The Borja, a universal Valencian family

Los Borgia

The Route of the Borja

The Route of the Borja is a unique experience that traverses the splendor of the most universal Valencian family of Europe in the XV and XVI centuries

The Borja family (The Borgias) has left a deep mark on universal history. Since their Valencian origins, the Borja had a decisive intervention in all spheres of power, both political and religious, and became nobles, princes, patrons, advisors to kings, popes, and saints. A powerful lineage wrapped with ambition, intrigue, legends and mystery.

Calixto, Alejandro, César, Lucrecia, Francisco… A family that contributed to generate a great legend and the universally known as the myth of “Los Borgia”. Its time is the Renaissance, that of great art and the new humanistic culture, it is the era of discoveries. The Borja advanced to modernity, modern was their idea of power and the manner of exercising it. With them Renaissance art and an impressive historical, cultural and artistic heritage came into Valencia, which still lives today in an exciting route of fine arts with more than 600 years of history.

The Route of the Borja

The Route of the Borja is a unique experience that traverses the splendor of the most universal and powerful Valencian family of Europe in the XV and XVI centuries. To traverse its path is to stroll through an exciting show of art, landscape, history and culture.

In the city of Valencia, the route of the Borja reveals its exuberance in San Nicolás church, with sumptuous paintings already known like the Valencian Sistine Chapel. In the Cathedral, the Borja Popes built the majestic chapel of San Pedro and ordered the exquisite Renaissance frescoes of the angel musicians, admired throughout Europe. In the chapel dedicated to San Francisco de Borja you can admire two excellent canvases by Goya. The living trace of the Borja also passes by the family residence, Palace of Corts Valencianes and by the University.

Xàtiva and Canals are the cradle of the Borja. In Canals, the Tower of the Borja, the place where Pope Calixto III was born in 1378 is conserved. Situated just opposite is the Oratory that formed part of the palace complex. In Xàtiva, the birthplace of Rodrigo de Borja is conserved in a beautiful square. The artistic heritage is also exhibited in the Collegiate Church, the churches of San Francisco and San Pedro, where Alexander VI was baptized, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Palau, Santa Clara convent, Santa Ana hermitage and the impregnable castle, an imposing vantage point and testimony of history.

In Gandia, on the Mediterranean Sea shores, the Ducal Palace is an admirable architectural complex and the most distinguished Borgiano monument.The majority of the Borja Dukes and their descendants were born here, among them San Francisco de Borja in 1510. The Salon de Coronas (Crowns Hall) and the Saint’s Oratory stand out while the Gold Gallery hypnotizes the visitor with its beauty. In Gandia the mark of the Borja imposes itself in the Collegiate church, the Santa Clara convent and the University.

This fascinating route also passes through Albaida, where Luis Juan de Milá and Borja’s nephew took up residence and began to raise a fortified palace that rises proudly in the town center. Another highlight is the Sanz palace, located in the village of Vallés. The route combines monuments, heritage, rich gastronomy and beautiful landscapes, such as the surroundings of Castelló de Rugat where the Ducal Palaceremnants are preserved.

Llombai was a barony acquired by Cardinal Rodrigo de Borja for his son Pedro Luis. Here, one can contemplate la Iglesia de la Santa Cruz (the Church of the Holy Cross),integrated in the convent of the Dominicans. Llombai celebrates a historic recreation known as “Mercado de los Borja” (Borja’s Market) which receives hundreds of visitors.

The Borja route also leads us to two monasteries, authentic rural cathedrals of art and seclusion, such as San Jerónimo de Cotalba in Alfauir and Santa Maria de Simat de la Valldigna.

Source/Written by: Agència Valenciana del Turisme.