If there is ONE thing you must see in Valencia, it would be the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias complex (City of Arts and Sciences). Science, nature, sports and art are all rolled into one architecturally stunning complex. It was designed by Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela. It is made up of five main elements and one other element that gives it a multifunctional dimension.
The Hemesferic is the largest hall in Spain to contain three systems projecting onto a concave screen of 900 square metres: and IMAX cinema, Planetarium and Laserium. It is the centerpiece of the City of Arts and Sciences and it is also called the “eye of knowledge”. The building is meant to resemble a giant eye. Its design resembles an eyelid that opens to access the surrounding water pool. The bottom of the pool is glass, creating the illusion of the eye as a whole.
El Museu de les Ciencies Principe Felipe
The Príncipe Felipe Science Museum is an innovative centre of interactive science that resembles the skeleton of a whale. It was designed more for ‘entertainment value’ than for science education. The exhibits inside are not as impressive as its architecture. It is currently the largest exhibition space in Spain. The design of the building is just stunning.
The Umbracle is a landscaped walk with vegetation characteristic of the Mediterranean, of the Region of Valencia, and of tropical countries. It was designed as a entrance to the City of Arts and Sciences so this will be the first thing you will step foot on if you go to this complex. It also contains an interesting exhibition of contemporary sculptures by internationally acknowledged artists in the Art Promenade. It also has a “Garden of Astronomy” which is an open-access area within the Umbracle that complements other astronomy-related elements and activities of the City of Arts and Sciences.
The Oceanographic is an open-air oceanographic park and was designed by Felix Candela. It is the largest oceanographic aquarium in Europe. Each building represents different aquatic environments including the Mediterranean, Wetlands, Temperate and Tropical Seas, Oceans, the Antarctic, the Arctic, and the Red Sea. There are over 500 different species and I’ve seen like sardine runs, huge scary green morays, gigantic spider crabs, gargantuan belugas and walruses and sea lions and turtles etc. Definitely my favorite place in the complex!
El Palua de last Arts Reina Sofia
The Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía is an opera house and performing arts center. It contains four large rooms: a Main Room, Magisterial Classroom, Amphitheater and Theater of Camera. It is dedicated to music and the scenic arts.
The Agora is the new icon of the City of Arts and Sciences is a versatile space that will allow the holding of varied events. It is a multifunctional space used for staging of congresses, conventions, concerts, and performances; it can also be converted into an exhibition area. This building hosted successfully the Valencia Open 500 Tennis Tournament, one of the most important international sports meetings.
El Pont de l’Assut de l’Or
This is a suspension bridge that connects the south side with Minorca Street, whose 125 meters high pillar is the highest point in the city.
Come visit soon and spend at least a day in this super stunning complex! You can buy tickets there or online. I’ll be writing separate articles for the Oceanographic and the Science Museum. Watch out!