Santa Catalina Church is one of the oldest in Valencia. The church dates from the Middle Ages, and is built on the site of a former mosque. It is the only Gothic church in the city with a retrochoir in the transept, the same as you will find in the Cathedral.
If you walk down La Paz street heading towards the Plaza de la Reina, you will see Santa Catalina church’s beautiful and baroque bell tower. Once in the plaza, you can get a full appreciation for the beauty and ornateness of the church, contrasting with the sobriety of “El Miguelete’s”, the Cathedral bell tower. These two towers are, according to popular legend, husband and wife. Santa Catalina’s origins date back to the time of Catholic conquest of the city, when in a demonstration of power over the conquered Moors, king Jaime I built wonderful structures throughout the city such as this one. Santa Catalina, known as a baroque church, is really much older. Behind the baroque facade and in the interior you will find an early gothic structure.
This church has just one Gothic nave broken up into eight sections, which gives enormous width to it. It lost part of its Baroque decor during the War of Independence, such that a mixture of styles can be seen. In spite of this, however, a certain classical purism remains.