When it comes to having fun in the sun, more people prefer to head for Spain then anywhere else, and why not? The fiestas, the food, the reasonable prices, the beaches, the mountains and the lovely, lively cities, the hot Spanish sunshine and the fun-loving Spanish themselves, all combine to make Spain the perfect summer getaway.
The City of Arts and Sciences – Travel to 23rd Century
Welcome to the new millennium tourism – where you travel to see the architecture of the future, not the past. The City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia is an unforgettable trip into 22nd century.
The usual paradigm of travelling is to see something old, historic, ancient. It’s not that Valencia does not have history set in stone. The Old Town is entirely charming and packed with all kinds of Gothic, Renaissance and neo-classical sights. But in one audacious move, Valencia has become a new European holiday destination – by inviting you into the future, not the past. The City of Arts and Sciences leads a revolutionary trend – where you travel to see buildings from 23rd, not 14th, century.
Since the construction of the City of Arts and Sciences, the tourism in Valencia sky-rocketed. Travellers doing a tour of Spain will go well out of their way to see it. Overnight, Valencia has become a true pioneer of new millennium tourism.
The alien skeletons
Spilled out in a vast green expanse of a river bed converted into a garden, the City of Arts and Sciences is truly a city within a city. Enormous white structures glistering in the Mediterranean sun leaves every single person wide-eyed. It is a “never seen before” factor, a feeling of having landed on another planet, the sheer elegance, harmony and pure ambition of the project. The architect Santiago Calatrava, the famous son of Valencia, is said to base his visions on animal skeletons. Indeed, the City of Arts and Sciences looks like a shining, polished set of remains of various unknown extra-terrestrial animals, good 20-30 times larger than any of the dinosaurs have ever been.
The Museum of Sciences looks like a 220 metres long and 55 metres high giant half-ribcage covered in glass membrane. L’Hemisferic, an IMAX movie theatre, is a gigantic shell of an armoured creature, like a turtle or an enormous bug. By night it turns into an open human eye. The Oceanographic invokes images of a complex moon base built out of various giant sea shells, just one of which could compete for food with T-Rex. And the King of the City – the Palace of Arts – has been very accurately referred to by The Guardian as “an intergalactic skull”. Who would have such a skull is for you to decide – it is 70 metres in height.
All that gorge is actually placed in pure blue water surrounding all of the structures. Not only does it accentuate the purist brilliance of architecture, it serves to truly transfer you from dry ancient Valencia into another city. And don’t forget to look at the City of Arts and Sciences at night – that is when the true science fiction, shining through the vastness of the universe, comes alive.
Not just the pretty face
The inside is just as amazing as the outside. Every section of the City of Arts and Sciences is “the biggest” and “the best”. It will take you a good couple of day to experience everything on offer.
The Museum of Sciences is the largest museum space in Spain. It hosts an ultramodern permanent exhibition on all imaginable sectors of science, from sport to lasers. Moreover, it is mostly interactive: you see the science unfold before your eyes. Just touch, pull, rub, push the button.
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Tweets About Spain Holiday
The Hemispheric is not just another IMAX cinema. It is a giant space ship. Everyone straps themselves to the floor, stares into the ceiling and enjoys the 3D journey. Kids love that stuff.
The Oceanographic refuses to come second too. The largest marine park in Europe, it is home to over 45000 specimens of over 500 species from all corners of the planet – from Antarctica to the Med. All viewing is actually underground where you can come nose-to-nose with a giant Japanese crab, or have sharks swim right over you while you walk through a tunnel.
The Palace of Arts is said to be the biggest stage space in Europe, with four auditoriums designed to host anything from theatre to opera. The lovers of classical music will be interested to find out that the acoustics in the Palace is meant to be as futuristically incredible as the building itself.
The City of Arts and Sciences is open all year round. The hours vary – in the winter it tends to be open until 7-8 PM, while in the summer that changes to 10-11 PM. You can choose which parts you want to see if you don’t have time for all of them. A complete set will cost you 30 euros. Naturally, enjoying the outer walls of the City of Arts and Sciences is free of charge.
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Seeing something like this will leave an ever-lasting imprint in your mind. Not just “wow, its beautiful” or “that’s very pretty”, not just another original variation on well-established styles, but an awe-inspiring, speechless surrender to the genius that will remain in your memory for years.
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