Valencia – City of Arts and Sciences
Valencia’s futuristic City of Arts and Sciences (Ciutat de les Arts I les Ciències) complex is stunning in design and grand in structure. Fabulous, fun and funky for any visitor, it is especially jaw-dropping for the unsuspecting sightseer, as I found out on my first visit.
I loved the huge Star Trek-style buildings, ghost-like statues, modern art sculptures and light-bouncing exteriors, set amid calming bright blue waters. All blending in to form a size-altering, futuristic ‘stairway to heaven’ from an old flash-flooding riverbed to the bright blue-sky ceiling above.
All the more astonishing when one considers that this bright-white city is located at the end of the River Turia‘s drained and redirected riverbed project, which culminated in the re-routing of the city’s river after a disastrous flood in 1957.
It is the true jewel in the crown of modern-day Valencia, and considered one of the twelve treasures of Spain (which impressive list includes the Mezquita-Citedal of Cordoba and Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in previous blogs).
Taking nearly a decade to complete, Santiago Calatrava and Felix Candela’s City of Arts and Sciences was finally finished in 2005, costing £800,000 and coming in three times over budget.
The photos here (all taken this weekend) show the diversity of structures, from the first building to be completed, L’Hemisfèric, glassy and blink-inducing, to El Palau (Opera House), Museum of Sciences, L’Oceanografic, L’Umbracle arches, L’Ágora and the gigantic harp shaped El Pont de L’Assut de l’Or.
Get over there… you are in for one heck of treat.