The city of arts and sciences, Valencia is a very unusual and, perhaps, the most famous landmark of not only the autonomous community of the same name, but of the whole of Spain. The impressive architectural ensemble is one of the most visited tourist sites and attracts tourists from all over the world.
Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, which is one of the largest attractions in Valencia, is an architectural complex designed for cultural and educational recreation. A visit to this place will be interesting not only for adults, but also for children, because the 350 thousand m² allocated for its construction housed 5 different objects at once.
The city of sciences impresses not only with its grandeur, but also with a completely new architectural style, in which there are many bionic elements. Due to this feature, the appearance of this complex is radically different from other Valencia structures. This is especially felt after exploring the many historical sights, which are also included in the mandatory tourist program.
Currently, the City of Arts and Sciences is among the 12 treasures of Spain. He, along with several other contestants, was awarded this important award in 2007.
History of creation
For the first time about a place dedicated to various areas of science and art, they spoke in the 80s. last century, when Jose Maria Lopez Pinro, a professor at one of the universities of Valencia, invited the city authorities to open a huge museum. The then president of Valencia, Juan Lerma, liked the idea of creating such a center, so he closely engaged in this project.
Work on the future City was entrusted to a team of the best craftsmen, led by Santiago Calatrava, a well-known Spanish-Swiss architect. Prior to this, each of them has already participated in the construction of such facilities in Munich, London and other European cities. The location for the complex was also chosen by chance – it was the former channel of the Turia River, a spacious territory that allowed to realize any architectural idea.
The original plan of the City of Sciences in Valencia, and this is how the working name of this building sounded, included a planetarium, a museum of science and a 370-meter tower, which would take the 3rd highest place not only in Spain, but throughout the world. The total cost of this scientific and educational ensemble was estimated at 150 million euros, which caused a wave of discontent. Nevertheless, work on the complex did not stop for a minute, and in the spring of 1998, 10 years after the start of construction, he received his first visitors.
The first object to open on the territory of Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias was the Planetarium. Literally 2 years after this, the Prince Felipe Science Museum was commissioned, and after it, in December 2002, a unique oceanographic park. Three more years later, in November 2008, the list of finished objects was replenished with the Palace of Arts. Well, the final touch in the construction of the complex was the indoor pavilion of Agora, the grand opening of which took place in 2009.
The most famous scientific and educational complex of Valencia consists of 5 buildings and a suspension bridge, open in different years, but forming a single architectural composition. We will get to know each of these objects.
The Palace of Arts of Reina Sofia, which is a luxurious concert hall, consists of 4 auditoriums, which can simultaneously accommodate up to 4 thousand spectators. A snow-white structure, the shape of which resembles a helmet of a conquistador, is surrounded by artificial reservoirs filled with azure water.
The interior of the largest hall, decorated in a traditional Mediterranean style, is striking with its mosaic patterns, and the fifth room, designed to accommodate temporary exhibitions, is unique with exhibits dedicated to performing and musical art.
Currently, the stages of El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía are ballet performances, theater performances, chamber and classical concerts, opera performances, as well as many other cultural events. You can visit the Reina Sofia Art Palace on your own, by buying a ticket for one of the shows, or as part of an organized tourist tour, during which you will have a 50-minute journey through the halls and galleries.
The City of Arts in Valencia could not do without a beautiful botanical garden, which occupies more than 17 thousand square meters. A unique garden and park complex, formed of 5.5 thousand tropical plants, shrubs and flowers, holds 119 arched vaults made of transparent glass.
Among other things, on the territory of L’Umbracle there are several more interesting objects, including the Garden of Astronomy, the Gallery of Modern Sculpture and the Art Exhibition of Plastic Works, which organically fit into the floral “interior”. The Botanical Garden also offers wonderful views of the mirrored pools, pedestrian paths and other pavilions.
Another important part of the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias is L’Hemisfèric, an unusual futuristic building, built in 1998, which became the first urban facility open to the public. Within the walls of this building, occupying more than 10 thousand square meters. m, housed a planetarium equipped with modern digital technology, a laser theater and 3D cinema Imax, considered the largest cinema in Valencia.
L’Hemisfèric itself, located below ground level, is made in the form of a hemisphere, or rather, a huge human eye, whose eyelid rises and falls. An artificial pond extends around this structure, in the water surface of which the second half of the eye is reflected. Watching this picture is best in the evening, when the building is illuminated not only by external but also by internal illumination. It was then that a sphere resembling an eye pupil was perfectly visible through transparent glass walls.
The Oceanarium in the City of Science and Art (Valencia), with more than 500 species of seabirds, reptiles, fish, animals and invertebrates, is Europe’s largest oceanographic complex. For the convenience of visitors, the park is divided into 10 zones. In addition to the huge two-level aquariums in which its inhabitants are kept, there is a mango grove, a dolphinarium, man-made swamps and a garden. And most importantly, if desired, each visitor can plunge into one of the glass tanks in order to get to know some of the underwater world.
More detailed information about the park is presented in this article .
The multifunctional exhibition site, built in 2009 and being the youngest local building, initially played the role of a large concert hall and a hall for conferences, congresses and meetings. However, soon in the walls of the building, whose height is about 80 m, and the area is 5 thousand square meters. m, they began to hold not only cultural, but also sports events – including the Valencia Open ATP 500, an open international tennis tournament, one of the most important sports competitions in the world.
In addition, L’Agora, whose appearance resembles a giant forage cap, often hosts shows of world famous designers and performances by show business stars. Children are not forgotten here either – during the Christmas holidays, a huge ice rink is poured in the pavilion and bright ice shows and shows are held.
The Interactive Museum of Science and Technology, occupying the largest building of the City (about 40 thousand m²), resembles a huge three-story deck, complemented by an unusual glass facade (dark from the south and transparent from the north). The interior of El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe looks more like a playground, the roof of which is supported by large concrete trees.
A characteristic feature of this museum, created as an educational center, is considered absolute accessibility. This means that, if desired, each visitor can not only look at the exhibits placed in it, but also touch them with his hands, and also take part in any scientific experiments demonstrated by museum staff.
The entire territory of El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe is divided into separate zones that tell about a particular discipline – architecture, physics, sports, biology, etc. Exhibitions dedicated to climate change, ingenious scientific discoveries, biometrics, and human studies are presented in separate museum rooms body, as well as the history of the notorious ship “Titanic”.
In a room with mirrored walls and exactly the same ceiling, you can watch films shot in the BBC style, and in the next pavilion you can take part in a conference on the methods of applying innovative technologies for the benefit of modern society. Currently, El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe in Valencia is one of the best not only in Europe, but throughout the world.
Suspension bridge El Puente de l’Assut de l’Or, located next to the Agora, was built a year earlier than its neighbor. The grandiose design designed by Santiago Calatrava connects the southern part of the City of Sciences with Menorca Street. Its length is 180 m, and the height of the mast, which plays the role of a lightning rod, reaches 127 m, for which it is called the highest point of the architectural complex.
The city of science and art in the Spanish Valencia opens at 10 a.m. and closes between 6 and 9 p.m. depending on the season. At the same time, on holidays (December 24, December 25, December 31, and January 1), he works according to an abbreviated schedule.
|Visited objects||Full||With discount|
|Planetarium||8 €||6,20 €|
|Museum of Science||8 €||6,20 €|
|Oceanographic park||31,30 €||23,30 €|
|Combined ticket for 2 or 3 consecutive days||38,60 €||29,10 €|
|Planetarium + Museum of Science||12 €||9,30 €|
|Planetarium + Oceanographic Park||32,80 €||24.60 €|
|Museum of Science + Oceanographic Park||32,80 €||24.60 €|
On a note! When buying a combined ticket, the same place can be visited only 1 time. Also note that in 2020 the entrance to the complex will rise in price by 50-60 eurocents. Look for more information on the official website – https://www.cac.es/en/home.html.
Prices on the page are for November 2019.
Going to the City of Arts and Sciences (Valencia), listen to the recommendations of those who are already fortunate enough to visit there:
- To understand where this or that object is located, pay attention to the detailed map-scheme installed at the entrance.
- Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias is located near the center of Valencia, so it can be reached on foot.
- If you decide to take a ride on public transport, look for buses No. 14, 1, 35, 13, 40, 15, 95, 19 and 35, following from different areas of Valencia.
- Parking on site is paid. When you buy an entrance ticket to the Planetarium and Oceanographic Park, its cost will be about 6 €. Those who want to save money should use the free parking facilities owned by the Agua and El Saler shopping centers.
- For walks that can take at least 2-3 hours, it is worth choosing the most comfortable clothes and shoes – you will have to walk a lot.
- Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias is worth a visit in the daytime and in the evening – the perception of architecture will be completely different.
- Tired of sightseeing, take a look at one of the local cafes – the food in them is quite tasty, and the prices are quite affordable.
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Posted by: Olga Sheyko