tile design, in the Palacio Nazaríes, the ancient palace of a Muslim Sultan, in Granada.
Though Spain is known for its oranges, also very common are bitter, inedible oranges. These are decorative and line Spanish city streets.
Though Spain is known for its oranges, also very common are bitter, inedible oranges. These A boatride through a glade of La Albufera, a large man-made lake outside Valencia that now serves as an important habitat for birds and other wildlife. are decorative and line Spanish city streets.
Typical Paella Valenciana at a Tapas Festival in Valencia.
A view of the Tapas Festival.
A performance by an association for Eastern European Immigrants in Alicante, a city two
hours south of Valencia.
A Spanish salad with typical Mediterranean ingredients like tuna, tomato, and olives.
Annika Schunn is a UVA student who spent this past summer studying abroad in Valencia.