While many school residential trips to Valencia concentrate on its famous futuristic City of Arts and Sciences, there is much more to the Spanish city than these modern museums. From paintings by the masters to the National Ceramics Museum, Valencia has a rich heritage of arts and crafts that are fascinating for students to discover.
Spanish Masters at the Museum of Fine Arts
One of the sites that I’ve had wonderful feedback about from teachers who have taken classes on school residential trips is the Museo de Bellas Artes de Valencia, or the Museum of Fine Arts. With its emphasis on paintings by local Spanish artists, the museum is one of the most important in the district for bringing together the work of Valencian practitioners.
The permanent exhibition includes work by Spanish masters including Goya, El Greco, Velázquez and Murillo. Students interested in sculpture, archaeology and contemporary art will also find plenty to enthral them here – not to mention pupils with an interest in architecture who will love the seventeenth-century Baroque palace in which the museum is housed.
Art Nouveau Splendour at the Mercado Central
Architecture students, as well as those with an interest crafts, will love a visit to Valencia’s Central Market. It is one of the oldest markets in Europe that is still in use; local historians claim there has been a market on the site as far back as the thirteenth century. But it is the current early twentieth-century market structure – built in 1928, with its mosaic façade and geometric stained glass and ornate, arched entrance – which will inspire your young crafters and architects.
Once you’ve marvelled at the building and all its wonderful details, take your class inside for a blast of authentic Valencian life. The market, with its excellent local produce, including everything from fruit and vegetables to fresh seafood, is a hub of city life offering your students a great insight into Spanish culture and lifestyle.
Crafts Culture at the National Ceramics Museum
It can be difficult to find school residential trips for students interested in the craft movement but Valencia certainly fits the bill with its prestigious National Ceramics Museum. Housed in a stunning fifteenth-century palace (refurbished in the eighteenth century in the luxurious rococo style), the museum houses a world-class collection of ceramics from key periods throughout history right up to the modern day. Highlights include a range of prehistoric items, as well as a wide collection of Roman, Greek and Middle Eastern ceramics. Bringing the collection up to date there are some wonderful twentieth-century examples, including ceramics by artists such as Picasso, and a collection of traditional work from towns across Spain.
There is so much for students interested in art, design and architecture to see in Valencia that it is definitely worth getting some specialist help in planning your school residential trips to the area, in order to ensure you don’t miss out on anything. An educational tour operator will take care of the details (museum opening times, ticket bookings, accommodation) so that you can use your time to inspire your students.
John Gardiner is the Managing Director of The School Travel Company, a tour operator specialising in school residential trips for school and youth groups to the UK, Europe and beyond. As a father and avid traveller, John is very passionate about providing students with valuable and engaging learning experiences outside of the classroom. By sharing his expert advice with teachers, he allows them to inspire their students and bring their studies to life.