Since time immemorial, three maritime districts have hosted the processions of València’s Marine Holy Week: El Grau, el Canyamelar and el Cabanyal..
When rey Jaime I conquered the city of Valencia in 1247, distinguished the existing farmhouse near the beach with the name of Villanueva del Grao de València. In this place, following his custom in each conquest, erected a temple dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary that soon took the name of Santa María del Mar..
Three neighbourhoods of the Marítimo have hosted the processions of the Sea Easter in Valencia since time immemorial: El Grau, el Canyamelar and el Cabanyal.
The monarch also granted the sailors who helped him in the conquest of the city the strip of land that extended north of Grao which, over the years, were consolidated as the Canyamelar and the Cabanyal.</In both territories the population grew around the hermitages dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary and Our Lady of the Angels, respectively, which reached the erection as parishes in the middle of the XIX century.
Both Villanueva del Grao, and el Canyamelar and el Cabanyal, the latter two united under the name of Pueblo Nuevo del Mar, enjoyed municipal autonomy for much of the nineteenth century, until in 1897 they were annexed to the city of Valencia.>.
La Villanueva del Grao, el Canyamelar and el Cabanyal, in 1897 they were annexed to the city of València.
Just as in the first the professions were more linked to port activity, in the other two the activity was centred on fishing. In other words, in one way or another, the sea has always been present in these neighbourhoods, impregnating them with their own idiosyncrasies and singularities, which were transferred by their inhabitants to the Holy Week processions.
A stroll through the streets where the processions take place will allow you to contemplate historical buildings such as the Reales Atarazanas (15th century) or the Biblioteca de la Reina. Museums such as the “Salvador Caurín” Easter Week Museum, the Rice Museum or the Blasco Ibáñez House-Museum. Modernist façades: Fishing environment with Casa dels Bous (1895) or La Lonja del Pescado (1909) and port with its graceful Clock Building, Tinglados and the modern building of Veles e Vents, built for the America’s Cup.
Surely throughout your walk, the sea breeze will suggest you approach the Paseo Marítimo from where the contemplation of a forest of cranes and surrounding buildings will confirm the new perspectives that the Maritime offers to the development of the Valencian economy, based on fundamental services such as maritime transport and tourism.
The Mediterranean light, the vestiges of the seafaring past, the sparkles of the sun spreading diamonds over the calm waters of the inner dock… everything contributes to the fact that the environment sheltering the processions offers an incomparable setting for the Seafaring Holy Week in Valencia.