You and I had a walk in the medieval town of Valencia some days ago. We visited Ciutat Vella and we got acquainted with the Valour and Bravery of Spain. Today I am offering you to continue our stroll in the third largest city of Spain but this time we are going to visit one place, one city in the city, where you are going be close to sciences, arts and nature.
Ready, steady, gooooo to ….. 🙂
C I U T A T D E L E S A R T S
I L E S C I É N C I E S
The City of Arts and Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes i las Cièncias in Valencian and Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias in Spanish) is a leisure centre that encompasses an area of 350 000 m2. It is Valencian architect Santiago Calatrava’’s masterpiece. Several of his dream, and to some extent extraordinary, buildings were built on a part of the former riverbed of the Turia River. Nowadays the complex is a must when visiting Valencia, especially for those who want to dive into the world of sciences, culture and nature. What is the unique leisure complex made up of exactly? It consists of six main buildings plus one amazing bridge. And which are they?
The Oceanogràfico: If Oceanário de Lisboa is the largest indoor aquarium on the Old Continent, I will say that the Oceanogràfic of Valencia is the largest both indoor and outdoor underwater city in Europe because it gives home to about 45 000 animals and specimens and about 500 marine species. Visiting this place, actually, you pay a visit to the main seas and oceans of the planet. The Oceanarium of Valencia is divided in several sections (tropical, Arctic, etc.) plus a dolphinarium where its inhabitants live peacefully and you can “talk” to them. For sure, the seals, belugas, penguins and sea lions there will “answer” you. If it’s not enough for you, take a walk along the 70-metre Ocean Tunnel (similar to this of L’Aquàrium de Barcelona) where sharks, rays and sunfish will say “Hi” to you.
If you’re Italian you will “choose” your either giant spider crab, lobster or favourite fish species and imagine it being well cooked for your dinner tonight. 😀 As far as the dolphinarium is concerned, it is the largest one in Europe. It possesses 5 grand pools. The main one, i.e. the exhibition one, is 11 metres deep and is equal to two Olympic pools. This is, actually, the place where the Oceanogràfic dolphins stage their daily performances and sea spectacles in front of the eyes of 2000 people (this is the number of the seats at the dolpinarium). The rest four have other purposes – training functions, reproduction and medical care. So, this is simply a must place where you should go to and enjoy the plays of the about thirty dolphins.
Príncipe Felipe Science Museum: Science is on display here. It offers you numerous halls like the Forest of Chromosomes where you will stumble upon the human genome. You might also enjoy telecommunications in the Communicating: from Smoke Signals to Satellites Hall or “play” some games with the Tesla coil and electricity in the Electricity Theatre.
If you’re a fan of our planet and Space, you should discover its depths in When the Earth Shakes Hall or learn about the basic principles of gravity in Zero Gravity.
So, if you wanna have a scientific trip, this will be your choice, this will be your place.
Hemisfèric: It is and IMAX DOME cinema and 3D cinema. Just imagine watching a movie or a digital projection about galaxies with millions of stars or invisible worlds on a 900-metre concave screen. Incredible, a?
You will enjoy the documentaries much more there with your special and very innovative 3D glasses that will allow you to change the screening languages.
Umbracle: This is an enormous open-access garden that is situated on an area of 17 000 square metres. This is the place where you can make a nice stroll among the typical Mediterranean plants mixed up with contemporary sculptures.
You may have a drink on the lovely open-spaceTerazza Maya at night, thus indulging into the Moon and numerous stars in the sky. What a nice feeling …… 🙂
And here are the last three elements of the complex. Ágora is the newest and the most recent building of the complex. It hosts a great number of cultural events in Valencia. Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía is Opera House of Valencia in which music lovers can see operas, concerts, zarzuela and ballets in October and November. The Assut D’or Bridge is also Santiago Calatrava’s masterpiece. It has been projected over the former riverbed of the Turia River between the Science Museum and the Ágora.
If you’ve enjoyed this short trip through science, arts, culture and nature, I could offer you another, “green” one in Valencia. So, stay tuned and wait for my next post on “Green Valencia”.