Mercado Central Valencia outside view
The Central Market

Brief history

The origins of the current Central Market can be traced back to the era of the Muslim rule in the peninsula. This is true not only in terms of the market itself but also in a broader sense, as the conditions and agricultural legacy out of which the Market was born, flourished in the Moorish era.

Arabic lamp in Valencia Central Market

In a more tangible sense, the market itself was born under Muslim rule. Back then, a market was held in the Boatella neighbourhood of Valencia, where merchants would set up their stalls and food stands by the city’s walls.

For centuries, the tradition has continued to grow, right up to the present day, when you can enjoy the biggest fresh produce market in Europe here in Valencia.

  • 9th centuryEstablishment of the HuertaThe Huerta’s agricultural lands and their elaborate irrigation systems were established in the countryside surrounding Valencia by the Moorish kings. This tradition, one of many important legacies left by the Muslim occupation of Spain, has since been at the heart of the Valencian economy, folklore and culture.
  • Up until the early 1200sMarket stallsUnder Muslim rule, up until the 13th century, merchants used to set up their booths just outside the city walls.
  • Mid-1200sRe-authorisation of the marketAfter the Reconquista, mid-13th century, the various Christian kings started slowly authorising the market again.
  • 1300-1800Growth of the marketThe market continued to grow until it was integrated as part of the city centre.
  • 1838Plot of land becomes availableThe Convent of Las Magdalenas was demolished, leaving a free plot of land where the Market would be built.
  • 1839Mercado NuevoThe Mercado Nuevo or Mercado de los Pórticos, was inaugurated on the same site. It was an open-air space with a small portico, and it soon became too small for the increasing demand from the growing bourgeois population.
  • 1910Central Market projectThe City Council launched a competition to select a new market project.
  • 1914Beginning of worksThe construction of the Market really began, after a number of political and financial setbacks.
  • 1928InaugurationThe Central Market as we know it today was inaugurated.