Valencia Spain’s City of Arts and Sciences

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Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencas/City of Arts and Sciences, Autopista del Saler: This area of the city is not to be missed as it is one of the most sensational architectural sites I have seen. It was designed by Calatrava who spent 16 years on the project.

The site includes the Palau de les Artes Reina Sofia which opened in 2006. It is the city’s opera house and a performance space for concerts and the ballet. Zubin Meta heads Festival de Mediterrani and Placido Domingo not only performs but there is the Centre Perfeccionament Placido Domingo at the Palau. It almost looks like a huge cruise ship. I went back and enjoyed an opera performance on the evening of Rossini’s Cenerentola (Cinderella). What a spectacular venue! Seeing the other buildings lit at night was an added treat.

La Hemisferic is next to the Palau de les Artes. It is a Laserium, Planetarium and large IMAX cinema. The outer shell of the theater opens and closes like an eye.

Museo de las Ciencias Principe Felipe: This wonderful building is next. This is a four story science museum that is a wonderful glass structure with metal ribs. I walked through the exhibits, but just seeing the building is worth the price of admission.

L’Umbracle: Across from the Museo de las Ciencias, on top of the parking garage, is this large garden promenade.

The Agora: Next under a blue dome is this multi-functional event space that is used for congresses, conventions, concerts and performances. It has even been a tennis venue.

The Oceanografic: These are the last buildings in the complex which is the largest aquarium in Europe.  It was not designed by Calatrava but by Felix Candela.

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