Once upon a time, Valencia had four gates that allowed for passage through its medieval wall. Come the 19th century, the city needed to grow, so that stony barrier was demolished, leaving only two gates behind, one to the north, and the other to the west, the 15th-century Torres de Quart (or Quart Towers).
Acting as Valencia’s western gate, the Torres de Quart led to the pueblo Quart de Poblet, from which they got their name. Over the centuries, the towers have weathered their fair share of battles; in fact, reminders of Napoleon’s bombardment live on in the gate’s canon-ball-pocked outer walls (which now tend to fill with birds’ nests instead of weaponry). Though the Torres de Quart’s original purpose was as a passageway, for centuries they acted as a prison: first one for women, starting in the 1600s, and later as a military prison, from 1813 until 1932.
These days, you can explore the ancient gate by visiting and scaling its interior. Once inside, you can work your way up the tower’s steep spiral steps to reach the lookout point above, where you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the city.
The Torres de Quart are located at the western end of Carrer de Quart, along the perimeter of the El Carmen neighborhood. They are open TuesdayTus through Sunday. Note that the entrance is modestly marked, and located on the south side of the towers.