Prostitutes in Valencia… in the Middle Ages?

Escorts in Valencia in the medieval period

Is it true that prostitution is the oldest profession in the world? At what point in the history did being an escort in Valencia start being a job in demand? Do not miss this article because you are going to discover something you surely didn’t know about. Let’s get started!

Have you heard the saying “estás en la luna de Valencia?”, which literally means “are you on Valencia’s moon?”? It is a path that takes you to the period this post is talking about, a period that was both dark and full of fiery light: the Middle Ages. Ancient Valencia had a wall whose doors closed at dusk and that’s where this saying comes from, since those who didn’t come on time had to sleep outside the wall, under the moonlight. But let’s not stray anymore from the topic!

Even if it doesn’t seem true, people in the medieval period showed more social sensitivity with respect to prostitution because of the lack of knowledge or mere custom than the 21st century society. The most striking case is the big brothel that existed in the city, possible the biggest in the history of the Valencian Community. And one of the biggest of all times! For three and a half centuries a zone in the city was reserved for housing the escorts in Valencia. (Does it remind you of Amsterdam?) That area could be assessed by men of legal age who weren’t Saracens (Arabs) or Jews, who weren’t allowed to enter in any case.

Noelia Ràngel, in her article “Blackberries, youngsters and prostitutes: About prostitution in Valencia at the end of the Middle Ages”, says that prostitution “is not an irrelevant phenomenon in the Middle Ages, but it is rather an essential aspect of that society. Slowly, under the influence of the ecclesiastics, a utilitarian view on prostitutes took root. Maybe that’s the reason why the brothel in Valencia was better than that of any other city. Maybe because it stayed within the walls, maybe because of its rigorous medical control and public order system… These were, perhaps, the reasons of its success.

What finally happened to the escorts in Valencia?

The prostitutes in Valencia, as it is known, were very rich and put on the best silk garments and jewels, evoking envy from the high-class ladies. As a fun fact that you’ll surely find interesting, we can say that allusions to prostitutes were pretty common even in buildings. For example, a famous gargoyle in the Valencia Cathedral, near the Romanesque gate, shows a nude woman lasciviously holding her breasts.

Over time, Valencia became something that could be compared to a medieval style Las Vegas – the city of downfall for many! And the reputation of the escorts in Valencia became a cause of scandal. All this happened till discipline appeared and the great severity of time shut Valencia’s brothel (like all the brothels in Spain), as Carlos II’s reign commenced at the end of XVII century.

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Felina Valencia
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FELINA VALENCIA

Naturalista Rafael Cisternas Street, 6B
Street level 46010 Valencia

 

+34 961 053 154 / +34 677 000 222

SUBWAY
Line 5 & 7 - Aragon Station.

BUS
10, 12, 32, 71, 80 and N1.

CAR
Parking close.

TAXI
A 10-minute taxi ride from downtown Valencia. Beware of taxi drivers. Some of them may try to take you another brothel or club in lieu of a commission. Kindly remember that our brothel is never closed.