Valencia’s 19th century Gardens – Jardin de Monforte & Viveros
The old center of Valencia offers charming diversions for garden lovers: In contrast to the contemporary aspects of the Turia gardens, demonstrating the precision of Bofill’s Modernism, or Calatrava’s innovative buildings for the ‘City of Arts & Sciences,’ which manifest the breadth of the engineer/architect’s expertise, visitors to Valencia bask in historic parks and flower-filled promenades.
On a more intimate scale than Valencia’s Viveros, Monforte Gardens presents an achingly romantic, mid-19th century design of clipped orange trees and manicured parterres.
In this atmospheric setting, venerable, age-old trees provide shade from the intense sunshine, giving way to grottoes of moss and lichen encrusted rock. In a satisfying convergence of fountains and filigreed ironwork, stroll amid an allee of classical sculptures and feel refreshed, pausing at the central pond shaped like a water-lily.
Via the Puente de Real bridge, one enters Viveros by stepping out from the designated old quarter, while crossing to the right bank of the old river bed. Valencia’s largest garden landscape, it’s the site of the former Royal Gardens; the palace long since destroyed. With rose-draped pergolas, aviary, and Paleontology Museum on the grounds, Viveros is a perfect spot to take a cafe break and engage in people-watching.
A bit further along, the 19th century Paseo de la Alameda is a leafy, Moorish-inspired walk running adjacent to the old river bed. Delight in the ancient stone stairways, and asymmetrical layout of flower-filled beds and borders.