Santa Catalina Church

Santa Catalina Church is located in the Plaza de Santa Catalina and is one of the oldest churches in Valencia. It was built by Jaime I when he conquered the city from the Moors and the probable date of its construction was 1245. It was built over the site of a former mosque and dates from the Middle  Ages. It has only one nave and the retrochoir is in the transept, which is unusual. After a fire in 1548, the church was partly reconstructed in the Renaissance style. In 1785 the church was remodeled to give it a Baroque look. In 1936 the church was burned by the Republicans, but it was restored in the decade of 1950 to give it the original Gothic look.

The bell tower was constructed between 1688 and 1705 by Juan Bautista Viñes, and there is a commemorative plate with his name that is found at the base of the tower. The design is Baroque and the ground plan is hexagonal with four stories that are divided by moldings, plus the upper story that contains the bells. The upper part is adorned with columns that are helicoidal. The bells were made in London in 1729 and a clock was added also to one of the faces. The bell tower is best seen from the Calle de la Paz. The bell tower is ornate, while the tower El Miguelete of the Cathedral is sober, so the popular legend is that the two towers are husband and wife.