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About the Cultural Centre La Nau

This historic building, which was declared Asset of Cultural interest in 1981, is the oldest and most emblematic facility of the Universitat de València. It was the head office of the university since its foundation in the 15th century to the first half of the 20th century.

In 1488, the General Council of the city agreed to gather all the superior studies imparted in the Valencia into a single “General Study” and promoted it to university status. As a result, several houses and plots were acquired in the surrounding area of La Nave Street and Pere Compte was hired to remodel the site. In 1499, the representatives of the city wrote the first statutes of the new institution, which started its activity in 1500. The papal bull (Alexander VI) and the royal grace (Ferdinand II the Catholic) gave university status to the studies that started in 1501 and 1502.

The building was an example of Valencian neoclassical architecture, particularly the façade and cloister. The current architectural design of the building is the result of continuous refurbishments that have been adapting the building to different functions and necessities throughout 5 centuries, since Pere Compte’s original design to the last refurbishment (1999 and 2012) that updated the facilities to transform the building into an essential cultural centre in Valencia.

The growth and expansion of the Universitat de València in the 1960s at the Blasco Ibáñez, Tarongers and Burjassot-Paterna campuses reduced the academic functions of La Nau.  Currently, it has become the referent for cultural and institutional purposes of the Universitat de València.

Apart from being the institutional seat of the Office of the Principal and the Office of the Vice-principal for Culture and Sport, as a cultural centre the building hosts many of the cultural activities of the Universitat de València (exhibitions, theatre and music) and is a space for meeting and debate (conferences and congresses). Its cultural programme includes music and film festivals such as Serenates and La Cabina that are already a reference point in Valencia.

La Nau is also the head office of the Historic Library and hosts the offices of several university services, including the departments of Culture, Heritage and Equality.

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