lunes, 15 de agosto de 2016

The grain silos of Burjassot – an extraordinary trip through the history of the agriculture and architecture of Valencia

Spanish language students of Valencia discover the underground paths of Valencian silos

Valencia. In the middle of the Spanish province Valencia, right next to the Costa Blanca are grain silos with a very interesting history and rich in culture located. The wheat was stored here to secure the food for the Valencian citizens. Especially important was Italy in this process, because the grain was imported from Napoli and Sicily. In former times they formed the kingdom Valencia, el Reino de Valencia.

The transport over such long distances made it necessary to store the goods. In 1573 the first silos were built in Burjassot, to have a safety net for hard times. This idea turned out to be so helpful and brilliant that in total 47 such grain silos were built – today only 41 are left and serve only for touristic purposes. The admiration of such mature construction regarding the time is still impressive for the language students. In 1982 the constructions were pronounced to be “Monumento Histórico-Artístico Nacional”.

The students were able to visit six silos in a guided tour, of course in Spanish to practice listening comprehension and context. They were granted to take pictures and dive in to a different age while wandering through the narrow paths from one silo to another. The grain silos are independent from one another, but those six are connected. The paths were built during the Spanish civil war to store armory and munitions and also served as air protection.
This trip was something different, not a museum or another touristic monuments, it was an exceptional which the language students will remember for a long time.

Following the students were lead onto another level where they found two more rooms with exhibition pieces and pictures from former times displayed. Here it was possible to read about the history and get all the important information again, in the languages Spanish, Valencian and English. Pictures helped by bringing the written word in to life and imagining the past. The language students were granted all the time needed to study the displays and posters, and to exchange opinions, as well as ask questions – here also the Spanish skills were improved and extraordinary and interesting vocabulary was learned.

In the end the language students of the Spanish language school Costa de Valencia were lead outside where they could discover the lids of the silos and the Cruz Plataresca. Here it was possible to reenact exactly what paths were taken and how the transport and storage of the wheat worked: a ramp opened the path for the buggies to the court, as soon as the lids were opened the grain could be poured in.

With that the tour ended and the language students were on their way back to Valencia – with a lot of new Spanish vocabulary and an interesting insight of the former agriculture and architecture of Valencia.  

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