The City of Arts and Sciences – Elegant Spanish Architecture
Known as “la Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias” in Spanish, the City of Arts and Sciences is something that no visitor to Valencia should miss. It is a testament to the excellence of modern Spanish architecture and is the largest scientific and cultural complex in Europe.
There are six buildings that comprise the City of Arts and Sciences, of which most were designed by Santiago Calatrava. The futuristic style of the architecture stimulates the senses and easily intensifies your anticipation for what lies within them. There’s a ton of things to see and do inside, so better buckle up for a riveting time.
The Oceanografic building, with its clamshell-like design, houses Europe’s largest aquarium where nearly 500 species of aquatic life can be discovered including sea lions, belugas, penguins, dolphins and so much more. The aquarium is divided into seven areas to stimulate the various environmental conditions best suited for these animals, the Meditaarean, the arctic, the polar oceans, the islands, the temperate seas, the tropical seas and the Red Sea. It’s an expansive palace, one that will doubtlessly leave you in awe and require you to dedicate a good amount of time to fully explore.
Next up we have the Prince Felipe Museum of Sciences. This educational wonder features permanent interactable exhibits that provide a great way for anyone to learn more about various sciences and cultures. The Museum also features special events held at various times throughout the year with an example of such being the highly popular Exposicion del Ninots that showcases 700 painstakingly crafted wooden figures known as ninots which are then later burnt at the Fallas festival.
From the seas to the land to the stars, L’Hemisfèric features an IMAX cinema and planetarium that will offer you a grand audio-visual experience. The building was designed after the form of an eye to represent the imparting of knowledge about the world granted in this place through its visual showcase.
The first purpose-built opera venue in Valencia, the Palau de les Arts offers a truly grandiose evening with spectacular performances in theatre, dance and opera. The inside of this magnificent stage is divided into four areas for each of the different performing arts.
The Agora is the latest addition to this collection of buildings and was formerly the host of the Tennis Open. It was created to accommodate a multitude of events such as conferences, conventions, concerts etc.
Finally, we have the Umbracle, the gateway into the City of Arts and Sciences. It’s a 1000 sq metres area that is open to all. It also features an open-air art gallery known as El Paseo de las Esculturas. The gallery is a celebration of contemporary artists and also provides shelter for specially selected plants that have the ability to change their shapes and colour throughout the year, in tune with the season. Beautiful art and dynamic scenery really set the tone for you as you enter this incredible city.