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La Nau Building - Chronology


15th Century

Engraving with students. 15th Century


1490-93. The municipal Council decided to purchase some houses to set up the Estudi General, as the university of Valencia was called at the time. A house with kitchen gardens and a yard was bought from Isabel Saraño for this purpose.

1498. The town builders Pere Compte and Pere Bernia, the first architects of the Estudi General, undertook to complete “nine lecture rooms and three halls” which were to be the origins of the university.

1499.  April 30th. The university constitutions were drawn up.


16th and 17th Centuries

Portrait o Pope Alexander VI. Valencia Fine Arts Museum


1501. January 22nd. A papal bull issued by Pope Alexander VI granted the University the capacity to award academic degrees.

1502. February 2nd. The king Ferdinand the Catholic granted the royal privilege of university ratification.

1514. The building’s main staircase was repaired.

1515. A house at the back of the Estudi General was purchased to extend the building.

1516. The “Mare de Déu de la Sapiencia” panel was commissioned to Nicolás Falcó, and the structure of the first alterpiece by Luis Muñoz.

1535. New lecture rooms were built in the building’s stockyard.

1572. An important reform of the Estudi General was carried out by the maestro Joan d’Alfafar.

1578. The stonecutter Miguel Porcar took part in the construction of the three stone arches in what were known as the “three new lecture rooms”.

1527. Improvements were carried out in the lecture rooms by Luis Muñoz and Juan Corbera.

1606. The door that led from the Estudi General to the Corpus Christi school was closed by order of the archbishop Juan de Ribera.

1659. The maestro Vicente Fos started to build the university theatre.


18th Century

Rector Vicente Blasco. Board room. Salvador Maella, 1747


1733. The architect Felipe Rubio extended and restructured the university theatre at the Estudi General.

1735. An agreement was made with the “master-builder” Miguel Martínez to build the Sapiencia chapel.

1754. The Santa Bárbara Academy of Fine Arts moved in to the Estudi General.

1765. The architect Vicente Gascó conditioned the interior of the Academy of Fine Arts to accommodate the new San Carlos Royal Academy.

1770. The academic Faculty decided to buy a house and a bakery adjacent to the University yard.

1778. New lecture rooms were built on the bakery plot by Lorenzo Martínez.

1785. Francisco Pérez Bayer donated his library to the University.

1786. Curriculum by rector Blasco.

1789. The University library was designed by the architect Joaquín Martínez.

1790. Construction of the library was approved and the chemical laboratory and astronomical observatory were designed by José García.

1793. A reform plan was approved and commissioned to the architect José García but was not implemented.

1795. Construction of the Estudi General library concluded.

1798. A second floor designed by Manuel Blasco was built onto the Academy.


19th Century

Estudi General cloister adorned on the occasion of the four-hundredth anniversary celebrations


1812. Most of the Estudi General, including the library, was burnt during the siege by Suchet’s troops in the Napoleonic wars.

1830. The library was repaired.

1839. The Physics and Chemistry lecture rooms were rebuilt. The Faculty decided to begin a number of reforms in the building.

1839-45. The architect Timoteo Calvo undertook the reform of the rectory courtyard and the main cloister.

1850. The San Carlos Academy moved out of the Estudi General.

1861-77. Several reforms were carried out by the architect Sebastián Monleón, including the construction of the astronomical observatory, renovation of the university theatre and conclusion of the portico in the main cloister and the approaches to the new lecture rooms. The Natural History Museum was built.

1880. The garden was made and the monument to Luis Vives, ,by José Aixa, was erected in centre of the main cloister.

1886-90. The architect Antonio Martorell finished the work started by Sebastián Monleón, and the façades designed by Joaquín Martínez.


20th Century

1964: The fountain was built in the Plaza del Patriarca with sculptures by Octavio Vicent


1932. A great fire ruined part of the Estudi General.

1943-44. The second-floor colonnade in the main cloister of the Estudi General was built by the architect Javier Goerlich.

1957. The entire city was badly damaged by a flood. The Estudi General library was severely damaged.

1960. The houses in the Plaza del Patriarca were demolished and the façade of the Estudi General on that side was closed.

1964. The fountain was built in the Plaza de Patriarca with sculptures by Octavio Vicent.

1985-90. Repairs were done in the academic theatre, the Sapiencia chapel and the main cloister.

1999. October 6th, the Estudi General building was re-opened after being renovated on the occasion of its five-hundredth anniversary.

La Nau Building


La Nau Building

La Nau chronology

Foundation of the "Estudi General"

Building a house of knowledge

17th and 18th Centuries

"Building without offending proper decorum"

Reconstruction, symmetry and unity

The University as a living monument

Cultural Project  


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