30th of October
Few people know that the open space in front of San Francisco shrine in Náquera is a perfect spot to see the sunset as well as the panoramic views of Valencia. On this trip we’re going to go for a short hike and finish at the shrine right before the sunset.
Difficulty: medium/low (7km with 150m elevation gain).
Technical level: medium (gravel roads and easy trails).
Price: 15 euros (includes professional guide, transportation, accident and public liability insurances).
Meeting point: Mestalla, parking lot on av. Aragón, 15:00
Bring water, snacks, warmer clothes and hiking shoes.
San Francisco Shrine
Inaugurated on October 16, 1922, the current shrine was built between 1917 and 1921; although the first construction begun in 1912, collapsing the following year. However, there was an older one – known as Ermita de la Ràpita and already documented in 1603 – which was located at the entrance to the current Calvary. This primitive shrine was in ruins around 1890, which led to its demolition at the beginning of the 20th century.
There was also an old Calvary located next to the path that leads to the shrine, but at the end of the 19th century it was in such a dilapidated state, that it was decided to build a new one in its current location. This Via Crucis was badly damaged during the Civil War, but restored later, although some of the original elements were lost forever.
The exterior of the shrine and the Calvary benefited from a restoration carried out in 2006 in which the ashlar stone of its walls was exposed and the decoration of the façade was cleaned up. An attractive night lighting system has also been installed.
The origins of Nàquera go back to prehistory. Different archaeological sites show us the evolution of the settlement. The oldest finds date back to the Paleolithic era, although from this era there are only isolated finds; same goes for the Neolithic era. Already in the Bronze age we find different deposits of greater importance that confirm that the mountainous area of Nàquera was inhabited at this time. Among the different preserved deposits, we place Els Trencalls, Cerro de la Patada, Montaspre, or the Puntal del Moros among others and numerous less important sites. Although it may seem strange, no sites of Iberian origin have been found, although a theory has been used that placed an Iberian necropolis on the ascent to the current shrine, but no vestiges of this have reached us, so it remains unconfirmed. Moving to Roman times, we find some new deposits. Various vestiges of this time have been found in the urban nucleus that could support the theory that the current population nucleus emerged already in Roman times.
Nowadays, Náquera has become a second residence for many people living in Valencia, as well as paradise for trail runners and cyclists. Among some of the most interesting things, you can find a Barack Obama street running through the middle of the town, as well as other things to love about Náquera.