The Silk Exchange, or Lonja de la Seda, is the principal historic monument of the city of Valencia. it is considered to be one of the best examples of Gothic civil architecture in the entire Mediterranean. It was built in the 15th century, Valencia's golden age when the Kingdom of Valencia was at its economic and cultural peak.
The contracts hall pictured above is a lavish Gothic design with twisted columns supporting a vaulted stone ceiling. The side wing is named the Pavilion of the Consulate, this was the seat of the Tribunal del Mar, the first marine merchant tribunal to ever be formed in Spain. The third part is a tower in which debtors to the Tribunal would be imprisoned.
The building was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996 proclaiming, "the site is of outstanding universal value as it is a wholly exceptional example of a secular building in late Gothic style, which dramatically illustrates the power and wealth of one of the great Mediterranean mercantile cities."