La Nau university building has been the seat of the University of València ever since it was founded in the late 15th century. In 1498 the City’s General Council decided to group together all higher education courses into a General Study, granting it university status. A number of houses and some plots of land were purchased to that end near La Nau street, and Pere Compte was commissioned to undertake their refurbishment. In 1499 The Juries or city representatives drew up the bylaws of the new institution, which was officially opened in 1500. A papal bull (Alexander VI) and royal privileges (Ferdinand II) gave the studies university status in 1501 and 1502 respectively.
The building is a fine example of Valencian Neoclassical architecture, as can be especially seen in the cloister and the façades. Its current architectural configuration is the outcome of a number of interventions that have gradually given the building its function, all along five centuries, from the first design by Pere Compte to the most recent refurbishment actions (1999 and 2012) intended to renew both the building’s functionality and infrastructures.
The University’s growth and expansion as of the 1960s at Blasco Ibáñez campus (health and humanities degrees), Tarongers (social science studies and economics), and Burjassot-Paterna (basic sciences and technology) reduced the academic functions of La Nau, which then became a point of reference for the cultural and
institutional activities of Universitat de València.
Today, apart from hosting the Rector’s office, it has become a Cultural Centre for a wide range of UV activities (exhibitions, theatre and music) and a new meeting point for conferences. It is also the seat of the Historic Library and different university services
operating in the fields of culture and heritage.