Countries<Spain<Comunidad Valenciana<Carcaixent< Magatzem de Ribera (Almacén de Ribera)

Magatzem de Ribera (Almacén de Ribera)(Carcaixent)

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1.- A bit of history.
- At the end of the XVIII century, in 1781, the priest Vicente Monzó cultivated the first orange tree plantation in Carcaixent, in the district of Balsas del Rey, together with the apothecary Jacinto Bodí and the clerk Carlos Maseres, with the intention of starting its commercialization.
Such was the success of the orange that soon, a large part of the region of La Ribera and the Mediterranean Levant, were dedicated to the cultivation and marketing, producing an economic and social revolution.
This revolution was due to the need to hire a large amount of labor for cultivation, harvesting and handling, as well as the need to use faster means of transport to ensure that the product arrived in good condition to their destinations.
There was a demographic increase caused mostly by seasonal workers and that forced to build more houses, install new markets to supply the population, increase services to the inhabitants, improvement of communications, etc...
- José Ribera was a member of one of the most important merchant families of Carcaixent that had erudite members. José Ribera inherited the business started by his father and made it grow so that, at the end of the 19th century, he ordered the construction of a new warehouse to the master builder José Ríos Chinesta.
Originally, the Magatzem of the Ribera family was in C/ de la Sang, today Julián Ribera street, where we can find the big house that also bears his name.
- The builder: It was built by the local master builder José Ríos Chinesta. Although his real trade was carpenter and bricklayer, he was completely self-taught. Without academic training, his interest in architectural subjects was such that he possessed one of the most important libraries related to architecture, including German and Italian treatises as well as specialized magazines. José Ríos was the great architect of the Ribera family, since he built a large part of their properties, such as the family house located in Julián Ribera Street, the Hort del Reialenc, etc...

2.- The exterior

This modernist building was erected as a warehouse for the handling of oranges, although its monumental appearance seems to indicate other purposes. It is, therefore, one of the best examples of the golden age of the orange economy, becoming an original eclectic work with modernist decorative elements, such as bricks, tiles and wrought iron.

The building is rectangular and "L" shaped, conceived so that it could visually dominate the entire interior of the building. The walls are of masonry in rows.
It has a façade facing three streets, with an exterior courtyard enclosed by a grille. The facades deserve special attention. The two main ones, facing Missa and Joanot Martorell streets, are very similar. In both, the decorative brick motifs of eclectic tradition stand out, alternating with modernist tiles. The facade facing the Glorieta de la Estación is simpler, smaller in size and with a gabled roof.

The exterior courtyard
This space is created by the construction of the two naves cutting at right angles, leaving this space with a rectangular shape and with a fence enclosure. It is currently occupied by a garden and has a waterwheel in the center as decoration.

3.- The interior
The type of construction is based on the basilica typology, with a central nave of large dimensions and less elevated lateral naves that allow the zenithal illumination of its interior and with an upper level made with iron beams that go around the perimeter and that have a grille decorated with vegetal motifs.
The separation between the naves was made with cast iron columns, which have a wooden beam that supports the arches of the second level. These are topped with a classically decorated capital.
The arches combine bricks with brickwork moldings that imitate stone, resulting in a polychrome ensemble with a certain oriental flavor.
The floor of the Magatzem was made with unvarnished ceramic tile, as it was worked on rice straw. The offices were located at the head of the main nave, near the facade facing Missa Street.

Inside we can still observe the distribution tables of the boxes of oranges and clementines by size, rows and columns, according to the reproduction of a card used by the packing machines of the warehouse.

It is these peculiarities that make it a unique building, which has been the subject of specialized studies and has been called the "Cathedral of the Orange".

The acquisition of the Town Hall
It was acquired by the Town Hall in 1989 and has been conveniently rehabilitated in phases since it is a singular and complex building. With this it has been possible to recover an emblematic building for the history of the orange. At present it has a civic, cultural and festive use that is used for exhibitions, concerts and shows of all kinds.

Image of Magatzem de Ribera (Almacén de Ribera)