The City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia is a unique complex devoted to scientific and cultural dissemination which is made up of five main elements: the Hemisfèric (IMAX cinema and digital projections), the Umbracle (a landscaped vantage point and car park), the Príncipe Felipe Science Museum (an innovative centre of interactive science), the Oceanográfico (the largest aquarium in Europe with over 500 marine species) and the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía (which takes care of the operatic programme). The Ágora gives the complex a multifunctional space.
Along an axis of just under two kilometres that was formerly the bed of the River Turia, this complex promoted by the Generalitat Valenciana has striking architecture – designed by Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela – and an endless capacity for entertaining and stimulating the minds of its visitors. In its various buildings they can get to know different aspects of science, technology, nature, and art.
Santiago Calatrava, who master-minded most of the complex, says ‘I am proud of the fact that people can walk through and around the main buildings without paying. It is a city to be discovered by promenading.’
You can promenade for more than seven kilometres around the complex thanks to the vision of this internationally acclaimed architect, artist and engineer who allowed his imagination free rein when it came to designing one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken by his native city.
Many Valencians admit to having visited the arts and science city scores of times without ever having bought an entrance ticket to any of its four star turns: the ‘Hemesferic’, Planetarium, the Principe Felipe Science Museum, the Oceanarium and the Reina Sofia Arts Palace.