4 · The Cabañal

The quarter of Cabañal-Cañamelar is an old sailor quarter born due to its closeness to the Mediterranean Sea and more precisely to the Malvarrosa Beach. I find it a curious and unique area because of the way its streets are arranged, quite like a maze. The fishermen created them unwillingly over time as they established their homes as close to the seashore as they could.

For years now, it has been in the center of a town-planning conflict between the neighbors and the town hall. The latter wants to demolish part of the quarter, which was declared world heritage long ago, in order to extend the Blasco Ibáñez Avenue to reach the sea.

In the 19th century, the quarter became the object of the Valencian bourgeoisie’s desire, which started building their homes mostly as leisure and resting places. The architecture I’ve noticed pertains to the most vital modernism ever. Tiles, colors and floral ornaments have the main roles here, and made the Cabañal one of the most valued and visited areas in the city.

Many famous names made these streets their residence, and maybe one of the most important among them was the writer, journalist and politician Vicente Blasco Ibáñez, whose figure I’ve been able to approach a little. His old home is now a museum by the sea in which objects, writings, portraits and all the history of the author of ‘Cañas y Barro’ are kept. The house’s architecture is also something to look at. What I liked best was the platform with caryatids and Ionic pillars, from which I’ve been watching the immensity of the sea.

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