The Gothic Cathedral is Valencia’s most important religious building, and its tower, “el Miguelete”, is one of the symbols of the city.
The Cathedral was built on the site of an earlier mosque, and was begun in the 13th century, with several changes and additions before it was finished in the 17th century. It combines several architectural styles, although Gothic is clearly predominant. One of the most beautiful elements inside the Cathedral is the Capilla del Santo Cáliz, the Chapel of the Holy Chalice and former chapterhouse, with its lovely star vault, an image of heaven with the 12 Apostles and the Coronation of the Virgin. The place of honour goes to the relic of the Chalice or Grail, a 1st-century cup once thought to have been used by Christ at the Last Supper. Striking features of the cathedral’s exterior are the Puerta del Palau, its oldest entrance, in the Romanesque style with Mudéjar elements, and the Puerta de los Apóstoles (14th century). This is where the Water Tribunal takes place every Thursday at noon. The institution was established in the Middle Ages by King Jaume I: every two years, eight representatives are chosen from the irrigation districts around Valencia to form the Tribunal and rule on irrigation matters and the distribution of water from the river Turia. Its procedures are oral, in the Valencian language, and its rulings cannot be appealed. The Water Tribunal still meets and dispenses justice today. In 2009, UNESCO granted it Intangible Cultural Heritage status.